Joined on 03/09/04
Solid, well made, but LOUD
Pros: Excellent build and fit. Hot swap drawers work very well. Everything feels solid. The whole thing is heavier than it looks. Each drawer has its own blue activity light. Lots of airflow and the drives stay very cool.
Cons: LOUD. Not Vaccuum cleaner loud, but maybe hair dryer on low loud. You won't "get used to it"; you'll always notice it. You would NOT want this in the room with you all day. A bit pricey, but considering the build quality, you do get what you pay for.
Overall Review: If you are trying to hook this to a RAID controller that comes with pig-tail SATA cables instead of SATA plugs, you will have to find a way to convert the L-shaped cables to eSATA plugs to go to this box. I picked up a SS-PCI-4XSS for that from satacables (it doesn't look like their picture, it is sata ports on inside). If you don't need hot-swap drawers, like if you're trying to add 4 drives to your workstation and they just won't fit, your money would be better spent getting new case with more internal drive bays and a larger power supply, because this is just too loud to be next to you.
It's USB 1 not USB 2
Pros: It's basically a 1 port USB hub on the end of a 5 meter wire.
Cons: It is NOT USB 2, it is USB 1. That's 12 MBit/sec. On many devices, that will be a huge bottleneck. For a mouse or keyboard or a legacy device that is only USB 1, this will work fine for you. For a USB 2 wireless or wired network card or a scanner, it will be much slower than USB 2. Think of how a network card trying to do 100 MBit ethernet or 54 MBit 802.11g would do on the end of a device that can only go 12 MBit...
Overall Review: Buy only if you are ok with USB 1 speed
BEWARE-bending cracks board inside
Pros: Fair transfer speed, large capacity. I knock 1 egg for the performance being less than some faster drives, and the sliding cover not staying closed. The following information is a warning but I do not rate the product down because I broke it, so that you can put your OWN value to how easy it is to break and I don't drag down the ratings unfairly.
Cons: The retractable part doesn't really stay "closed" in your pocket, nor does it save any length. BEWARE: I would never have thought anything bad of this until it got bumped while it was plugged in and it bent about 30 degrees. After that the light would come on but it wouldn't show any data. Taking it apart, the PCBoard actually goes clear up into the USB plug, so when you bend the USB plug it actually cracks the PCBoard and the very tiny traces in it that go to the controller and memory chips. Instead of flexing 4 USB connections that could be easily fixed, it is an impossible repair.
Overall Review: I can't recommend this design to anyone because it is too fragile. If you never ever break it you will be happy with it, but it is too easy to break as it has been designed inside.
Great until it failed
Pros: Extremely fast performance. 240 read, 150 write.
Cons: Drive failed after a couple days. Drive fails under heavy I/O then disappears from BIOS until power off/on. Now drive has corrupted and all data lost.
Overall Review: I am not the only one experiencing issues with the X256 drives. Our X64 and X128 drives are all performing perfectly with no issues, but this X256 is looking like a lemon. Google for corsair x256 failed and see that in Corsair's forums, many people are having to RMA this drive. If you were wondering, the performance benchmarking on X128 and X256 drives is the same (240 read, 150 write), but X64 is slower (215 read, 95 write).
All or nothing?
Pros: Low price, good performance, BIOS interface, hardware mirroring. Comes with 2 SATA cables, 1 4-pin to 2 sata power splitter (picture only shows 1 SATA cable but mine came with 2)
Cons: Cannot mirror an existing drive without losing data, cannot mirror drives of different sizes AND allocate unused disk space as another partition.
Overall Review: You cannot take a drive with data and use this controller to subsequently mirror it unless you let it erase all the data. You cannot take two drives of different sizes and make a mirror plus a drive letter on the remaining space.
Pros: Fast quick speedy zoom! Cap can't get lost. Did I mention it's fast? Comes with a USB "docking cradle" so you don't have to hang it from things with heavy keys pulling down on it. It's fast read and write.
Cons: It's big compared to typical USB Flash drives. If you're looking for a tiny keyring companion that won't put a bulge in your pocket, the size of this will probably bother you.
Overall Review: There is one that looks almost identical that is cheaper, and it is not as fast. Make sure you get the HT203 model if you want the fastest.