In our last review from Vantec, we had the chance to take a look at the M3500. Today, we are fixing to take a look at the little brother, or rather the 2.5-inch model, the M2500.
The M2500 shares many of the same design characteristics we found in the M3500, though the M2500 moves from the traditional 3.5-inch form factor to the 2.5-inch form factor. This time around, we have four, eight, and twelve bay models, with the twelve bay being the unit we have for testing.
Each of these models supports both SATA and SAS hard drives and solid state drives and features a full aluminium design. MSRP of the Vantec M2512T is set at $149.99 with a one year warranty.
Scope of delivery for the M2512T features a complete set of twelve SATA cables for connecting to your system. We also have a full set of screws for installing drives and keys for the locking mechanisms on the trays.
Taking a look at the front of the M2512T, we first noticed the aluminium design of the enclosure. Each tray is also completely aluminium. A downside here is each tray isn't labelled, so it's hard to know which connections on the back of the unit correspond to the trays on the front.
The back of the unit houses a SATA connector for each bay, though on this enclosure things were much easier to read than the M3500. We also have three SATA power connections up top.
At the bottom of the enclosure, we have a fan control switch along with the LED control for the bays. We also have the pins for connecting an activity LED to a chassis.
Here we took a peek at the internal connector. You can see we have an Optimus SAS SSD in one of the slots to check the SAS capabilities.
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Above, we have the tray for the M2500, again made of aluminium.
Above, we have the results with our Seagate 600 Pro connected directly to the native SATA III port on our Z77 motherboard. As you can see, we reached 500 MB/s read and 450 MB/s write.
In our second test, we installed the same drive into the Vantec M2512T. Here we came up with equally performing results with the enclosure registering 518 MB/s read and 470 MB/s write.
Like its larger brother, the EZSwap M2512T carries the same great new design that I have really come to love from Vantec. However, this unit does carry a few more downsides than the larger model.
First, let's talk build quality. Here we have a great aluminium design with locking trays that slide effortlessly into the enclosure. Drives are very easy to install with the included hardware kit, and the back of the unit has each bay connection labelled so they are easy to see in low light conditions.
Performance was just as good as having your drives plugged directly into the SATA III port, which is as expected.
Downsides for the M2512T start with the fan, which again is too loud for my liking and something I know Vantec could improve on. The second is the lack of a bay numbering scheme on the front of the unit. I know there isn't much room on the side for numbers, but a simple sticker on the top of each tray could go a long ways in helping you figure out what drive is plugged in on what channel.
MSRP of the Vantec M2512T is set at $149.99 with a one-year warranty.