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ICY BOX IB-281U External 2.5" HDD Enclosure

ICY BOX External HDD Enclosure
30th June 2005
Manufacured By
Supplied By
£21.99 +VAT estimated


People always seem to get nostalgic over the "good ole days" of personal computing, the less nostalgic of us however can't quite understand why. Days spent getting a game to work, then days more trying to get the sound to work. Programs supplied on a dozen floppy disks. 300MB hard disks and 14" CRT screens with a curve like a soup bowl. Nope, I'm afraid that looking back does nothing for me but make me cringe.

PC users today (you knew it was coming) have never had it so good. Yes, I'm starting to sound like my grandfather, but at least there are enough PC users from my generation around to back up my assertions. Everything is cheaper, faster, smarter and, as a rule, half the size it was, well, apart from monitors anyway.

When I was saving to get myself a monstrously large 5.25" Seagate ST-225 way back when, I'd have suggested intensive psychiatric therapy for anyone foolish enough to suggest that one day I'd be storing 100GB of data on a 2.5" hard drive that's just 9mm deep. Strangely nobody ever did suggest that, at least not in quite so much detail.

The great thing about all this miniaturisation is that it opens up all kind of new possibilities, and in a world that seems to create important data just for the fun of it (what do we need it all for anyway?), data storage, backup and retrieval is suddenly critical.

As someone who regularly humped an Iomega Zip Drive with me almost everywhere I went, the biggest and most welcome advances for me have come in the hard disk arena, but what use is a hard disk if you have to fully install it on every machine you visit? Enter the melding of three great technological advances, the 2.5" and 1.8" hard disk format, the USB2.0 standard and the bridged external hard disk enclosure. At last! Real, genuinely portable data storage for even lazy sods like me.

Of course one day we'll look back and laugh at these "small" 2.5 and 1.8 inch drives as we slot in a one inch square, solid state holographic data patch with a few terrabytes of ones and zeros on it, but for now I'm impressed with what we've got.

The ICY BOX IB-281U is that latest addition to Nanopoint's ever-growing external HDD enclosure portfolio, and comes ready to take any standard 9mm height 2.5" hard drive. It's built from a classy combination of alloy and leather and should sell at around the £25 mark.

Specs on Nanopoint's site are a little sparse at the moment but here's what they're quoting:

  • 2.5" IDE HDD
  • Light alloy, leather skin
  • Data transfer up to 480 Mbit/s
  • Support Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
  • Hot Swap
  • USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 backwards compatible)
  • USB bus power, no power supply needed


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