Silverstone MS05 2.5" Enclosure

Written by Joe Martin

May 10, 2008 | 08:13

Tags: #25 #drive-enclosures #enclosure #hard-drive #hdd #review #rfid

Companies: #silverstone

Permission to Dock

There is a slight problem with the enclosure dock though, other than the fact that it doesn’t look like the Starship Enterprise and therefore ruins the whole sci-fi vibe we assume Silverstone was going for.

The main issue is that there’s no cover or door on the front of the drive, which we’d really expect. If you’re the type of person to be reading bit-tech and shopping around for hard drive enclosures then you’re going to care about your PC at least a little – though you can tell us if we’re wrong. You’ve maybe built your own PC, or got a nice chassis for it. At the very least you avoid having pointless, gaping holes in the front.

If that’s the case (and to be honest, even if it’s not) then you’ll probably want some sort of shield or cover over the front of the dock. Just a simple hatch that could easily give way and let you slide the drive enclosure in quickly. Because you don’t have that, it means you’re constantly left with a gap in the front of the case unless the enclosure is actually in place.

Silverstone MS05 2.5 Silverstone MS05 2.5

Thankfully, when the enclosure is in place then it doesn’t actually look all that bad and you can make mildly humorous comments about how Captain Kirk has attacked your computer in a miniature starship. It’s a good thing that torpedo didn’t detonate though – Kirk has left about 20mm of purchase poking out the front of the case which you can tug on to remove the drive.

Our main problem with the MS05, though, is that it’s a little hard to know how it is supposed to be used. Most enclosures are useful mainly for people who are on the go and want to protect their data as they work off of laptops or shift information around. People who use 2.5” drives are those who value portability over huge capacities in a specific drive.

Put those two together and the target market for a 2.5” drive enclosure is someone who wants something portable and, while the MS05 is portable, it can't make the same claims to portability as some other enclosures. The Silverstone TS01B is proof that the MS05 is bigger than it really needs to be and that Silverstone is aware of this. This is something you could easily carry in a satchel or laptop bag, but something you might struggle to squeeze into your jacket pocket.

That’s not to say that the MS05 is bad, or even that it is big and bulky. We’re not saying that. What we are saying though is that if you do want a smaller, passport-sized enclosure then you might want to look elsewhere because compared to other enclosures for drives of this size, the MS05 just isn’t the smallest on the market.

Still, the enclosure’s performance was nothing to sniff at – when connected over eSATA, we recorded exactly the same transfer rates with our 2.5-inch drive as we did with it plugged into our motherboard. On the other hand, when we connected via USB, the drive consistently hovered above 30MB/sec – that’s right in line with what you’ll get from any USB 2.0 hard drive.

Silverstone MS05 2.5 Silverstone MS05 2.5

Conclusions

When you cast aside all these minor niggles and worries then it’s easy to see that we’re just nit-picking at the MS05. It does everything it sets out to do, provides decent connectivity via mini-USB and eSATA ports and will physically protect your data thanks to a secure tray system.

The docking station for the enclosure is a nice touch too, though we really would have appreciated a little cover to help keep dust, crumbs and worse out of the dock. Still, it’s a useful little feature and the fact that you can just shove your enclosure in and instantly access your data is a great thing for the MS05.

The MS05 is a nice drive enclosure and, honestly, that’s the best description for it. Nice. It isn’t wonderful, it isn’t fantastic, it isn’t rowdy and it definitely isn’t bitchin’. What it is, is nice – it does the job. If you need to move your data around and keep your hard drives protected then this’ll get the job done, just don’t rely on it to go above and beyond the call of duty.

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