REVIEW: ToughTech mini from WiebeTech

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Date: Monday, November 13th, 2006, 09:00
Category: hard drive

wiebe-toughtech-mini-front.jpgIf you’re anything like me, you probably move your hard drives around from machine to machine when you upgrade. I much prefer to transfer my hard drive from one MacBook to another rather than copy the data over. Inevitably I upgrade to a larger capacity model leaving me with an orphan drive.
The best home for replaced 2.5-inch hard drive mechanism is in an external FireWire enclosure. An external FW hard drive is great for backing up, archiving and moving data and is amazingly convenient. If you’re a user of FireWire 800 (included on the current MBP) you should select an enclosure that supports the faster protocol as it will you save lots of time on large data transfers.
The ToughTech mini from WiebeTech is a portable, bus-powered 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure that supports SATA drives.
SATA v. PATA
SATA drives ship in all MacBooks, whereas PATA (mistakenly called IDE) drives ship in PowerBooks. This is an important distinction because you cannot move a PowerBook drive to a MacBook/MBP. Wikipedia clarifies the common PATA/IDE error:

SATA is the successor to the legacy AT Attachment standard (ATA). This older technology was retroactively renamed Parallel ATA (PATA) to distinguish it from Serial ATA. Both SATA and PATA drives are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) drives, although IDE is often misused to indicate PATA drives.

wiebe-toughtech-mini-rear.jpg
Triple interface
The ToughTech mini features dual daisy-chainable FireWire 800, 400 and single FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. ports. FireWire 800 supports speeds of up to 800 Mbps, FireWire 400 up to 400 Mbps and USB 2.0 up to 480Mbps.
Oxford 924 chipset
Underneath it’s aluminum skin the ToughTech mini is powered by a new, faster Oxford Semiconductor 924 chipset. The Oxford 924 bridge chip features even higher speed transfer rates compared to the original Oxford 911 bridge chip.
Bus-Powered v. AC Adapter
Most FireWire ports provide enough juice to power the ToughTech mini so you can travel without an AC adapter for maximum portability. You will however need an AC adapter if the port you use does not provide enough power for ToughTech mini. This includes all 4 pin FireWire hosts (such as Sony iLink which provides no power at all) and USB ports.
ToughMount Anti-Shock Protection
The ToughTech mini features ToughMount strips that are mounted between the drive and the enclosure to protect the drive from shock and reduce enclosure noise.
As part of the package WiebeTech includes FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 cables and you can even download their Mac OS X drive icons for that extra personal touch. WiebeTech has always made high quality drives an the ToughTech mini is no exception, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a portable FireWire drive or enclosure.
Prices
ToughTech mini – 0GB US$119.95
ToughTech mini – 80GB 5400RPM US$228.95
ToughTech mini – 120GB 5400RPM US$308.95
ToughTech mini – 100GB 7200RPM US$343.95
ToughTech mini – 160GB 5400RPM US$399.95
WiebeTech LLC
8200 E. 34th St. North #1404
Wichita KS, 67226
866.744.8722


wiebe-toughtech-mini-front.jpgIf you’re anything like me, you probably move your hard drives around from machine to machine when you upgrade. I much prefer to transfer my hard drive from one MacBook to another rather than copy the data over. Inevitably I upgrade to a larger capacity model leaving me with an orphan drive.
The best home for replaced 2.5-inch hard drive mechanism is in an external FireWire enclosure. An external FW hard drive is great for backing up, archiving and moving data and is amazingly convenient. If you’re a user of FireWire 800 (included on the current MBP) you should select an enclosure that supports the faster protocol as it will you save lots of time on large data transfers.
The ToughTech mini from WiebeTech is a portable, bus-powered 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure that supports SATA drives.
SATA v. PATA
SATA drives ship in all MacBooks, whereas PATA (mistakenly called IDE) drives ship in PowerBooks. This is an important distinction because you cannot move a PowerBook drive to a MacBook/MBP. Wikipedia clarifies the common PATA/IDE error:

SATA is the successor to the legacy AT Attachment standard (ATA). This older technology was retroactively renamed Parallel ATA (PATA) to distinguish it from Serial ATA. Both SATA and PATA drives are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) drives, although IDE is often misused to indicate PATA drives.

wiebe-toughtech-mini-rear.jpg
Triple interface
The ToughTech mini features dual daisy-chainable FireWire 800, 400 and single FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. ports. FireWire 800 supports speeds of up to 800 Mbps, FireWire 400 up to 400 Mbps and USB 2.0 up to 480Mbps.
Oxford 924 chipset
Underneath it’s aluminum skin the ToughTech mini is powered by a new, faster Oxford Semiconductor 924 chipset. The Oxford 924 bridge chip features even higher speed transfer rates compared to the original Oxford 911 bridge chip.
Bus-Powered v. AC Adapter
Most FireWire ports provide enough juice to power the ToughTech mini so you can travel without an AC adapter for maximum portability. You will however need an AC adapter if the port you use does not provide enough power for ToughTech mini. This includes all 4 pin FireWire hosts (such as Sony iLink which provides no power at all) and USB ports.
ToughMount Anti-Shock Protection
The ToughTech mini features ToughMount strips that are mounted between the drive and the enclosure to protect the drive from shock and reduce enclosure noise.
As part of the package WiebeTech includes FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 cables and you can even download their Mac OS X drive icons for that extra personal touch. WiebeTech has always made high quality drives an the ToughTech mini is no exception, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a portable FireWire drive or enclosure.
Prices
ToughTech mini – 0GB US$119.95
ToughTech mini – 80GB 5400RPM US$228.95
ToughTech mini – 120GB 5400RPM US$308.95
ToughTech mini – 100GB 7200RPM US$343.95
ToughTech mini – 160GB 5400RPM US$399.95
WiebeTech LLC
8200 E. 34th St. North #1404
Wichita KS, 67226
866.744.8722

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