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Vantec NexStar3 SuperSpeed 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 3.0 and eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure (NST-280SU3-BK)

4.1 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
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  • Supports ALL 2.5" Hard Drives (7mm, 9.5mm, 12.5mm, SSD)
  • Easily Add Storage to Any System with USB 1.1/2.0 or 3.0 & eSATA
  • Backwards-Compatible with USB 2.0 or 1.1
  • Hi-Quality Shielded USB 3.0 Cable Ensures Data Integrity and Speed

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Product Description

2.5" SATA to USB 3.0 & eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure (Supports 7mm, 9.5mm, 12.5mm HDD/SSD)

Product Information

Technical Details

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Summary : Screen Size, Screen Resolution, Graphics Coprocessor, Graphics Card RAM
Hard Drive Portable
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 1
Brand Name Vantec
Item model number NST-280SU3-BK
Operating System Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X 10.4+
Item Weight 8 ounces
Product Dimensions 9.8 x 2.8 x 6.8 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 9.75 x 2.75 x 6.75 inches
Color Black

Additional Information

ASIN B0064I1NQ2
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,452 in Computers & Accessories > Data Storage > External Hard Drives
Shipping Weight 15.2 ounces
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First Available October 10, 2011

Warranty & Support

Amazon.com Return Policy:You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Scott on July 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
This is my second enclosure (RMA'd) of this model and it's just as broken as the first. The first unit I received would not stay visible in Windows 7 for any length of time when attached via eSATA. The drive would just disappear. I would be actively using the drive, transferring files and I would get a message about the "drive cannot be found". I'd have to unplug and re-plug in the drive to get it to show up again. The USB connection was fine. To Vantec's credit, I wrote their product support and they RMA'd the enclosure. The new unit "worked" for a few minutes and then my computer just locked up. I ended up getting some corrupt files on my drive. I tried using the USB 3.0 connection and the same problem occurred. I'm not sure what chipset Vantec is using in this product, but it is pure junk. I'm successfully using another Vantec model that just has a USB 3.0 connection and it's been running fine. It shows up under Windows differently than the USB 3.0 /eSATA version, so I'm guessing a different chipset? Regardless, avoid this model and get something else.
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Verified Purchase
I bought this enclosure along with a 1TB SATA drive for backups of both my laptops, one of which has USB3.0 (but not eSATA) and the other which has eSATA (but not USB3.0).

Pros:

1) The throughput is excellent when it works.

2) The chassis is solid and attractive looking.

3) Both USB3.0 and eSATA cables are included.

4) eSATA works reliably.

Cons:

1) Instead of the typical USB A to B cable, or A to mini-B cable, or even a proprietary cable, this drive uses a highly nonstandard USB3.0 A to A cable (which, in fact, is a gross violation of USB specification). The drive enclosure has a female USB3.0 type-A plug, as though it were a host interface, though it's actually a peripheral interface. In addition to this allowing illogical and useless configurations that the A-to-B cabling scheme was intended to prevent (such as plugging a printer or a mouse into the hard drive), it also means I now have the included USB-A-to-A cable, which isn't supposed to exist, and allows dangerous configurations such a connecting two host USB ports together or two different PCs together, which could potentially damage the motherboards of the computers.
None of this actually prevents the device from working, and shouldn't be a problem for people with a rudimentary understanding of connecting computer peripherals (and know better than to do strange things with the A-to-A cable), but this strange and rightfully illegal configuration immediately calls into question the design forethought that went into the device.

2) This rare, special USB cable is both bulky and short. You could conceivably use it with a USB3.0 extension cable to overcome this.

3) The USB3.
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Verified Purchase
The enclosure is small and slim. I am using is with an SSD. NexStar3 consists of two main parts, the enclosure and a metal plate to which the small PCB board and back face plate (where the connector are) are mounted to. To install the drive you pull out that second piece. The drive slides into the inside connectors on the PCB board and is secured by 4 screws (supplied) on the bottom. Then you push the whole thing back into the enclosure. The problem I had is that it did get stuck the last ~5mm (1/4"). Shining a flash light into the case I realized there was a 'lip' in the back which is supposed to go between the metal plate and the harddrive. The issue is that even without tightening the screws hard there is not a big enough gap between the metal plate and HD for the 'lip' to go in between. What I ended up doing is taping 4 layers of electrical tape between the drive and metal plate. This lifted the drive enough to finally insert the piece back in. Then you secure both parts with two supplied screws. The threads for those screws are closed about 2/3, i.e. about 1/3 of the 'hole' for the screws to go into is cut off. I am not sure if there is a particular reason/benefit for this besides maybe making the case narrower but it's not something that increases my confidence in the enclosure.

Please note that the above issue might be a bigger problem with SSDs as some of them are completely flat where some mechanical drives have a very slight elevation where the screws go in. The metal plate of the enclosure also has a slight elevation. However, I doubt that the total elevation even with a mechanical drive will be enough considering that I needed 4 layers of electrical tape (you might get away with 3 but then you have to shove it in).
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Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a decent external case for a 640GB 2.5-inch drive that could do USB 3.0. This case met my needs and then some. I didn't pay attention that it also had eSATA and it happens my other computer has eSATA and not USB 3.0, so I got a double bonus.

I had made a mistake purchasing a competitor's product. The mistake was accidentally throwing out the packaging because that product had very flimsy connectors and it broke. I have already written a review of that other product.

So comparing the Vantec against a competitor's (Ineo technology), I find this case was just as wide and just as long. This case was maybe a mm wider. I like how the case was designed. I did not have the problems other members like Mandryke reported. I did not have any problems with mounting screws dragging or any metal flaking. This case used mounting screws unlike man competitors to hold the drive stable. The circuit board is mounted such it has no undue stress and flex of its competitors.

I like the ports on this case over a competitor's. The ports were more solidly soldered and supported. The competitor's flexed way too much.

I had zero problems with connectivity or performance of any of my USB 3.0 or eSATA computers.

I highly recommend this case. It is well worth the little extra cost.
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