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Kingwin Nighthawk TL-35CS External Enclosure

Manufacturer: Kingwin Inc.
Supplied by: Kingwin Inc.
Street Price: $36

by Dean Barker (11/14/2005)


The true value of portable storage became fully realized with the widespread availability of thumb drives.  The thing about thumb drives is that no matter how hip your unit is, you still won't be packing a movie or other large unit of data in it just yet.  Anything over a gig and you should be looking for another way to haul your data around.  One way to do this is with a USB external drive rack.  USB drive racks were the original portable storage devices.  Sure, you can't exactly put one in your pocket without being asked to a prom but where else can you find portable storage limited only by the size of the hard drive you can afford?  Kingwin has taken things a bit further by expanding things to be tool-free, shock resistant, have the light weight and cooling power of aluminum in addition to some snappy looks.  Today, thanks to the good people at Kingwin, we have an opportunity to take a look at the Nighthawk External USB/SATA Drive Enclosure. 


  • Application: USB/SATA to SATA External Drive Enclosure

  • Dimensions: 210 x 122 x 40mm 

  • Observed weight: 580 gms

  • Construction: Aluminum

  • Can handle up to 500 gb disks

  • Power and HDD activity LED Indicators

  • Cooling: Internal 40mm cooling fan

  • Fan failure alarm

  • Shock resistant padded drive area

  • Plug and Play

  • Tool-less installation

  • Available Colors: Black

What you get

The Kingwin Nighthawk is a no nonsense package.  Included with the black external enclosure are power cables, USB adapter, SATA cable and the box that carries the operation instructions on its back cover. 


The unit

The Nighthawk is only offered in black at present.  It's smooth lines move away from the stackable quality it predecessor the Kingwin Mini Shuttle had.  The Nighthawk is designed to meet the needs of the end user packing data from point A to point B as well as the working tech.  Most IT friends of mine use USB external drive enclosures with setup files, large patches and software tools on a daily basis.  One of the 'wish list' things I've heard from folks working with an open case is for faster transfer rates via plug and play SATA compatibility.  Kingwin must be listening because turning to the rear of the Nighthawk we see a SATA connection in addition to the on/off toggle, power input and the USB 2.0 port.  (To nip a question in the bud, no you cannot mount this in a case's drive bay - I tried.)


Underneath the Nighthawk are four non-slip feet to give a non slip grip for whatever surface you may be working on.  Speaking of non-slip, I do want to comment quickly on the feel of the Nighthawk's thicker paint job which gives its aluminum chassis (except for a plastic covering on the top lid) a easy grip feel that is a welcome shift from the cold metal feel so common on PC accessories.  On the lower left corner below, you can see the exhaust for the 40mm internal cooling fan. 



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