Orico 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure review: affordable and cool storage
Orico 2.5-inch USB SATA External Hard Drive3.5 / 5
Orico has made a clever external 2.5-inch USB enclosure with a retro cassette design that is inexpensive and fun to use.
The Orico 2.5-inch USB SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure is a small plastic drive box with a USB 3.0 connection. The enclosure is a clever recreation of a vintage 1970's cassette tape, and comes in clear, white, and black color options.
The external USB connector is standard USB 3.0. The enclosure supports the UASP (USB Attached SCSI) protocol and drives up to 4TB max.
The small kit contains the drive enclosure, one short USB 3.0 drive cable (approx. 10 inches), a stick-on foam support pad for the back of a 2.5-inch SATA drive, two optional stick-on cassette style labels, and a small manual. While slightly larger than an actual cassette, the enclosure when assembled has a cool classic look to it.
The enclosure's toolless design makes set-up a breeze. You simply slide the two halves of the case apart, stick the foam pad onto the back of your 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive, insert the drive onto the internal SATA bridge board, and slide the top half of the case back on until it clicks.
The drive is held in place by the foam pad and nothing but friction. There are no screws required anywhere.
Electronics are getting smaller all the time and the enclosure's tiny USB->SATA bridge board is barely 2 inches wide by 1 inch. The board is based on an ASMedia controller chip.
Once the enclosure is closed, peel off the two cassette-style plastic stickers and apply them carefully to the front and back of the case.
The enclosure has a single tiny blue power LED on the underside of the bridge board which flashes during drive I/O.
Blackmagic Design's disk speed test app shows SSD over USB throughput at 383 MB/s for writes, 430 MB/s for reads on average. While not screaming fast, throughput is respectable for a USB enclosure and a low-end SSD drive.
You will get slightly better performance by using a higher-end SSD drive, but only a little. It's not worth spending more money for a higher-end SATA drive for this enclosure, though.
We tested the drive while connected to a fast USB 3.0 Orico hub connected directly to one of the Mac's USB ports. We got speeds typical for SATA enclosures through USB.
A connection to the Mac through a hub was slightly slower on writes but slightly faster on reads, well within the margin for error.
Revive that '80s feel for your 21st century storage
For a basic USB enclosure with a fun classic feel, you can't go wrong with this box for $13. It has very little downside, takes less than five minutes to set up, and is small and silent.
One thing we would have liked to have seen is the addition of small rubber feet for the bottom of the case, but you can find your own easily enough.
Orico 2.5-inch External USB 3 Hard Drive Enclosure Pros
- Small, lightweight, silent
- SATA 3 and 5 Gigabit per second support
- Tool-free, easy set up
- Activity LED
Orico 2.5-inch External USB 3 Hard Drive Enclosure Cons
- Average performance
- No USB-C
- No rubber feet