The Next Two: Maxtor And The DIY Kit
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus - Touch Again
For the next incarnation of their OneTouch series, Maxtor has decided to do away with the previous clunky box like design of their casing to an odd quadrangle shaped casing. While better looking than its previous design, our first impression of the vault-like casing was that it was ugly; that's not to say the OneTouch 4 is a bad product as it actually has a full range of features that should please any user. One thing to note here though is Maxtor's target user group, which is mainly that of the corporate world. This explains the rather straightforward external design (a contrast from that of Seagate's offering), which fits in the general corporate culture. This is also the only drive in our roundup to feature FireWire, but for eSATA needs, you'll need go with the Seagate option. Like the Seagate FreeAgent Pro, Maxtor's power adapter is small and compact, as compared to those on the Buffalo and the DIY kit.
The OneTouch 4 Plus, like the Seagate FreeAgent comes pre-loaded with software, meaning there's no need to lug an installation CD around. The Maxtor SafetyDrill software provides backup functions (including taking images of your entire HDD) while their Maxtor DrivePass provides two levels of security, including 256-bit AES encryption (a boon in the business world). The drive's housing itself has a translucent 'bar' button (which doubles up as a power status indicator) that works hand-in-hand with the software to facilitate "OneTouch" backup and you can preset it to backup/sync exactly what you require. Clearly, the Maxtor drive has what it takes to convince business users.
The Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus comes with the following accessories:
- IEEE 1394 FireWire cable
- USB 2.0 Cable
- Power Adapter
- Pre-loaded bundled Maxtor SafetyDrill software
DIY - From Ground Up
Some users may prefer to actually not use a pre-built solution and take a DIY route. This actually gives them a slight flexibility in casing design and HDD choice. To test if this is actually a viable option, we slapped together a Seagate Barracuda 750GB with the CoolerMaster X Craft casing. The X Craft comes with one eSATA and one USB 2.0 port. The net cost however comes up quite similar to that of a retail off-the-shelf option, but you do get to choose the appearance of your external drive enclosure - the only real plus point. For hardcore users, the ability to swap various hard drives around could also be another plus point. However, beware of very shoddy low cost drive enclosures as they may forego quality in the areas of ease of assembly and even the circuitry between the physical drive and the ports, which could lead to problems over time. Also some enclosures might forego backup software and even if they are provided, they are hardly as tightly-knit as those on the Maxtor and Seagate external drives.
Just for your information only, this CoolerMaster X Craft casing kit comes with the following accessories:
- e-SATA Cable
- USB 2.0 Cable
- Power Adapter
- e-SATA bracket
- CD with Drivers and Plug & Go Backup Software