Date: October 18th, 2006
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Kingwin
<--SHOP FOR A KINGWIN Z1 HARD DRIVE ENCLOSURE HERE
PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The Z1 sports a stylish, curved design, available in black, red, or blue. Chromed plastic end caps accent the housing with a touch of class.
The rear of the enclosure has USB, E-SATA, and power connectors, along with a power switch. I was disappointed to not see a USB passthrough port.
The stand is removable, allowing you to lay the enclosure on its side if you choose. Plastic feet are molded into the end caps to facilitate this.
That’s about it. The Z1 is a very basic product. Now, lets see how it performs.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Removing two screws on the rear cap allows you to slide out the HDD mounting tray. Made of plastic, the tray accepts any 3.5” SATA drive, of either version 1 or 2 SATA configuration. Kingwin includes mounting screws to hold your drive of choice in place. However, the mounting holes were slightly off, meaning a slightly fiddly installation.
With the drive installed, you can now connect the SATA power and data cables. Here, again, the installation was a little more difficult than it should be. The right-angle plugs are upside-down, meaning you need to twist the cables 180 degrees to plug into your drive. Not a huge problem, but one I would like to see changed.
Sliding the tray back in, and remounting the end cap is a snap. Kingwin only placed a logo on one side of the aluminum housing, but you can mount the drive in either direction, allowing you to place the logo on the side where it will be seen (or not seen, if you prefer).
Installation in Windows XP is simple. Plug in the power cord, fire up the drive, and plug in the USB cable. If you’re using a brand new drive, format the drive as normal, and you’re ready to go. If you choose to use the E-SATA connector, you’ll need either a motherboard with E-SATA standard, or purchase an external SATA bracket to connect to your motherboard. Kingwin did not include a bracket, as many others do. I would like to see this option included, rather than forcing you to hunt around and spend another ten bucks on a bracket.
The software CD is simply a driver CD for Windows 98 users. There is no backup software included, so you’ll need to do your research and buy the software that best suits you. I would have liked to see some sort of software included, but that would probably raise the price. It’s a give and take situation.
USB performance is on par with other enclosures, taking a mere 27 seconds to swallow a 700mb file; your mileage will vary depending on the drive you choose.
As expected, the Z1 gets rather warm when in use, bordering on hot. However, it seems to dissipate the heat well, and my drive stayed slightly cooler than the ones mounted in my case.