Introduction, Specification, Availability and Pricing & Packaging
iStarUSA's new BPN-DE product line consists of four different volume sizes ranging from single drive to a large five drive model. The BPN-DE Series has several model numbers because each volume capacity comes in four colors - blue, black, red and silver.
Today we're looking at the BPN-DE230SS, a three bay trayless model with a black finish and machined accents.
Specification, Availability and Pricing
The BPN-DE230SS occupies two 5.25" drive bays, what you might normally associate with optical drives. The system is trayless and holds three SATA or SAS 3.5" HDDs. The specifications state the cooling fan is optional, but our sample from iStarUSA shipped with the fan attached to the system.
The BPN-DE products go beyond most of the trayless system's we're tested. The drive cage has locks on each door and is all aluminum.
After looking around online, we found the model we're looking at today for as low as $62.99.
iStarUSA put together a nice retail package for the BPN-DE Series products. The front of the box covers all of the major details and shows an accurate image of the product inside.
The side of the package states which color is inside the package.
On the back we found more details about the product.
Inside we found a well-packaged unit with dense foam surrounding the drive cage.
Here we get our first look at the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS. The front face is all aluminum with black anodized doors and silver accents from the machining process.
Each of the three doors lock and each also has a LED to show drive activity. Another LED shows the system power status.
The specs sheet shows compatibility with SAS drives, but the connectors are missing the pins for wide port.
iStarUSA machined a recess for computer cases that have tabs between 5.25" drive slots.
The BPN-DE230SS shipped with an 80mm fan that keeps the HDDs cool.
Here we see the connectors for power and data. There are two SATA power connectors and three SATA/SAS data connectors. Two switches control the fan speed (low or high) and the front HDD LEDs.
The accessory package includes a paper manual, keys for the locking doors and three SATA cables.
Installation, Testing and Final Thoughts
The drive cage looks really good in our Cooler Master ATSC 840 brushed aluminum case.
Here we see a Western Digital RED 1TB HDD installed in the trayless iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS. With the system powered up, the power LED shines blue, and the HDD activity LED flashes purple.
With a set of cables installed, we did find one little issue that is an annoyance more than anything. The SATA power and data cables plug in on the right side when looking at the drive cage from the back.
Most computers are setup for cable routing on the left side. That means the cables need to cross the path of the fan and stick out making for a messy installation.
WD RED 1TB On Desk (Left) WD RED 1TB In BPN-DE230SS (Right)[img-sbs]19[/imgsbs] [img-sbs]20[/imgsbs]
WD RED 1TB On Desk (Left) WD RED 1TB In BPN-DE230SS (Right)
In our two tests, we didn't observe any performance difference when using a Western Digital RED 1TB on a desk or in the BPN-DE230SS.
The iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS has a nice look and functions as advertised, but it doesn't have front mount USB ports like a similar unit we tested months ago for around the same price. I wouldn't count on the locking system doing more than slowing a thief down either. We were able to move the lock position with needle nose pliers.
At around $65, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS doesn't break the bank, and allows for easy access to HDDs in your system. I know several people who keep their case panels off so they can swap hard drives in and out, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS allows you to put your case panels on and still swap drives around.
If you're in the market, you can find more features in other products the same price or just a little more, but if you want a nice clean look and trayless convenience, the iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS is a good option.
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