Joined on 02/11/02
Pros: For $200 shipped to my crummy APO address, this thing can't be beat. I got it today, slapped in 4 x 2TB Samsung 5400 RPM drives, and within minutes I had a working 5.45 TB RAID5 array. Over my lame USB 2.0 connection, it's copying large files at 26 MB/s (which is the MAX I've seen with USB 2.0, and also the max my chintzy gigabit ethernet connection seems to handle). The case is well-designed--simply unscrew 3 thumbscrews, slap in 4 drives, use the included 8 thumbscrews to secure the drives themselves, and put the cover back on. Set the dip switches to your desired RAID configuration, hold the RESET button (with a pen) while you turn the power ON, wait 10 seconds, and BOOM--you have a hardware RAID array ready to format!
Cons: None. The case is super-glossy, so it will attract fingerprints, but seriously--why the hell would anyone be fondling this box with their hands? It's a file server!! No touching required.
Overall Review: I'm really wishing I could test the USB 3.0 and eSATA connectors, but even on USB 2.0, this thing's great.
One of Four failed
Pros: Cheap, energy-efficient, silent, mass storage, good reviews online.
Cons: One of my four drives died after 3 months of use.
Overall Review: Thankfully, I run my RAID arrays as 0+0 with frequent manual backups. One of my four drives died, hence the 3-egg rating. Now I have to RMA a piece of hardware.
2 year update
Pros: Price, performance, reliability.
Overall Review: Update: 2 years after I purchased this thing, I've put it (and its 4 x 2TB WD Green HDDs) through a lot of moving, high accelerations, hot-humid to cold-dry to hot-dry climate changes, and it has not failed me once. This thing has been mishandled by baggage handlers at least 12 times since I've purchased it, to the point where the HDDs had "slid" out of their rear connectors at least 4 times. A simple re-slide was all that was in order. I have never had to rebuild the array (which is a deadly spanning array with no redundancy). So, in summary, I've put this thing through all sorts of climate/handling trauma, and it's worked 100% of the time for two years.
Update: USB 3.0 works great!
Pros: Same as before, but I finally was able to test the USB 3.0 speeds. With four 2 TB 5.4k RPM hard drives in RAID 5, it transfers files at 120MB/s. This is about 5x as fast as it did on USB 2.0, and faster than eSATA (have not tested this particular device in eSATA).
Cons: Same as before.
so far, so good
Pros: Large, cheap (at the time I bought it!), quiet, fairly reliable (per market consensus), no failures or indicators thereof for any of my 4 drives thus far.
Overall Review: I am using these in a 4-drive RAID5 array with a Sans Digital TR4UTBPN (highly recommended). I also have 4 other WD20EADS drives in a similar but non-portable setup to mirror my data, and one of those WD drives is becoming questionable in its reliability.
Pros: -1000hz update rate without installing 3rd-party unsigned drivers that don't always work -tilt wheel mechanics that don't interfere with hitting mouse2. -software programmability -12 total programmable buttons
Cons: -no topside buttons like its predececessor, I'd kill for one on either end of the wheel
Overall Review: The grip texture takes a little getting used to. Pressing the middle mouse button takes just a bit of practice to avoid accidentally tilting instead. The top button is for enabling the wheel mechanical ratcheting only, and is obviously not programmable.