SilverStone Raven RVS02 External USB 3.0 HDD / SSD Enclosure ReviewThu, Dec 01, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Closer Look at the SilverStone SST-RVS02
Enthusiasts love unique-looking, innovative products and the SST-RVS02 serves up a hearty helping of both. Nothing says “l337” more than carbon fiber and that is exactly what the SST-RVS02 shows off. Gracing the top of the device is an in-mold decoration plastic that features faux-carbon fiber styling and a SilverStone Raven logo that lights up with a blue LED to indicate system power and hard drive activity.
The use of imitation carbon fiber instead of the real thing is a strategic design decision on SilverStone’s part to ensure that the SST-RVS02 is affordable to the greatest number of enthusiasts. The carbon fiber decoration plastic, while very close in appearance to the real thing, is inexpensive to produce. This is in stark contrast to creating a true carbon fiber enclosure, which would likely cost hundreds of dollars.
Looking at the side of the SST-RVS02, we can see that the carbon fiber design is utilized on the top of the device only. Below it, the rest of the external enclosure is made of a matte black plastic. Due to its size and compact nature, the SST-RVS02 does not utilize active cooling. Instead, it leverages on passive cooling via a series of small slits on either side of the enclosure. These openings allow air to circulate in the enclosure, cooling the storage device within.
I found the SST-RVS02 to be a very svelte unit, slim and lightweight, which allows the external enclosure to work well in situations where maximum portability is necessary. This is especially useful for road warriors or those with active lifestyles, as packing away the SST-RVS02 is extremely easy. Weighing in at less than half a pound with a typical 500GB hard drive installed, the SST-RVS02 is a small, lightweight enclosure well suited for extreme mobility.
Data connectivity to the SST-RVS02 is provided through SuperSpeed USB 3.0, a specification that offers a maximum, theoretical throughput of up to 5Gb/s. The mini-USB port at the front of the SST-RVS02 allows USB 3.0 connectivity and is backwards compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1. To the right of the USB port is an AC jack. With the requisite AC adapter, enthusiasts can power the SST-RVS02 from a wall outlet instead of the host PC.
One thing I wish was included with the SST-RVS02 was a carrying pouch for the device. Enthusiasts can be hard on their computer gear during their travels, stowing away their external drives where they bang around in a backpack or carry-on. A pouch would have been useful to protect the delicate faux-carbon fiber design, as it is made of plastic and does not have a protective coating to protect its surface from errant scratches or dings.
I found the construction of the SST-RVS02 to be more than adequate. Made entirely of plastic, the device does exhibit a small amount of flexing when force is applied. The tradeoff here, of course, is that because of its plastic construction, the SST-RVS02 is extremely lightweight and has a small footprint. Both of these attributes are serious considerations when it comes time to pack away the SST-RVS02 in a bag or carry-on.