Dual-drive external USB storage for £20 - really?

March 24, 2010 // 11:46 a.m.

Tags: #external-storage #storage #usb #value

Everyone needs a bit of extra storage, right? For those who can't afford expensive RAID arrays or want something more portable than just throwing in another internal hard drive, USB drives are always accessible.

While the Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 might look like any other USB drive caddy out there it does have one appealing hook: it's the cheapest dual-disk drive caddy on the market. At just £21, Tsunami assures us we'll find nothing cheaper - and as far as we can tell, it is right.

Dual-drive external USB storage for £20 - really? Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 two drive USB external storage
Click to enlarge

That said, being the cheapest doesn't always mean worth buying, and while we didn't expect much for an Adam Smith and some change, the Tsunami does in fact have a few interesting features.
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Dual-drive external USB storage for £20 - really? Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 two drive USB external storage
Click to enlarge

The box says it sports both RAID 0/1 or JBOD for two SATA hard drives, however neither setting really worked like we expected. There's a strange switch on the back that selects between "big" and "JBOD" yet we couldn't actually find how to select either RAID mode. Instead of the JBOD setting morphing all the drives into one big one, it just shows them both independently - and they work separately as intended. Both can even be written to/read from at the same time, although you'll sacrifice performance because of the limited bandwidth USB 2 provides. There's no eSATA or USB 3 support, but to expect that for £20 would be unrealistic.

Dual-drive external USB storage for £20 - really? Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 two drive USB external storage
Click to enlarge

The outer shell is a lovely brushed aluminium finish, and in the box there's even a couple of replacement front and back covers in case you fancy something flashier than black!

Dual-drive external USB storage for £20 - really? Tsunami Ultimate II 3500 two drive USB external storage
Click to enlarge

It does have a fan in the back, but it's not too noisy - with a 7,200RPM drive inside you'll probably notice vibration more, especially given that the internal steel shell is directly screwed into the outer aluminium tube, which in turn just sits on your desk bare as there are no legs or rubber feet.

The Tsunami might not be the Ultimate product the name suggests - but it does provide some form of two disk external storage and it's undeniably great value.
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