Zalman ZM-VE200 External HDD Enclosure
|Zalman ZM-VE200 External HDD Enclosure|
|Features and Specifications|
|Testing the Zalman ZM-VE200|
Today we are looking at a product from Zalman - typically a cooling and case company - that is one of those products that you can't believe wasn't invented before. We are looking at the ZM-VE200 External HDD Enclosure that comes equipped with a USB 2.0 interface as well as a SATA pass-through connector that requires the USB connector to power the drive. I would have preferred to see a power-over-eSATA capable enclosure, but I guess they need something to sell later this year as an upgrade. So far, I haven't described anything new - and you could be wondering why I labeled this as one of the products that you can't believe wasn't invented... The reality is that the ZM-VE200 also has a Virtual Drive function that enables you to mount ISO files stored on the drive and gives you easy access to the disk images. More on that as we continue.
The Zalman External HDD Case + Virtual Drive comes in very nice attractive retail packaging that will catch the eye of consumers. There isn't a ton of information on the box, but there is enough to give you an idea of what you are buying when picking up this $60 enclosure over the cheap $20 enclosure. As always, the fit and finish of the Zalman ZM-VE200 is very nice. The bundle comes with everything you need to get up and going - including a small screwdriver, screws, a case, short USB cable, short eSATA cable and a quick install guide to help you figure out how to put it together and make it work.
The next few pictures show off the external finish and features of the sweet little Zalman ZM-VE200. The low-power requirement of 2.5" drives means that you can just power the device with a simple USB cable. When you are connected to a PC via USB this is perfect, but I do wish the eSATA option included power-over-eSATA as a few motherboards and laptops have this option. If you plug the drive into an eSATA port, you will also have to hook up the USB 2.0 connection in order to power the drive. The main control on the drive is a "jog dial" that allows you to cycle through your ISO files, as well as put the unit into standby, and switch from Virtual Drive (ODD) to HDD modes. You will also notice the eSATA, mini-USB connections in addition to the HDD activity LED and write protect switch.
Installation is pretty basic on this unit but may require a quit browse into the manual. The screws that hold the interface end on are located under the strips of rubber on the sides. Once this is moved out of the way (with the included screwdriver) you can easily remove the end of the unit. With this off, simply plug in the 2.5" HDD of your choice and slide it back together. It should take less than three minutes - if you're slow.
On the next page we'll take a look at the features and specifications of this device before we head on into testing.