Article Index

Verdict

Pricing and Availability

BytePac Kit

The Bytepac kit is not yet available in Australia yet however it is available online via Amazon or Bytepac directly

http://bytepac.com/wheretobuy.php?language=1

Convar offers a 5 year warranty on the electronics, a warranty longer than new hard drives themselves but none stated for the cardboard. The firm claims the flap can be opened and closed 10,000 times.

Pricing of product at time of publishing from Amazon and Manufacturers 30 GBP/40 EUR for a three-pack including power adapter and 14 EUR for three additional boxes

Seagate Barracuda 3TB ST3000DM001

Bare drive: $210 AUD and up via staticice.com.au as of May-22-2012, $180 USD via newegg.com

Seagate mainstream drives ship with 2 year warranty.

Competitors

BytePac Kit

None are aware of, possibly plastic SATA dock devices

Seagate Barracuda 3TB

Hitachi 7K3000 7200RPM

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB

Conclusion

BytePac Kit

We think this kit is great for several groups of people

  • Users who would like a convenient and safe storage solution for 2.5" or 3.5" HDDs which may be archived such as on a bookshelf or drawer which can be connected to a PC when required
  • IT Pros/enthusiasts/DIY ers who want a modular connection system to enable external HDDs for SATA, ESATA or USB interfaces as well as a safe cardboard casing for loose HDDs they may wish to connect to their PC for storage or testing purposes.

Price wise, in GBP and EUR the price is very reasonable for a three pack given the 5 year warranty however converted to AUD/USD on price alone the kit is too expensive. Given the price of cardboard, somewhere in the $30,$40 price range would be ideal and competitive to traditional external USB enclosures.

This product is marketed as a green and eco friendly alternative which it is as the housing and all the electronic pieces are generic and replaceable.

We found the kit to be useful to externally attach hard disks to the desktop PC safely using power provided from the PC via eSATA or a standard SATA power plug or he included external 12V power supply. Notebooks with a combo eSATA+USB port will greatly benefit from this device as external drives can be bootable as system drives.

The downsides to the product as we tested are:

  • The version we tested is USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0, however a USB 3.0 version is available.
  • Product contents did not match the instructions
  • Included universal power adapter was a loose fit on the 12V power supply, which we felt was unusable
  • More expensive than generic external enclosures
  • Limited worldwide availability
  • eSATA to eSATA connection cable not included with our sample, limiting flexibility to either using powered eSATA if available, USB. If users want to connect to eSATA or internal SATA they need to supply their own cable. An oversight.

Seagate Barracuda 3TB

We can't fault this drive apart from the price, one can have two 2TB drives of the same model for a few dollars more than the 3TB drive. the 3T model needs to be setup in a special way on a modern PC to enable the full 3TB capacity, however Seagate and motherboard vendors provide tools to unlock the full capacity on older systems.

Also the Barracuda despite its excellent transfer speeds still is no SSD. THe most fussiest user would be happy with the 7200.14 as a storage drive especially if transferring data across a Gigabit or USB 3.0 connection.

Disclosure

Some hardware and software used in this review was loaned or sampled by their vendors for evaluation. We disclose these firms as follows:

  • AMD Australia
  • Convar Deutschland
  • Cooler master Australia
  • FSP Group Inc
  • Gigabyte Technology Australia
  • Kingston Australia
  • Seagate Australia
  • Rackcorp Managed Services
  • Western Digital Australia

Readers may enquire about review product arrangements or any other aspect in the comments below.

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