What do you know. Even after giving us tons of added flexibility by putting the USB connections on the front panel, this unit has another little useful purpose in life. It also doubles as a 5.25" to 3.5" conversion bay. Got an extra hard drive that you would like to use in your system but don't have a spare 3.5" bay? No problems. Just hook it into EasyUSB and you're ready to add a bit of extra storage. Now we can see the usefulness of that front grill.
On the bottom of the frame, you'll notice the four screws that will secure your hard drive in place. They are set to industry standard, so just about any drive can be held inside. And to make sure that there won't be any space problems, Antec made it to where the portion of the frame that holds the drive is sunk a bit. This will make sure that the screws holding the drive in place won't get in the way of the device that is directly below the unit. Again, simple touches that go a long way towards making this something desirable to have.
About the only bad thing I can think of here is the lack of any type of mounting capabilities for active cooling. Since this is a 5.25" bay device, it's going to be nestled in with your optical drives (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW). These items create a good bit of heat by themselves, and adding a hard drive to this may be cause for some cooling considerations.
Though this is not a necessary component of a Power System, it sure is handy. I can recall countless times that I've had to go reaching around the back of the case to add a USB peripheral. It's just nice to have those connections in an easy to access place for a change. Now you don't have to feel around trying to get that little connection into the backside of your computer. Just plug it into the front and carry on.
The conversion bay was also a handy thing. I don't have a lot of problems in my tower case, but I've seen a lot of systems that have simply run out of bays to install extra drives. With most of us who upgrade regularly, there are almost always some spare parts sitting around the place. This gives a little added flexibility when creating more space for all those MP3 files and such. Just make sure that you think about some possible cooling solutions if it becomes necessary.
Bottom line...If you are tired of having to try to feel your way around those USB ports on the back of your system, then get something that makes life a little easier. EasyUSB does just that.
- Front USB Access
- Easy Installation
- 5.25" to 3.5" Drive Bay Converter
- No Active Cooling Mounts
Rating - 8/10
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