Koutech EEC320

Koutech EEC320

Memory cards up front, hard drive inside.


Base hard drives are so darned cheap these days—we found a 500GB Seagate SATA drive for $99. That’s a tough deal to turn down. What was tricky was plowing through the piles of external SATA enclosures and finding one to put it in that combined decent build quality, value, and flexibility. One enclosure stands out from the herd—Koutech’s EEC320. It also incorporates a memory card reader and a two-port USB hub on the front panel, making it ideal for digital photographers.


The EEC320 is made primarily of plastic with a pair of aluminum side plates that efficiently dissipate heat. In weeks of being continuously powered-on, the EEC320 never got too warm to touch, unlike some other enclosures that could double as popcorn poppers. The aluminum panels have fluked ends, which serve as a stand that keeps the bottom of the enclosure elevated, critical for airflow. There’s no fan, hence the unit is very quiet, perhaps one of the quietest enclosures we’ve ever heard—or not heard, as the case may be. The one notable drawback of this design approach is that you can’t stack multiple enclosures on top of one another, a limiting factor for anyone short on desk space. There’s a drive activity indicator light on the front, as well as a very cool blue LED underneath the drive that creates a trés cool glow.


Installing a raw drive mechanism in the enclosure is quite easy; all you need is a Phillips screwdriver and about 10 minutes. The included instructions are clear and concise, and we were up and running without a hitch. Koutech even includes a USB cable so all you need is the hard drive mechanism to make it all come together. It’s worth noting that the enclosure has an eSATA interface and cable as well, just in case you have a Mac Pro with an eSATA expansion card.


The media card slots support the most popular formats—CompactFlash, SD, MMC, xD, Memory Stick/MS Pro are all supported, and our CompactFlash and SD cards worked with no problem. We also had no major issues plugging in a variety of standard and powered USB devices, including a Flip video camera, Nikon camera, USB-powered MIDI keyboard, and a few different USB flash drives (including one that sometimes has sensitivity issues with USB power), all without a single hitch.


If you don’t happen to have a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, the drive will still work, but you won’t have access to the card reader or USB hub, and you’ll have to deal with dramatically lower drive performance. That’s not a surprise, really—there aren’t any USB 1.0–compatible enclosures that offer this combination of features.


The bottom line. In an ocean of SATA enclosures, the EEC320 offers a uniquely useful combination of features wrapped in a quiet, attractive case. If you need stackable drives, look elsewhere, but anyone else looking for a great USB drive enclosure should seriously consider the Koutech EEC320.


COMPANY: Koutech

CONTACT: www.koutech.com

PRICE: $49.99

REQUIREMENTS: 3.5-inch SATA hard drive, USB 2.0

Unique SATA enclosure/USB hub/media reader combo. Silent performance. Stays cool.

Not stackable.





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David Biedny


The enclosure is designed to be attached to a USB 2.0 port, and the throughput speed is excellent, on a par with Firewire 400. I use a Seagate 500 gig drive in this enclosure, and read/write huge video files with excellent performance.

As far as the Newegg review stating that the ports on the front aren't powered, read my review - I tested it with a powered MIDI keyboard, as well as a USB-powered audio interface, no problems. The Newegg review is wrong.



Nowhere in the review does is say that the EEC320 has a FireWire connection, nor do I see one in the photo. Does anyone back up with USB? I did one time and six hours later swore I'd never do that again.



Look at comments at the New Egg web site before you buy this enclosure. It appears the article on it is incomplete.I was looking at buying one of these also, but if the USB ports are not powered ... that's a MAJOR MINUS for me. I have too many USB devices that I currently plug into my existing USB hub, and although it would be nice to have USB ports that are more accessible, if they are not powered, they are useless to me. My purchase plans have been cancelled.



I was all set to buy one but...alas: no firewire support

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