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Name: EasyUSB
Company: Antec
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SLCentralHardwareReviewsPeripherals Jan 18th, 2018 - 4:17 AM EST
Antec EasyUSB
Author: Chris Oh
Date Posted: August 1st, 2001
Rating: 9/10 SystemLogistics

Introduction

First off, let me say something that'll make this review easier to understand from the beginning. The "USB Header" is something located on the motherboard where you plug in an add-on board to utilize extra powered-USB connectors easily giving your computer 2 or 3 extra useful USB ports without the need for a hub. Throughout the past few months, more and more boards are coming standard with them and now many of them list this as a standard feature. Back to the review at hand. Did you ever buy a Digital Audio player, a Digital Camera with a USB interface, etc... that you wanted to just plug in and unplug as soon as you're done copying music and images? I'm not sure about you guys but it's happened more to me than I'd care to share. Having usually 4 or 5 USB ports on my computer is impressive, the fact that they're ALL in the back isn't. Obviously the most obscure place for cabling is behind the computer, away from our eyes as they're unsightly presence causes us to visualize a messy room. Although obscure, the back of the computer isn't a very convenient place at all times. With 95% of mid-tower computer users having placed their systems under their desks means 95% of people will have to reach under, move the computer aside to reach the rear entry ports, and plug in the devices. If you're like most guys who don't practice good hygiene with computers, you probably have a dusty, hot, and messy area right behind your computer. Not a quick and easy task by any means. It's so irritating to actually have to do all that that uploading mp3's to my Rio500 becomes a hindrance. OEM manufacturers such as Compaq and HP have been adding front USB ports to their computers for more than a year now and they're doing something right. Now if only mainstream motherboard companies would give some considerable thought to this, it would be a blessing. But OEM's have proprietary case designs and homebuilders have unique cases... what to do? Not so hard unless you're a genius. Most ATX cases have 3-4 accessible 5.25" drive bays in the front. Most of us have a CD-RW and a DVD in our cases, leaving at least one open slot. Antec has designed and constructed a product that is so simple yet so useful that it surprised me at first glance. It's a product that fits into your 5.25" drive bay and adds 2 USB ports to the FRONT of your computer. Also, so it's not a complete waste of perfectly good space: it's also a drive conversion system, letting you put a 3.5" drive in it, perfect for adding more hard drives or a zip drive.

The Product

Antec ( http://www.antec-inc.com) is known primarily for their high quality cases and power supplies but recently expanded into many other markets such as data storage mediums, portable scanners, PC Card scanners, and monitors. Although nothing too promising in most categories, they are getting pretty diverse in the computing world. The EasyUSB makes utilizing USB products much easier via the front of the computer where it's convenient to plug and unplug a digital camera or an mp3 player to quickly swap files. USB was meant to be fast and easy and the EasyUSB promises to bring that back to the world. Aside from adding 2 front mounted USB ports to your computer, there's one more significant plus that this unit has and that's the ability to hold a separate 3.5" drive within itself. Since the USB connectors only take up a fraction of the drive bay, what else is there to do with all the empty space? If Antec would've just left it closed and wasted an entire slot just to add 2 tiny USB ports, I might've criticized them to death but they didn't and that's always a good thing (for them).

Construction of the unit is solid. All the pieces are tight and fitting so you wont hear vibration noises emanating from the computer while running. The beige bezel will match colors with most cases and it can always be repainted with little effort. The body is made with good quality aluminum that is lightweight and durable. Of course one more thing to mention is that there are NO sharp edges. Every corner, ever cut on this unit has been smoothed and rounded down so it's very hard to cut yourself. Believe me, I've seen many products that had edges rounded out but Antec wins hands down on this one... it is almost impossible to cut yourself on the EasyUSB.

>> Connecting/Installation

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  1. Introduction/The Product
  2. Connecting/Installation
  3. Compatible Motherboards/Usage
  4. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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