Mediasonic ProBox 4-Bay 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure

Storage
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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 is a simple product that gives users a sizable backup or storage expansion solution. It's not network-capable and lacks redundancy options but at this price-point we certainly can't complain. Despite its rather generic nature, it has a couple of surprising extra features you wouldn't expect to see in such a rudimentary device. The ability to turn off with the PC it's connected to and the sleep/wake function are incredibly convenient, though wake only works properly with eSATA. The fan control modes are a nice bonus but are ultimately unnecessary — the low setting alone provides more than enough cooling.

The fan doesn't sound too bad in relation to four mechanical hard drives revved up inside, but it's fairly loud, to the point that it can become distracting if left on for more than a short period of time. It's something you would put on the floor under the desk rather on top next to your monitor. Not only does the fan spin faster than necessary, the cooling design is flawed in that the circuit board is positioned directly in front of the fan, blocking off much of the airflow. This seems to be the convention for these types of enclosures but a larger fan attached to the side or blowing up from the floor would be preferable. Its only other notable issue is poor write performance with small files but if you're mostly going to be storing large files you can expect full speed.

We can't deny the value proposition Mediasonic is offering. The ProBox HF2-SU3S2 is selling for approximately US$100, making it one of the more affordable 4-bay enclosures on the market. That alone would put in contention but with the extra features, and you have a compelling product.

Our thanks to Mediasonic for the ProBox HF2-SU3S2 case sample.

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Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 is Recommended by SPCR


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