I got the Cooler Master X Craft 250 (eSATA and USB) when I was planning the hard drive transplant for my Macbook Pro, and after my excellent experience with the Cooler Master X Craft 350 Lite, I was quite happy to get the baby brother, the 250 Lite and give it a try.
The 250 shares the simplicity of the bigger 350, however a single screw needs to be undone rather than a push button in order to open it. This isn’t really a problem though, and in case you don’t have a Phillips head screwdriver small enough for it, it comes with one!
Once you have the screw undone, the rear of the case slides out bringing with it the hard drive tray which allows you to easily slot the hard drive in. The power and data connections for the hard drive are built into the tray, so basically once you slot it into the tray, it’s connected, it’s just a matter of checking to make sure it is completely on.
By this point, if you are like me, you are getting very excited to get it back together and get started on mirroring your Macbook hard drive onto it. Putting it back together is as quick as taking it apart, just slot the tray back into the enclosure and do the single screw back up. You don’t need to screw the hard drive itself onto anything as the enclosure and tray hold it in place so that it doesn’t wobble around or anything.
Now, you plug it in via USB and discover it doesn’t work, regardless of what computer you try it on.
I was very disappointed about this, but the enclosure will not draw enough power via a single USB connector like other 2.5″ enclosures will. You have to use an additional power USB cable that plugs into the DC input on the enclosure. I assume that this is because it also supports eSATA, so it requires the DC input to power it when using eSATA. Now, while eSATA is significantly faster than USB 2.0, this does not help me at all as I don’t have eSATA on my laptop and I don’t have the eSATA on my desktop set up as all 8 of my SATA ports are in use by internal hard drives.
I haven’t been able to find any way around it, I just have to use two USB cables whenever I want to use it, which means I have to carry two cables around, which simply means, I don’t use it anywhere near as much as I used my old IDE 2.5″ enclusure which was powered off a single USB cable.
As you can see from the photos, this case is a very schmick case, just like it’s big brother, the 350 and shares many similar design elements, but requiring two USB cables is a really big nuisance.
It should also be noted that this works on OS X, XP and Vista without needing to install any special drivers, it is recognised straight away. It also comes with a nice little carry case that fits the drive and a single USB cable perfectly, but will not hold the second cable without stretching it to a point where the drive just slides out. So what is otherwise a great little package is really let down by the need for the second USB cable. If you are looking at getting a 2.5″ hard drive external case, I would still suggest going with the X Craft 250, but get the plain USB version, my understanding is that it is powered off a single USB cable. I only got the eSATA because it was the only one in stock and was only marginally more expensive.
If you don’t mind the second USB cable than it is a great little enclosure that is very simple to setup and use.