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ICY BOX IB-351StUS-B USB & eSATA 3.5" Enclosure E-mail
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Written by Thompson "Chip" Terrell IV - Edited by Olin Coles   
Monday, 08 October 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
ICY BOX IB-351StUS-B USB & eSATA 3.5" Enclosure
Closer Look
Detailed Features
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts

The ICY BOX performed flawlessly during testing and proved to me that from it's heavy aluminum plating, down to it's circuitry, it was manufactured with quality. I would have liked to have seen this design incorporate a fan and for the unit to power off/on in conjunction with the supported system, other than that, the ICY BOX met my expectations of what a fanless HD enclosure should be.

Icy-Box_IB-351_12.jpg

The overall presentation of the ICY BOX IB-351StUS-B was, in my opinion, the weakest aspect of RaidSonic's IB-351StUS-B enclosure. The packaging was colorful, modern, and well made, but I felt the manufacturer cut too many corners on actually informing the public what the specific features of the enclosure were, and at the same time the packaging was far too vague on exactly what was physically included with the product. I love manuals and accompanying software such as the driver CD, but again, not the same focus on quality as was the case with the actual external enclosure itself. The manual contained minimal information and was poorly printed (with type almost too small to read) and the driver CD was outdated and virtually worthless unless your OS was pre-Windows XP!

The ICY BOX is attractively understated in it's appearance. The average youth certainly won't be "wowed" by it's appearance, but the more mature crowd is going to appreciate the refined and serious image ICY BOX portrays. As I stated earlier, the IB-351StUS-B would easily be at home in a business environment. It looks like you could hit it with a hammer and the hard drive within would survive. I like that.

One of Icy Box's strongest suits was manufacturing quality. This isn't a disposable plastic component like so many other "accessory" items. This is a well made, solid metal external enclosure. During the review I described the top and bottom aluminum covers as metal plates because, that's what they are! Benchmark Reviews has seen system cases made of thinner and less durable material. I tried to bend the metal side mesh during my initial inspection, and it could be done, but not without some effort. During normal use any hard drive encompassed by ICY BOX would be well protected. On a side note, I did not care at all for the ill fitting plastic stand for use when the unit is in a vertical position. The stand was cheap, out of sync with the rest of the enclosure, and appeared because of it's awkward fit to be an after thought.

The ICY BOX enclosure performed as advertised, no more no less. As an external home for a SATA hard drive the IB-351StUS-B did everything it was supposed to, was easy to assemble, and functioned simply and efficiently. The simple design and trouble free eSATA interface makes this external HD enclosure competitive with any other fanless offering on the market.

When it came to judging the value of the ICY BOX, I was a little torn. The IB-351StUS-B is priced at $34.99 at Newegg.com which we all know is famous for it's competitive pricing. That price range is usually occupied by fan cooled external enclosures, so I really would have liked to have seen the ICY BOX a little more competitively priced or equipped with a fan. I'm also a big believer in warranties and companies standing behind their products, but sadly, the ICY BOX isn't covered by a warranty.

ICY BOX is expensively priced, some quality was sacrificed pertaining to accessory items like the manual, driver CD and stand, and there is no warranty protection, but the overall product of the ICY BOX IB-351StUS-B external enclosure is a practical and well made product that does what it's supposed to do and is quite easily and quickly implemented. It is durable and stylish and well worth consumers taking a look at, especially if passive cooling and noise reduction are high on your system priority list.

Pros:

+ Practical Design
+ Quality Manufacturing
+ Sleek Attractive Looks
+ Accessories/CD/Manual
+ Power/Activity LED
+ Small/Light Power Brick
+ Hot Swappable
+ eSATA

Cons:

- Price
- No Fan
- Awkward Plastic Stand
- Poor Manual/CD
- No Warranty

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 7.75
  • Appearance: 9.0
  • Construction: 9.5
  • Functionality: 9.5
  • Value: 8.50

Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.

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