i-Star BPU-2535V2 Dual 2.5 to 3.5-inch Enclosure Review


Installation and Use

The drive cage does not have screw holes to mount this enclosure internally, but could be easily modified to do so. You would lose the hot-swap features of this enclosure, but you would then be able to fit two laptop hard drives neatly in a small form factor.

This drive is intended to fit inside an externally-accessed 3.5-inch drive bay, and the front panel is notched so you can see the activity LEDs of each drive. Once the device is mounted, all you need to do is plug up a standard SATA power cable from your power supply, and two SATA cables (one for each drive you want to access).

Inserting and removing drive is very simple, even if you’ve never used hot-swappable enclosures before. Just pull on one of the front door handles and pull the door open. A small lever at the back of the unit pulls on the installed drive, undocking it and sliding it forward for easy retrieval. The reverse is just as easy… insert a drive and close the door and the drive is automatically mounted and powered. Usually HDD enclosures only power the drive once the door is locked, but this is not so with this cage… once you plug it in then it is powered. The lock only serves to prevent accidentally opening the door (or theft).

We tested a variety of 2.5″ hard drives and SSDs in the enclosure and achieved the exact same performance both with and without the enclosure. The cage is essentially a “dumb” device so there are no chips to translate or manipulate data in any way and provides a straight-through connection. Some may actually prefer an external RAID card, as “internal” solutions tend to not have professional features like data rebuilding, recovery, and administrative alerts.

On the next page we consider its usefulness…