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VIZO pargon & LUXON Drive Enclosures

 

We are in the age of mobile data and removable media. You can see it all around us. Most industry professionals keep a portable computing device in close company, and nearly everyone carries a USB flash drive on them. Cell phones double as MP3 players, and MP3 players double as personal video devices. It seems progressive then that external hard disks are quickly becoming something more of a personal carry item as their size grows smaller. Conversely, some stylish trends have managed to give a new look to the old ideas. So whether you are a mobile power user with compact storage needs, or discerning office user who enjoys a stylish environment, VIZO offers products to satisfy both needs.

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Introduction

Not more then one year ago the external hard drive market was comprised of big square one-color solutions, and the industry was satisfied with producing brick-heavy enclosures.  For some this was acceptable since the drive enclosure was hidden from sight.  But for many users which were tasked with carrying such a device or displaying one on their desk, the chore was unbearable.  This absence of creativity has finally spurred the much needed innovation from manufacturers, and as they learn from the past and listen to customer feedback they are able to deliver a more exciting product.  With 3.5″ hard drives being quickly matched by their 2.5″ sibling, manufacturers have taken notice by designing enclosure solutions for both.

VIZO paragon 2.5″ Hard Disk Drive Enclosures

We are in the age of mobile data and removable media.  You can see it all around us.  Most industry professionals keep a portable computing device in close company, and nearly everyone carries a USB flash drive on them.  Cell phones double as MP3 players, and MP3 players double as personal video devices.  It seems progressive then that external hard disks are quickly becoming something more of a personal carry item as their size grows smaller.  Conversely, some stylish trends have managed to give a new look to the old ideas.  So whether you are a mobile power user with compact storage needs, or discerning office user who enjoys a stylish environment, VIZO offers products to satisfy both needs.

 

VIZO LUXON 3.5″ Hard Disk Drive Enclosures

In this article I will review the VIZO enclosure showcase: the compact paragon 2.5″ hard disk drive enclosure, and the dependable LUXON 3.5″ enclosure.  While VIZO offers a rugged full-size 3.5″ enclosure for the LUXON, the smaller 2.5″ paragon is equally as durable with sleek styling.  Both drives offer USB 2.0 interfaces, and both are made of aluminum construction.

About the company: VIZO Technology Corporation

VIZO Technology Corp. is a leading global manufacturer and designer of computer peripheral products serving customers around the world. We own the best team and complete innovation technology. Utilizing experiences for many years and sufficient mature skills, VIZO insists in developing value added, ideal based, zeal catered and optimum designed products for customers to meet mainstream demands. That’s why we are named VIZO.

VIZO provides the PC users a variety of PC DIY products and peripherals, including hard drive external enclosure, multimedia storage, front panel, mouse, PC fan, system cooling, cold cathode light, crystal neon light, card reader , USB hub, PC accessory and so on; Meanwhile, VIZO produces special effect products which can make your PC more stylish and unique.

VIZO’s vision is to make customers enjoy the high quality PC stuff all the time. To carry out it, VIZO aims at non-stop improvement, continuous innovation, excellent design, firm development and quality-improving technology and keeps putting all our effort in research and development. For high product quality, VIZO insists in the strict quality control process and owns highly recommended global product approval.

Closer Look: paragon

It will not be long before 2.5″ hard disk drives replace their larger counterpart, but there for the time being these compact drives are merely more of a compact solution.  With a capacity of 80GB available at the time of this writing, there are still plenty of backup and storage tasks which may fit very well under this umbrella.  And since VIZO has designed the paragon to be a one-touch USB 2.0 backup solution, data and files can be stored in a hurry and packed away into a briefcase or purse.

VIZO paragon Retail Packaging

DESCRIPTION

Backing up data is always something that everyone knows they should do. Are you looking for the economical method to save and backup data with a minimum investment of time? VIZO PARAGON, 2.5” one touch backup hard drive external enclosure, has the added advantage of single backup/restore/synchronize button. You can backup/restore or synchronize task just by one touch. With PARAGON, one button backup makes your daily backup easily. Meanwhile, PARAGON provides hot swappable, plug and play. Its slim, compact and portable design allows you to bring it wherever you go. It is great convenient of you to back up and transfer your data storage anywhere for your needs.

VIZO paragon 2.5″ Hard Disk Drive Enclosures

FEATURES

One Touch Backup button
Sleek, super slim and elegant design
Aluminum housing for excellent heat dissipation.
Compact and Portable, easy to go
USB 2.0 interface with data transfer rate up to 480Mbps
USB version 1.1/2.0 Specification Compatible
Support Plug and play & hot swappable
LED lights to indicate power on ( Green ) and file access ( Red )
Works with PC, supports Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP
USB powered device, no external power is required under low HDD power consumption
Extra power needed for high HDD power consumption

SPECIFICATIONS

Housing : Aluminum
Host Interface: 480Mbps USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 Compatible)
HDD Type : 2.5 ” IDE HDD
One Touch Functions : Backup / Restore / Synchronize
Power Supply : USB Bus Power External AC/DC POWER Adapter ( DC 5V/1A, option )
Indicators : Green for POWER on / Red for file access  
Weight : 70g (without HDD)
Dimension : 135(L) x 76(W) x 15(H) mm

SYSTEM REQUIREMENT

Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP
One available USB port
* The one-touch backup button only works under Windows 2000/XP

VIZO paragon Contents

PACKAGE INCLUDES

2.5” HDD external enclosure
Pouch
USB Cable
Screw fitting kit
Cleaning cloth
User manual and driver CD

Closer Look: LUXON

It may seem that the 3.5″ hard disk drive enclosure market is on its way towards retirement, but not if VIZO can help it.  While the convenience of a compact design may be substituted for larger capacity, the same attractive appearance is available.  And until 2.5″ hard disks can hold beyond the 750GB now available in the 3.5″ market, the LUXON will have a demand for it.

VIZO LUXON Retail Packaging

The overall appearance of the VIZO LUXON is less of a departure from the past then we observed in the paragon.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that 3.5″ enclosures aren’t going to be pulled from purses or briefcases anytime soon, or simply because function is more important then fashion in the full size enclosure market.  I have to admit that my first impressions of the LUXON’s appearance had me wanting it to look like an oversized paragon, but it eventually grew on me.

VIZO LUXON: Simple and Effective

DESCRIPTION

Vizo presents Luxon 3.5″ HDD External Enclosure featured with IDE & SATA interface. Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives feature faster speeds, easier configuration; it is the next generation that provides error free data transmission at high speed. The sturdy drive cage protects your hard drive while the aluminum case effectively draws away the heat, protecting your drive from overheating. With high-quality mirror finish & sleek stylish face and installation easily to carry conveniently.

VIZO LUXON Power LED

FEATURES

Fully supports 3.5″ IDE or SATA Hard Drive
Supports 480Mbps High Speed USB 2.0 and USB 1.1
Supports 1.5Gbps High Speed Serial-ATA
4 functions:
USB to IDE HDD, USB to SATA HDD
SATA to IDE HDD, SATA to SATA HDD
Mirror finish & rich 3 colors (Black, Blue, Gray) available
Aluminum housing for excellent heat dissipation.
Support plug and play & hot swappable
Must be attached to hot swappable compliant host to enable hot swappable function

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: LUX-350SA-BK, LUX-350SA-BL, LUX-350SA-GY
Interface: USB 2.0 & SATA
Dimension: 210(L) x 125 (W) x 34 (H) mm

SUPPORT

USB: Window 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Mac OS 8.6 & Above
External SATA: Windows 2000/XP/Mac OS 8.6 & Above

CONTENTS

Enclosure, Power Adaptor, Power Cable, USB Cable, IDE Power cable, SATA Bracket, External SATA Cable, Internal SATA Cable, Internal IDE cable, User Manual, Screws package, Stand, Driver CD, and Cleaning cloth.

Impressions

Installing the hard disk into either enclosure was a very simple process.  For both products, the drive simple rests inside the hollow enclosure and is secured by fastening screws which tie everything together.  While the full size LUXON offers a home to both IDE and SATA 3.5″ hard drives, the paragon fits a 2.5″ IDE drive.

VIZO paragon 2.5″ IDE Enclosure

Since the computer industry is still new to technologies such as e-SATA, VIZO has made sure that the mass market is still capable of portable storage without the conflict of changing and emerging standards.  While VIZO has realized that not everyone has a computer which supports e-SATA, which makes USB still the most compatible and convenient interface available, the paragon maintains singular focus on compatability with the added benefit of USB convenience.  Furthermore, VIZO has recently announced other products which address the e-SATA interface, which Bjorn3d.com will soon review.

The fit and finish of the paragon are first class, and the design is cutting edge.  With reinforced construction, added to the recent improvements in 2.5″ hard drive durability, you could can feel safe that minor jarring and dropping will have little effect on the data and drive. 

VIZO LUXON 3.5″ IDE/SATA Enclosure

More to the point is the LUXON enclosure.  It comes fully functional with USB and external SATA support, proving once again that VIZO is aware of this emerging technology.  While the performance of larger drives will nearly demand high-speed external SATA connections for optimum throughput and transfer speeds, the average user will be satisfied by the 480Mbps connection offered through a compliant USB 2.0 connection.

It may or may not be intentional, but I have discovered that the small VIZO paragon has an all lower case name, whereas the larger VIZO LUXON has a completely upper case name.  It could just be cooincidence, but I found it pecular none the less.

Conclusion

Since the storage drive market is fast evolving into hybrid and solid state products, it seems sensible that manufacturers would move with this trend and take full advantage. VIZO has provided two very well crafted drive enclosures, which are fully functional in their own separate ways.

I sincerely feel that very soon every 2.5″ drive enclosure which is released to marked will have support for the emerging e-SATA interface.  Although the paragon 2.5″ enslosure is USB only, VIZO offers a USB/e-SATA version named Saturno which has just recently released. While it can be argued that everyone has USB, but not everyone has peripheral connections for IEEE 1324 FireWire or e-SATA, and this would be a good arguement for product such as paragon and LUXON.

Obviously VIZO has choose to offer a fully compatible yet portable drive enclosure in the paragon to keep it in line with USB flash drives.  Conversely, the LUXON lacks the same sleek design and sharp image of the paragon, but makes up for fashion with a large helping of function.  VIZO incorporates an external SATA connection system, which builds the newer interface into the LUXON, in addition to the standard USB 2.0 interface.

At the time of this writing, neither the VIZO LUXON or the paragon drive enclusure products could be found for sale at the larger online merchants.  Let’s hope that readers will create a demand for these new products, and we will soon see them carried at our favorite e-tailers.

Pros:

+  Excellent USB performance
+  Requires no additional power supply (paragon)
+  Sylish design
+  Light Aluminum construction
+  External SATA interface system (LUXON)
+  Available in a variety of colors
+  Value priced kits, with plenty of accessories
+  Installation is a snap, almost literally

Cons:

-  LUXON should share the same sleek design as the paragon
-  Drive stand is not very stable (LUXON)

Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.

Special Thank-you:

This review would not be possible if it weren’t for manufacturers like VIZO who are willing to stick their neck out there and have a picky hardware analysts like me dissect their products.  I am grateful, and certainly appreciate the opportunity.

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