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Pros: Very reliable operation. Quiet. No drivers to install. Simple. Works in Windows and Linux. Works with failing drives. Cheaper than an external drive enclosure.
Cons: The activity LED is pretty bright. It could be distracting in a dark room. If you want to use it for HTPC purposes, apply tape.
Other Thoughts: I bought this unit to perform a forensic data recovery for a client. The device flawlessly handled a failing hard drive for the entire four weeks of recovery runtime. 24/7 operation using a low-level access tool (ddrescue) in Linux was perfect. Follow-up use in Windows was likewise flawless, with no software disk or crapware to install. I did not do any speed testing, mainly because most of the time the drive in recovery was only pushing 100kbps or less; if speed is your #1 concern then look for some benchmarks.
This type of peripheral is the kind you don't expect to be worth much; it's pretty cheap, plastic and it is something not a lot of people use. Normally that is a recipe for a disposable product that works once or twice and then dies.
I was very pleasantly surprised. The unit is well-built, uses standard interfaces, adapts to laptop and desktop drives, handles hot-swapping, handles punishing workloads and works with no setup or configuration. If you have a few hard drives lying around or if you ever do virus removal for people, get one. It saves so much time and hassle I wish I had bought one years ago.
This review is from: Rosewill RK-200 - Standard Keyboard - Black, 107 Normal Keys, USB Wired
Pros: Cheap. Spill-resistant. Keys are easy to remove and put back, so it's a device you can clean without a screwdriver. Print on the letters is bright, sharp and holding up well so far.
Key action is OK. I'd prefer a heavier spring action and some CLACK, but the keys are responsive enough. There's nothing worse than squishy keys, so this is make-or-break behavior for me.
Does everything a full keyboard should do, and for an excellent price. No annoyances noticed even after a few hours in spreadsheets (or a few hours in games).
Cons: A bit flimsy. Needs a solid, level surface. Don't stack stuff on it.
Not comfortable to use on a lap (with an HTPC for instance), so look for another solution for long-term use in your armchair. I say that because it is so light it will move around; keys on the extreme ends will make it bounce up at the other end.
Other Thoughts: I'm happy with it. Five eggs easily for the performance at this price. If I had $50+ to spend on a keyboard I might get something more heavy-duty with metal springs, but I'm in no hurry to replace this one.
I had to clean some 'lightly-used' cat food out of mine thanks to a vindictive pet and a trip out of town. It took a few Q-tips and some Clorox cleaner, but it's just like new again.
Pros: The body is very well-made, looks like a single piece of milled or extruded aluminum with a backplate and the drive tray serving as the front of the device.
The surface finish is 'brushed' black and looks very nice even after handling.
The activity light is dim enough to ignore if you are playing a movie on it; the drive itself was louder than a 120mm fan but still quiet.
I was able to install Windows from a disk that looks like it lost a sandpaper deathmatch. Should have no problem reading through scuffs, dirt, fingerprints, etc.
Overall, glad I bought it. I would still feel that way if it was another $5.
Cons: May require two open USB ports. This is common to most if not all external burners, just something to be aware of. You can often get away with only one port, but that is not a guarantee.
Included Y-cable is a bit short.
Other Thoughts: It's a solid aluminum external burner with no extra power needed. Get one. Use it for netbooks with no optical drive, plug it into other machines for duplicating backup disks, keep it as a spare in case your main drive dies.
I did not use the bundled software, so I cannot comment on that part of the package. There are many free programs for burning disks and watching movies, so if you don't like what comes with it go check out sourceforge.
This review cannot address reliability, since I've only had it for a week.
Display Name: Christopher W.
Date Joined: 03/28/06
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