Computer hard drives come in all shapes and sizes. For the most part, they come preinstalled with your computer or laptop. However, there are times when you may need to access them outside of the computer they came in. Reasons include upgrading your hard drive or recovering data in the event your computer dies. Fortunately, there are portable enclosures for doing so.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Our Sabrent EC-UASP review looks at a super-affordable, tool-free, 2.5″ SATA hard drive USB 3.0 enclosure which allows you to read, copy, or write data smaller SATA drives typically found in older laptops.
The Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- Tool free design, easy to install
- Suitable for 2.5” SATA/SSD
- Supports 7mm/9.5mm thickness HDD
- Optimized for SSD, Supports UASP SATA III
- Plug & Play
- Supported operating systems: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS X and higher
- Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches
- Weight: 3 oz
What’s in the box
- Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure
- USB-A to USB-A Cable (USB 3.0)
- Quick Start Guide
- Acronis True Image Software
We’ve reviewed a few Sabrent devices in the past, and the one thing that always struck me was the solid metal construction and durability. The Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure, on the other hand, has a plastic shell. It isn’t as solid as I’d like to see when it’s empty and does have some flex to it. Once a drive is inserted, it is a bit more firm given the lack of hollowness on the inside. That said, if you’re using this as an external drive, you should be fine. If you’re an IT professional who has this in your kit in case of computer emergencies, I’d be a bit worried about it possible cracking depending on how you choose to transport it.
That aside, the enclosure is just under 5 inches in length, just over 3 inches in width, and 1/2-inch in height. Black in colour, the edges and corners are rounded. There is an LED light one the top along one short edge with the Sabrent logo stamped into the cover on the opposite edge. Just below the LED light is a USB-A 3.0 port and an on/off switch. The bottom is non-descript aside from a sticker with the regulatory product information printed on it.
This USB enclosure has a tool-less design and is comprised of two pieces: the lid and the SATA hard drive tray. The lid slides off relatively easy and attaches to the tray by way of six locking tabs — three on each long side. Once removed, the inside of tray is exposed. On one end is the SATA connector while on the other is a small foam pad to help keep the drive snugly in place.
While it does support most 2.5″ SATA HDDs, I did have an older one thicker than 9.5mm. I was able to fit it into the tray with no problems, but the lid wouldn’t fit on. That being said, the enclosure was still usable with the lid off but likely not recommended.
The enclosure also comes with a standard USB-A to USB-A 3.0 cable which is plastic coated and is about 2 1/2-feet in length.
Ease of Use
The Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure is pretty easy to use. Start by sliding the lid off. Next, slip the SATA connector on the drive into the SATA port on the inside of the tray. Slide the lid back on then connect the included USB-A to USB-A cable to a free USB port on your computer, turn the switch on the enclosure to the “on” position, and you should be good to go.
Like the Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe SSD drive, the EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure comes with a complimentary copy of Acronis True Image Cloning Software from Sabrent’s website. Overall, Acronis True Image is straightforward, easy to use, and works just fine. Of note, while the application is freely available to download from Sabrent’s website, it will not function without a recognized Sabrent drive installed in or attached to your system.
There are six main tabs: Backup, Tools, Active Protection, Account, Settings, and Help. The Backup tab lets you create a disk image that you can restore at a later date. The Active Protection tab has some useful options, including measures to protect your system from ransomware and illicit crypto mining. Some of this is built into Windows 10 already, but extra protection can’t hurt these days.
If you’re upgrading your drive, the Tools section is likely where you’ll be spending most of your time in Acronis True Image. Here you have options like Clone Disk, Rescue Media Builder, Acronis Universal Restore, Try & Decide, Add New Disk, Acronis Secure Zone, and Acronis DriveCleanser. A few of these are locked, like Acronis Universal Restore, which presumably requires an upgrade to use.
While I didn’t use it with the enclosed, I did test the Clone Disk tool with the Sabrent Rocket Q NVMe SSD previously, and it was as easy as a few clicks. Select Clone Disk and choose Automatic mode (unless you want more control over the clone, but this is the easiest one for an exact clone of your existing drive). Next, choose your source and destination (the Sabrent Rocket Q) disk and accept the warning about data being erased on the destination disk. Finally, click finish and sit back while the drive clones. Once cloned, you’ll have to install the drive inside your computer (if not already installed), go into your BIOS, and set the default boot drive. This varies by the system, so we won’t cover that here. Once completed, fire up your computer, and you should be good to go.
Acronis True Image Screenshot Gallery
In a nutshell, the Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure does exactly what it’s supposed to do: allow you to use a 2.5″ SATA drive outside of a computer. Of course, performance will vary but given USB 3.0 speeds, you can get up to 5 Gbps transfer when connected to a USB 3.0 port. This is way over the maximum transfer that I know of that a 2.5″ SATA drive is currently capable of. On that note, I tried 4 or 5 different drives in the enclosure and the transfer speed was as expected based on the specifications of each drive.
With an MSRP of US$29.99, the Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure isn’t too badly priced. That pricing puts it just out of “impulse buy” territory, especially given the plastic construction. However, it is currently on sale on the Sabrent website for $14.95 and on Amazon.com for $9.98. At these prices, this drive is a steal if you are, or ever think you might be, in need of such an enclosure.
If you’re in IT, there’s likely been a time you need to read a 2.5″ SATA drive when not installed in a computer for various reasons. The Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 Enclosure is super affordable and does exactly what it’s supposed to without requiring any tools, making it easy to use.
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Sabrent EC-UASP 2.5" SATA Hard Drive USB 3.0 EnclosureSabrent EC-UASP
- Easy to use
- Fits most 2.5" SATA drives
- USB 3.0
- Includes USB cable
- Affordably priced, especially at current Amazon price
- Plastic construction
- Doesn't fit older, thicker SATA SSD drives but still works with top cover off