2.5in HDD Portable Media Enclosure Showdown

Article Index
2.5in HDD Portable Media Enclosure Showdown
RJ Tech HDD Enclosure and DivX Player
VANTEC AVOX Jukebox AV Player Enclosure
Testing The VANTEC AVOX Jukebox
Testing The RJ Tech RJ-100HD Enclosure

Product(s): RJ Tech RJ-100HD 2.5in HDD / DivX Enclosure and Player
Provided By:
 Memory Express 
Price: ~$89.95 CDN (
Memoryexpress.com)

Product(s): VANTEC AVOX Jukebox Portable A/V Player Enclosure
Provided By:Memory Express
Price: ~$134.99 CDN (Memoryexpress.com)

Introduction:

If your anything like me, you've got a big stack of various DVD's and CD's adorning the top of your dvd player, both of these enclosure we're testing today aim to get rid of the stack and let you keep all your favorite media in a small, portable media enclosure.

When I first noticed these enclosures, I immediately thought they were a great idea. Not only do they serve as an external USB 2.0 hard drive caddy, they also serve as a portable media library. They are a bit more expensive than your normal USB 2.0 HDD Caddy, which normally run anywhere from $30-$60 CDN, but hopefully after reading this review we'll be able to see if its worth the extra money.

After testing these drives I sat down to write this review and realized that comparing these two drives was going to be difficult since there aren't alot of "technical" aspects to benchmark each other against. The majority of this review will be my experience using both of these drives, so I apologize in advance for not having benchmarks, instead I am going to compare features and my observations.

Test System Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+
  • Asus A8V Deluxe
  • 2 x 120 gig Western Digital (8 MB Cache) in RAID 0 (Promise PDC20378 Raid Controller)
  • 2 x 250 gig Maxtor (16 MB Cache) in RAID 0 (VIA VT8237 Raid Controller)
  • 4 x 512 mb Kingston Memory
  • ATI Radeon x850 XT
  • Enermax 465 Watt PS

Samsung Momentus 5400.2 (80 gig) (This 2.5" Laptop drive was used in both enclosures)

VANTEC AVOX Jukebox Portable A/V Player Enclosure Initial Thoughts:

Opening up the box for the Vantec, I was immediately impressed. The presentation by Vantec is very nice, the enclosure is nice and sleek, and almost looks like most other enclosures other than it has a few extra hookups on the back for Audio/Video, etc. The casing on the enclosure is plastic with an aluminum top cover, but seems quite sturdy at first inspection.

RJ Tech RJ-100HD Initial Thoughts:

I had opened the vantec box first, then opened the RJ Tech box. The box was definately simpler than the vantec box, not that its a big deal who has the nicer box, but presentation is a big thing. When I first pulled the RJ enclosure out I was immediately impressed that the body of the enclosure was aluminum, definately feels sturdy. The RJ Tech enclosure also features 5 buttons on the top (Volume, Play/Pause, Video Mode, FFWD, REV), these buttons felt a little cheap to me personally, but in most instances you'd never use them unless for some reason you couldn't find the remote and needed to quickly start playing some media, they are better than nothing. I was however very surprised when I looked at the connections, it included a VGA plug in addition to the normal composite audio/video plugs. When I first saw the VGA plug I was definately impressed and thought it might be a very handy feature to have, especially on a 90 dollar enclosure.

Another "feature" that this encloure included was a mini phillips screwdriver to make removing the case screws from the encloure, at first when I found a screwdriver in the box I was puzzled, but as soon as I saw the little case screws that need to be removed to install the hard drive, I quickly became very thankful for it. I was surprised that an enclosure like this would included something as simple as a screwdriver, but its definately a detail that was thought about.