The enclosure itself has a clean and sleek-looking design.It�s aluminum construction makes it light weight, and the perimeter of the enclosure is covered with a blue rubber that adds protection.The front of the enclosure has a grey-smoky window hiding two LEDs that provide status of the hard drive activity, and all of the cable connections are made in the rear.Also, this enclosure has no fans, meaning that it relies on conduction through the aluminum enclosure for heat dissipation.Another thing that I noticed was absent was a power button; many enclosures have power buttons that obviously allow you to turn off the hard drive when not used.
Opening up the enclosure involves unscrewing four screws inside the bottom feet of the enclosure.As you can see, the enclosure is made up of three pieces; the top and bottom halves (the removable part) and a circuitboard where the hard drive is mounted on.Installing the hard drive simply involves sliding the hard drive onto the connector on the circuit board and securing the drive using two screws.I�ve seen other enclosures that don�t use screws to hold down the hard drive, so I was glad to see that this enclosure had that simple feature.
Since the enclosure we received was the firewire version (a USB 2.0 version is available also), you obviously need to connect it to a firewire port.The enclosure comes with a 6-pin firewire cable, but if you are using this on another laptop (which is likely given the 2.5� hard drive), you likely will need to purchase a 6p to 4p adapter, since most laptops (like the Dell Inspiron 9300 that I tested this on) are equipped with 4-pin mini-firewire ports only.Obviously, it would have been nice if the enclosure came with this adapter, as I think there�s a good chance users will need it.Also, there are no additional firewire ports on the enclosure that would allow you to connect other firewire devices in series.
Using the hard drive requires no special software to be installed.Assuming the computer has a 1394 driver installed, Windows will automatically the device and allows you to use the drive.The enclosure uses the Oxford chipset, which is a widely-used and solid-performing chipset for enclosures.One nice feature is that the hard drive will spin-down if the computer�s internal hard drive spins down, which will add to the life of the external unit.Since there was no external fan, the only sound from the enclosure was from the hard drive itself.
To test out the enclosure, I installed a Toshiba 40GB ATA-100 hard drive from an old Dell Inspiron 4150 in the enclosure.Transfer rates were respectable; I was able to transfer a 33MB file in about 30 seconds, for a transfer rate of approximately 11 MBps, which obviously is not near the firewire transfer speed of 400 Mbps (50 MBps) or the speed of the hard drive (100 MBps).Some of this inefficiency is due to the IDE/firewire bridge interface.Above are the results from a SiSoftware Sandra run.
The ICY DOCK MB124E 2.5� hard drive enclosure isn�t the best enclosure I�ve ever seen, but it gets the job done.The lightweight aluminum design, simple installation, and quiet operations all add to the overall value.Unfortunately, it lacks some additional features such as an on/off switch, additional ports, or software offering easy backup capability.Plus, you might have to buy an additional adapter for your laptop.However, all together this is a solid enclosure that should be considered if you�re looking for this type of product.Overall, I would rate this enclosure a 4 out of 5.
+ Easy installation and operation
+ Clean looking design
+ Quiet operations
+ Hard drive spins down automatically
- No firewire 4p adapter included
- No on/off switch
- No additional firewire ports
- No software utilities included
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