Akasa, a well known peripheral manufacturer, recently released a new series of external cases for both 2.5" and 3.5" hard disk drives, the Elite series.
Leather finish aluminium body with brushed aluminium fascia panels and polished edges define this stylish enclosure, which goes beyond classic practicality.
This compact élite enclosure enables external use of 2.5" SATA and SSD hard drive providing data mobility with style. It is a Plug & Play device, which gives you a connection choice between USB2.0 or eSATA allowing easy access to your files.
- Product Features
- Leather finish with brushed aluminium fascia
- Suitable for 2.5" SATA I/II and SSD hard disk drives
- eSATA and USB2.0 connection with auto mode switching
- Plug-and-play – no drivers installation required
- Blue LED power and data transfer indicator
- Strong aluminium body for heat dissipation and quiet operation
- Powered from USB
|| External 2.5" SATA HDD and SSD enclosure
| Design for
|| 2.5" SATA I/II and SSD HDD up to 9.5mm (D)
|| eSATA and USB2.0 (1.1 compatible)
| Transfer rate USB
|| 480Mb/s max
| Transfer rate eSATA
|| 3.0Gb/s max
| DC input
|| +5V (from USB)
| Power Indicator
| Supported OS
|| Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Mac Os 9 and OS X
| Plug & Play
| Hot Swappable
|| Yes– in USB connection
|| 136 x 80 x 16 mm
| Product code
2. Retail box
The Akasa AK-IC009-BK costs around €25 (including VAT), making it an affordable external 2.5" case for your SATA HDD drive. The retail box is small and includes a transparent window on the front. The box supports only SATA 2.5" HDD and has both USB2.0 and eSATA connectors.
The package includes a printed manual, USB2.0 and eSATA cables.
The device is covered with black leather at the top while both sides are covered with plastic stripes:
On the left side of the case is there are the the eSATA and USB2.0 ports, an operation led (blue/white) and a 5V-DC power jack, which should be plugged when you are using the eSATA cable.
In order to install a HDD, first you need to remove the four screws found on the front and the two sides. Then you should gently place the HDD in the case and put the four screws back in place. The whole procedure should not take you more than 5 minutes.
After mounting the front metal plate, you are ready to use your HDD.
Let's see now some performance numbers when using the HDD conected via the the USB 2.0 and the eSATA interfaces. For our tests, we installed a WD 320GB 2.5" SATA HDD drive and connected it to the following PC:
- CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Retail
- Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe BIOS 1102
- Memory: PatriotMemory 3x2GB PC3-12800
- Main HDD: WD 800JD
- Operating system: Windows VISTA x64 SP1 with all the latest updates installed
As we have mentioned, you can operate the drive, either as a USB2.0 or as an eSATA device. Normaly, the latter should perform as if you had the SATA HDD installed inside a notebook or a PC.
The drive was recognized as Generic External 2.10 drive under Windows:
Running the Full Bench test gives us an idea of the overall performance. Under the USB 2.0 mode, the drive gave a rather linear performance. Reading was done at 35MB/sec and writing was slower at 31MB/sec. The random access time was 14.4ms.
As it was expected, the drive was much faster connected through the eSATA interface. Compared to the USB 2.0 mode, here you will get almost double the performance:
The HD TunePro software more or less confirm the above findings:
The Akasa elite external case combines elegance with practicality. It extends the storage capacity of your notebook or desktop PC allowing you to quickly save files and carry them with you, while simplistic designed coupled with the leather finish could attract most business people who want a stylish and at the same time fast external enclosure.
The dual USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity options offer flexibility and plug-n-play convenience. The case supports SATA 2.5" HDD and according to our tests, its performance is not anything less than what the official specifications indicate. Under the USB 2.0 mode, the read/write speed is 30~35MB/sec, limited by the nature of the USB 2.0 format. If your notebook has an eSATA connector, you may enjoy almost double the performance or even more, depending on the installed HDD.
Add to all these a relatively low retail price (€25 including VAT) and you get a complete and solid storage solution. Editor's Choice Award for the new Akasa Elite.