First Looks: Cooler Master X Craft 250 HDD Enclosure

The X Craft Strikes Back

The X Craft Strikes Back

CoolerMaster is never known to sit in one place for long and has further developed its successful X Craft HDD enclosure line by unveiling a 2.5-inch version. Unlike its 3.5-inch bigger brother, the CoolerMaster X Craft RX-3SB, the X Craft 250 is a different breed of animal with a strong suite of backup software.

Chip Off the Old Enclosure

The CoolerMaster X Craft 250 features the signature wire mesh exhaust along its sides as well as a glossy black surface with silver trimmings all around; and although we were initially quite pleased with what seemed to be very decent ventilation design, we later noted that a substantial portion of wire mesh along the sides is actually covered up within and only there for aesthetic purposes. The USB 2.0 port typically can be found behind, and to add some ‘bling’ to the enclosure, a blue and red LED light that flashes during activity is found along the front bezel.

Taking It Apart

Though not tool-less, it was quite refreshing to find out that only one screw stood between you and installing the hard drive with the X Craft 250. Thereafter, it was a simple task of just sliding the rack out, inserting four clever rubber shock absorbers into it, and finally mounting on your hard drive. What’s particularly interesting this time is how CoolerMaster saved a lot of extra material by making use of the PCB to mount the hard drive on to; this is certainly a clever move considering how weight is important to a HDD enclosure. Something that users might want to take particular note of though, is the fragile LED array found at the edge of the PCB. It is directly in the way of the hard drive and might get damaged if handled carelessly during installation or removal.

Cooler Software

The closest attempt at software CoolerMaster has had is probably with a voltage monitoring GUI that came along with their power supplies. Threading on unfamiliar ground, the X Craft 250’s Press & Go backup software is their boldest attempt yet and it surprisingly turns out quite well; even the software instruction book included is pretty comprehensive.

The highlight of the software is its ease of use – simply drag in the proper folders, set how often you want the folders to be updated (weekly, daily or every other minute!) and you are done. Thereafter, folders will then update itself incrementally according to schedule without a hitch. Although CoolerMaster did a decent job with the backup software, we thought it would have been nice if some form of encryption could be added in future. Backup drives normally hold sensitive data, and what horror it would be if it all falls into the wrong hands and abused.

Our Thoughts

It's plain to see that CoolerMaster’s extensive experience in hardware has allowed the X Craft 250 to sail through the build and aesthetics department with ease, but what is surprising is how the backup software included is pretty decent and intuitive. The only downside is its lack of encryption capabilities and perhaps the fragile looking LED light array at the edge of the PCB; though the latter can be circumnavigated through careful handling. Ultimately, the CoolerMaster X Craft 250 is a worthy extension of the X Craft line and should strongly appeal to hardware enthusiasts or road warriors with a reasonable price of US$25 (~SG39).