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Hard Drive Enclosures With Card Readers

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/20/2010

Hard drive enclosures with card readers offer a convenient way to access data from a hard drive and other secondary media such as SD cards or they can be used to create an external hard drive. Here are three good options.

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    Hard disk drives are perfect for storing music, videos and movies, which can take up a lot of storage space. Not only do hard drives have larger storage capacities but they have a lower storage cost per mega byte than other media as well. Using a hard drive enclosure creates an attractive package that allows the hard drive or drives to be conveniently placed close to the computer and to be moved around at will.

    On the other hand, using a hard drive enclosure with a card reader adds more options to access media on other small format secondary storage devices. Here are three hard drive enclosures that can be used to create your own external hard drive:

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    Unitek's 3.5-inch SATA HDD bay / MicroSD card

    While this 3.5” enclosure is sized to fit in the larger drive bay of a desktop, it is designed to accommodate a 2.5” hard drive. This hard drive enclosure also serves as a card reader that supports SD/SDHC, microSD/SDHC, MMC and Memory Stick/PRO/M2 cards. The enclosure has a SATA port at the back for connecting to the motherboard and an eSATA port on the front for connecting external SATA drives.

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    Magic - HDD Media Player (with 250GB HDD Built-In)

    This hard drive enclosure ships with a 250GB hard drive, offering you plenty of space to store your large files. The drive connects to the computer and gets its power over a USB 2.0 interface, which allows for quick and convenient data transfers. Once media is on the drive it can be viewed by connecting the drive enclosure to a television or LCD monitor.

    To allow for even more convenience, the device also includes a full function remote control to orchestrate the playback of your content whether it is on the HDD, a USB flash drive or SD/MMC/MS media cards.

    The Magic HDD Media Player and drive enclosure supports video playback in the following formats: MPEG-1 (AVI, MPG, DAT), MPEG-2 (AVI, VOB), MPEG-4 (AVI, DivX, XviD). For audio files, it supports Wave, AAC, WMA and MP3.

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    Rocketfish SATA Enclosure Kit (RF-AHD35)

    This device is a 3.5” SATA enclosure that can work with a PC or MAC using a USB 2.0 or eSATA port, of course, the computer has to support such connections. The other way of transferring data to and from the device would involve using one of two card reader slots on the front.

    The Rockfish SATA enclosure supports SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/XD and Compact Flash (Type I / II) & Micro Drive. This enclosure also has a convenient backup/restore button that can be used to synchronize data between a PC and the enclosure but this feature only works in the USB mode and when the device is connected to a computer running a Windows operating system.

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    Hard Drive Enclosure with Card Reader

    Those looking for a solution that will allow them to easily access and work with a hard drive without opening the system case or a hard drive enclosure may consider using a external hard drive dock instead of a drive enclosure. In general they offer much more convenience when working with several drives that need to be accessed interchangeably; the StarTech SATDOCKCRH 2.5" & 3.5" USB 2.0 Docking Station is one such option.

    While many new computers now come with card readers, having an external hard drive enclosure is convenient for someone who doesn’t have a card reader or who needs the flexibility to access separate external storage whether it is on a hard drive or a SD card. It is true that there aren’t many external hard drive enclosures with a card reader, but the options from Unitek, Rockfish and Magic are competent solutions.

    Image credit:

    Hard Drive Enclosures With Card Readers." Rockfish