2009 was a big success for storage products. We saw solid state drives grow in capacity while dropping in price and NAS servers were abundant in quantity and features. One of the highlights towards the end of the year was a new category of products for TweakTown to cover, Direct Attached Storage enclosures. So far we have been very excited about DAS enclosures. They offer great speed with their eSATA ports and high usability since many also include at least one USB port. When it comes to cost, DAS enclosures offer great value since they cost nearly half that of NAS servers. In a single user environment DAS enclosures offer the best bang for the buck, hands down.
Proware Technology started R&D back in 1986 and has been involved in the storage product scene ever since. The company has earned several design wins that were turned into products sold under other household recognized labels. In 2006 Proware went public and launched their EPICa series of products. Since then the company has manufactured everything from small network devices to massive 42-bay rack mount drive solutions. Recently Proware Technology shifted their attention to 2.5 inch form factor solutions and has shown great innovation as a leader in this emerging field.
Today we are looking at the Proware Technology miniEPICa Series EP-m501-AA, a small DAS enclosure that uses up to five 2.5 inch drives. Proware, Seagate and other storage industry leaders have been pushing for products that use 2.5 inch drives since early 2006 and the technology has now trickled down to the consumer level. Smaller drives mean an enclosure can be made smaller and cheaper or for the enterprise market you can add more hard drives in the same amount of space.
For many, the 2.5 inch form factor means notebook, but that is no longer the case. Up to this point typical SATA notebook drives were 9mm tall. Once the industry caught on to the benefits of 2.5 inch drives, enterprise drives grew to 12.5mm tall, but this last year we started to see and hear about new ultra thin 7mm drives. The Intel X25-M without its space adapter is 7mm tall and Seagate has already announced several products that will be coming in 7mm like the enterprise Pulsar and the new consumer single platter 7mm netbook drives.
The 2.5 inch revolution is upon us. Let's take a look at the new Proware MiniEPICa Series EP-m501-AA and see what it has to offer for early adapters.