Eagle Consus T-Series
Eagle iNEO: Up Close
First up, the iNEO. There are idiot-proof connections and an on/off switch on the one side, the door to install the drive on the other. The aesthetics here are absolutely top notch: covered in a soft leather, the iNEO exudes quality and would look perfectly on any desk, even in a professional office (though make sure nobody walks off with it after they lay eyes on it!)
Having broken out all the hardware, the next step, logically, is to put a hard drive in. My 200GB recording drive was the guinea pig for these reviews; I’m brave like that. The drive in question is a Western Digital Caviar 160GB SATA2 uncapped for the full 3.0GB/s monty, as both enclosures are said to be capable of handling this. The drive itself is only about 2 months old and has not seen extended periods of heavy use. It’s also, as mentioned previously, the only drive (being SATA2 that is) with which the two enclosures can be fairly compared as the iNEO piece doesn’t do IDE. Let’s install a drive, shall we?
The base of the drive is a separate piece with nothing to lock it in place; with 2 cables coming from it (likely in opposite directions unless your power outlet strip is this/close to your USB ports) I personally wouldn’t see much of a problem leaving the drive on its side (it has small rubber feet on one side enabling you to do so) since that’s the orientation a drive normally assumes anyway. However, there is a key on the bottom of the base; do yourself a favor and don’t lose this, because you’ll need it to install the drive. A larger paperclip might do in a pinch but I didn’t have one handy to test.
You know the paperclip trick that you use to open a misbehaving optical drive? Same principle involved here. The key is quite a bit stouter than a paperclip and the latching tab requires a fair amount more effort than an optical drive, though, which is why I say not to lose the key; opening this will probably bend most paperclips.
The door drops open and the drive rail extends outward, insert the drive contacts-first (you’ll probably have to look inside to see the orientation of the SATA plugs), and snap ‘er home. That’s all there is to it. Did I mention that it’s hot-swappable?
Below is what the iNEO looks like when it’s powered up. As you can see, it has a classy and conservative aesthetic, looking very sharp and not terribly flashy.
Let’s now take a look at the Eagle Tech T-Series enclosure.