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Pros: I'm not an expert on ext. hdd enclosures but this was pretty easy, I got all my tools out on my workbench ready to organize screws and pieces for nothing. 1 screw to open enclosure, slide hdd in, screw it to the enclosure, and screw it close.
Had to enable ahci in Windows 7's registry, and then enable it in the bios but all fairly easy.
Installed with a 1.5TB drive, great speed, pretty quiet.
Cons: Blue light is bright, a little too bright for my tastes, but nothing some black electrical tape can't fix.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: StarTech ESATAPLT1LP 1ft Low Profile SATA to eSATA Plate Adapter
Pros: This along with a ext. esata enclosure was installed in less than 15 minutes with a bathroom break in between. It's a esata bracket, nothing more, nothing less.
Cons: noneREAD FULL REVIEW
Pros: The unit is small, VESA mounts for behind the TV, or in my case, mounting on the wall being a wall mounted TV. The fan gets noisy when playing HD videos, but it won't drown out your sound.
Viewsonic's image on here is pretty slim, the only added software is their outdated virus protect (I think it was McAfee), so I didn't have to uninstall much. I was able to stream videos and music from my main HTPC about 100 ft away.
The case isn't too difficult to open up, just use your phillips head to pry it from the screw hole, and take a flat head and work your way around.
Cons: First thing you should do is open the case up, remove the heatsink and clean their thermal grease off with alcohol and swabs. Buy some Arctic 5 and apply that instead. I had issues of overheating that lead to the system constantly locking up. Once I cleaned and added a better grease, the system doesn't lock up anymore.
I had run a network cable to it first to get internet access, once I let windows update do its job, the wireless adapter was able to pick up a good signal 100ft away. I think the range was ~10 ft before the wireless driver update.
Other Thoughts: Foxconn has a barebones version of this, but if you buy 2GB memory, 320g 5400rpm drive, and a copy of windows 7, it comes to about the same price.
Overall, it's a good bedroom HTPC, I don't think it'll be a good productivity system.