by Tucker Mindrum

Icy Dock EZConvert Air HDD/SDD Converter Review

Icy Dock has recently released the EZConvert Air converter/mounting kit, which consists of two cost-effective products that are designed to maximize airflow while mounting a 2.5" HDD/SSD into a 3.5" bay (the MB382IP-3B and MB382SP-3B respectively); the only difference between the two products reviewed herein is that one serves SATA drives and the other serves SAS drives.  The EZConvert Air is comprised of the same form factor of a 3.5” hard drive, such as the outer dimension, location of the SATA connector, and the mounting holes. This allows users to fit it perfectly inside any standard 3.5" SATA/SAS drive bay. Icy Dock indicates that any system that uses 3.5” SATA HDDs is compatible with the EZConvert Air. 

The EZConvert Air is similar to Icy Dock's fully enclosed 2.5" to 3.5" converter; however, it provides enhanced cooling because most of the interior of the device is open space and the robust steel chassis is covered in vents. Despite the open space, an installed drive is just as stable as it is in the fully enclosed model due to its self-adjusting mechanism spring-loaded latch design that keeps it pressed firmly against the EZConvert Air housing. This device is ideal for enterprise looking to upgrade older 3.5" drives with better performing 2.5" drives while increasing heat dissipation in their arrays. 

Like all of Icy Dock's accessories, both EZConvert Air models come with a 3-year warranty. It carries a price of $17 and $27 for the SATA and SAS model respectively.

Specs

  • Compatible Drive Type: 2.5" SAS/SATA (7, 9.5, 12.5, & 15 mm)
  • Device Interface:
    • 14 pin SAS (Dual Channel) (MB382IP-3B)
    • 7 pin SATA (MB382SP-3B)
  • Power Input: 15 pin SATA power connector
  • Device Fit: 3.5" SAS drive bay
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 6 Gb/s per channel
  • Material: Stanless steel chassis with black plastic lid
  • Dimension (L x W x H): 146.6 x 25.4 x 101.6 mm
  • Weight: 240.4 g
  • Package Contents
    • Device
    • User Manual
    • Screws
  • Warranty: 3-year

Design and Use

The EZConvert Air is in the typical rectangular 3.5" drive shape, with steel housing and a black plastic lid and latch (which has branding). It has vents covering almost every surface of the housing and the top is completely uncovered. 

Installation a drive into the EZConvert Air is completely tool-less, which made our installation pretty quick and seamless; the drive sits between two metal tabs in the bed of the device and the lid is simply closed over it and latched with an eject button. Although the drive itself is perfectly secure within the housing with just the latch, there are the typical four screw holes along the base of the housing so that the EZConvert Air can be securely installed into the 3.5" bay, as well as characteristic screw holes along the side. A lot of consumers will appreciate this extra security feature.

For users who constantly swap out their drives, Icy Dock has has equipped it with a SAS/SATA PCB bridge to protects the HDD/SSD connector from wearing out during the constant cycle of removing thr drives, all the while providing the full speed of SATA 6Gbps.

Labeling the new converter kit with "Air" in the title was quite accurate, as it is clearly designed so that heat can easily escape from drives during the most demanding applications. This is most obvious with the metal frame, as it has ventilated slots that surround the converter to allow for heat to escape from all angles. This is very important, as it can help to improve overall performance since excessive heat is known to slow down (or even turn off) systems. 

Conclusion

Although the concept of converted a 2.5" drive into a 3.5" form factor is not new, no one does it better than Icy Dock. Whether you're a consumer looking to upgrade your HDD-based PC to 2.5" SDDs or a business looking for an extremely cost-effective way to do so on a much larger scale, the EZConvert Air converter/mounting kit offers a pretty good way to do so. Icy Dock's tool-less installation makes for quick and painless mounting and its self-adjusting mechanism allows the device to support a range of drive heights: from a slim 7mm to a thick 15mm. In addition, Icy Dock's EZConvert air even has extra screw holes for those paranoid users who need that extra drive security peace-of-mind.  

We were also pretty impressed with Icy Dock's focus on cooling with the EZConvert Air kit, as it as it has ventilated slots that all around the converter and the top is completely uncovered. Icy Dock's converter also comes at a very reasonable price point, going for roughly only $17 for the SATA model; however, the SAS version is more expensive at $27 (but worth it). Couple all of this with Icy Dock's usual three-year warranty, it's hard not to recommend this device.

Pros

  • Seamless installation and management
  • Solid design with a good focus on cooling
  • Well priced

Cons

  • SAS model is a bit pricey

Bottom Line

Icy Dock has released another great converter/mounting kit with the EZConvert Air, offering users an affordable and reliable way to mount a 2.5" HDD/SSD into a 3.5" bay. 

Icy Dock EZConvert Air HDD/SDD Converter at Amazon

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