Date Joined: 11/19/04
Pros: **** rock-solid ****
Upon removing the enclosure from the box its heavy-duty aluminum body immediately got my attention. It was obvious that this unit was built to last and will be a very protective shell for my hard drive.
**** cool-running ****
Runs relatively cool even though it's fanless. In fact, I have a few Venus DS fan-equipped aluminum enclosures (widely regarded as classics and have served me well for years of non-stop use) that don't run as cool as this enclosure. This is surely due in no small part to the thick aluminum casing that basically acts as one big heat sink.
**** very compact ****
Despite being built like a tank, the profile of this enclosure is surprisingly compact. In fact, my main concern when I bought this enclosure was that its small size suggested to me that it might turn out to be a bit too lacking in durability. But in actuality, looks were totally deceiving in this case.
(Note: I suppose the fact that the enclosure has no fan could be considered a con, but in light of what I said above about the heat dissipating properties of the heavy aluminum casing, I can't complain.)
Overall Review: I've heard complains that the drive is difficult or even impossible to remove once it's mounted in the enclosure, however, I've experienced no such problems. In fact, I use one of these enclosures as a means for hooking up hard drives with out rebooting -- i.e. I swap drives in and out of it very frequently -- and I've always been able to remove the drives with a minimum of fuss.
Pros: The surface of the pad is comfortable to the touch, breathes well (i.e. no sweaty wrist), and still provides a great texture that allows for high precision and sensitivity when using an optical mouse. Also, the surface is at a very slight incline which makes sense ergonomically and further adds to the overall comfort of use.
And, while there are pads out there made with higher grade materials for use in activities such as hardcore gaming and graphic design, but for the vast majority of users, a pad like this is all that's necessary.
And, of course, the fact that it cleverly kills two birds with one stone by having a USB hub built into it's base *and* still remains so inexpensive is the icing on the cake to say the least.
Cons: **** no A/C adapter ****
The USB hub is designed to be powered by an A/C adapter which, according to Rosewill's packaging, is sold separately. But that's not the problem, because selling it without the adapter is no doubt what makes this product so inexpensive. However, what is bothersome is that there is no mention whatsoever of the power adapter on Rosewill's website (or anywhere else on the web) and it's as if it doesn't even exist. (Note: see "other thoughts" below for a solution to this issue.)
**** plastic frame (potential issues?) ****
When first using the pad, I noticed that its plastic body has a tiny bit of an edge to it along the border of the cloth surface and I was concerned that that my wrist would get irritated over time from rubbing against it. However, after a month of usage it's never once bothered me and, in fact, I had totally forgotten that I ever noticed edge to plastic frame in the first place. So, not actually a "con", but I thought it was worth mentioni
Overall Review: Regarding the USB hub's A/C adapter (or lack thereof), you can always go buy a third-party adapter from your local electronics store. Though, even after having found a suitable adapter at my local, I've never gotten around to buying it because I honestly haven't needed it. Of course, the USB devices I have plugged into the mouse pad's hub have very little power requirements (e.g. keyboard, wireless mouse receiver, small flash drive, etc.), but then again those are exactly the kind of devices that this product is designed to accommodate and, in turn, effectively frees up your computer's built-in (powered) slots for power-hungry USB devices like media players, external hard drives, wireless networking adapters, etc.
Pros: **** High speed data transfer rates. ****
It's as fast as any other USB 2.0 flash media available and, personally, the most responsive unit I've used to date.
**** Sturdy, shock-absorbent design. ****
When taking the drive out of the packaging, I immediately noticed the soft, rubbery, yet solid exterior of the drive. The best protective design I've seen in a USB flash drive aside from the "armored" units that come in aluminum tubes that you can literally run over with a car and still use it.
**** Very good value. ****
After comparing many different drives, I found this to not only be one of the least expensive 8GB drives available but easily the least expensive of the high-quality 8GB drives.
Cons: **** A bit bulky. ****
When it comes to plugging this drive into a port on a bank of narrowly spaced and/or vertically stacked USB ports (e.g. laptop USB ports) it might not fit if the neighboring ports are already occupied by other devices. Specifically, the drive may crowd out the neighboring port unless the device on the neighboring port has a cable with a smaller than usual plug. However, if you're plugging this into a stand-alone USB hub, the front/back panel ports of a desktop machine, or any other USB bank with generally well-spaced and/or horizontally rowed ports, then the bulkiness shouldn't an issue at all.
Overall Review: I still rate this drive as 5/5 eggs because it deserves more than 4/5 eggs since it's an excellent unit in every other way, but I'd give it a 4.5/5 eggs if I could due to the bulkiness issue.
Pros: Crucial continues to produce hassle free RAM that works right out of the box. Plug it in and forget about it.
Overall Review: There's really nothing special about this RAM -- except the price. Quite often when you pay this little for a RAM stick, there's a very real risk that it might be DOA b/c of hasty manufacturing. Not with Crucial. I've bought eight of these sticks over the last year for three different machines and I've never had a problem once.