Page 2 - A Closer Look, Installation
At the top of the 2.5" enclosure, we can see the connectivity options of the SilverStone Raven RVS02. Here, we can really see just how plain and simple this really is. From the left is a mini USB 3.0 connector to connect to the provided USB cord. On the right is a DC power input. Since the enclosure may need to consume more power when utilizing the USB 2.0 interface -- as not everyone has USB 3.0 -- SilverStone has designed two methods for reaching the power requirements. The first of which is the USB cable provided has an additional USB connector to draw out additional power from another port -- brilliant. The second method is to utilize the DC power input by providing an external power source to the enclosure. The latter is a little troublesome, as SilverStone has not included an external AC power adapter. This means that you will need your own in order to use the DC power input. I do not see, however, why anyone would need to use an external power source, since the USB cord does a great job powering the unit with two USB 2.0 or one USB 3.0 port.
As you may have noticed, the SilverStone Raven RVS02 does not support eSATA connections. This is to be expected, since USB 3.0 is more than fast enough for those who have it. Of course, those who do not yet use the relatively new interface will find this to be a hassle, and therefore I can make a swift conclusion that SilverStone did in fact only intend for this unit to be used for its USB 3.0 capabilities (And reduce manufacturing costs).
Installation of the HDD or SSD into the SilverStone Raven RVS02 is as easy as breathing. The entire process requires absolutely no tools, and can be done in a matter of seconds. Impressive. To install a drive, one must first press the button on the back side of the unit while sliding the black piece off. After that, we will need to place the hard drive inside the tray, slide it into the fixed SATA power and data ports, and place the back piece back onto the unit. As aforementioned, no tools are needed. In fact, what SilverStone has also done is print the installation instructions on the inside tray. Because it is so intuitive, I never needed to look at the user's manual during my first installation attempt.
After installation, light shaking and short traveling trips are then used to determine the overall fit and finish of the unit. When shaking, the enclosure holds the 2.5" drive very well, and the installed device does not hit the tray walls at all. The outer material is hard and seems to be quite durable, but unfortunately, feels a bit cheap at the same time. Of course, this could be due to the fact that SilverStone wanted to make this enclosure very convenient and lightweight. However, I believe some material reinforcement is needed. For the inside of the enclosure, I also think it is crucial to add rubber dampeners to absorb some vibrations generated from the hard drive, and for protection if the enclosure takes a free fall dive. After all, accidents to happen. In terms of the backside of the unit, I believe rubber feet are necessary. In fact, I am a little confused as to why the back of the unit has four extremely unnoticeable feet that are plastic. The feet provides absolutely no clearance, no vibration dampening, no stylistic flare, and no grip for the unit. Grip is what is most needed for the RVS02. Since this is such a lightweight enclosure for 2.5" hard drives -- which are already extremely light by itself already -- hitting the SilverStone Raven RVS02 off a desk by accident is extremely easy. Having rubber feet will give the needed grip in stopping the unit from sliding off whatever surface it resides on. Other than these small issues, the Raven RVS02 is a great travel companion. It is by far the easiest enclosure I have come across to travel with, because of its extremely slim profile and lightweight build.
Unfortunately for this SilverStone Raven RVS02, I was unable to take a look at the SATA to USB 3.0 bridge controller. It seems the entire unit is glued together, and therefore impossible to open up without needing to break the enclosure itself. Even though I am unable to confirm for you what bridge controller is being used, we will discuss further in the next page as to how the enclosure performs. SilverStone claims they use a SATA 6Gb/s to USB 3.0 controller rather than a SATA 3Gb/s to USB 3.0 controller, so the performance should be quite a bit better if you have an interface bottlenecked drive.
On the top left corner of the enclosure is the SilverStone's Raven logo. The logo is camouflaged quite well with the carbon-fiber pattern, but it actually lights up thanks to a blue LED when the enclosure is plugged in. The Raven's LED backlit logo serves as both the power and HDD activity LED for the unit. When the hard drive is in use, the LED will blink. I must say that the LED is probably the coolest aesthetic feature on the SilverStone Raven RVS02. I will let you enjoy my photo above,
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation
3. Test System, Benchmark Results