USB 3.0 external hard drives are useful for file backup, but some portable hard drives aren’t that affordable. If you have a spare hard drive, you might be able to use it as an external hard drive. To do so, you’ll need a hard drive enclosure, and today we’re going to show you the best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures for your Windows 10 PC.
What are the best USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures?
Zalman ZM-V350B (recommended)
If you have an old hard drive that you want to connect to a new PC, Zalman ZM-V350B might be the perfect enclosure for you. This enclosure is relatively small and it weighs about 96g. The device is made from aluminum alloy, acrylic and polycarbonate. Zalman ZM-VE300 uses USB 3.0 for file transfer and it can achieve transfer speed up to 5Gbps.
Even though this enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer, USB 2.0 and 1.1 are also supported, but your speed will drop by using older USB standards. This enclosure is designed for 2.5-inch SATA I, II and III drives and thanks to the aluminum body your hard drive will remain cool and protected from external shocks.
This enclosure comes with a built-in CD emulator that allows you to use ISO files, which can be extremely useful if you want to boot your PC from an ISO image. This is a Plug and Play device, so no additional software is required. Simply connect the enclosure with your PC and you’ll be ready to use it.
Zalman ZM-VE300 is simple to use, and it comes with intuitive menus so it’s perfect for first-time users. There’s also a backup button that will automatically copy files to the selected folder. The backup button is also used to turn off your device, and you just need to hold it for 3 seconds to do so.
Zalman ZM-VE300 is a simple device and it requires only 5V DC in order to work. The device supports all major operating systems and it comes with a travel pouch and a screwdriver for installation. Zalman ZM-VE300 will easily turn your old hard drive into an external hard drive, and thanks to the USB 3.0 connection you’ll transfer all your files quickly.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 (suggested)
This hard drive enclosure comes with aluminum case and sleek design. The device uses USB 3.0 for file transfer, but USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 standards are also supported. Regarding the hard drives, this enclosure works with SATA I and SATA II 2.5-inch hard drives. It can also work with Solid State Drives up to 9.5mm height.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 is compact and it weighs about 92g. This enclosure doesn’t require any additional cables and it uses USB 3.0 cable for power and file transfer. Since this is a USB 3.0 enclosure, it supports speeds up to 5Gbps. The device also comes with LED activity light.
Patriot Gauntlet 2 is a simple hard drive enclosure, and it will allow you to easily turn any compatible hard drive into an external hard drive. Regarding the price, this model costs $12.99. Only flaw of this model is the lack of support for SATA III hard drives, but Patriot Gauntlet 3 fixes that problem. There’s also Patriot Gauntlet 4 model available that uses USB 3.1 standard and Type-C connection. If you want the best performance, you might want to consider Patriot Gauntlet 4.
Rosewill RX-358 U3C
If you have a large hard drive that you want to connect with your PC, then Rosewill RX-358 U3C might be just what you need. The drive supports 3.5-inch SATA I and SATA II drives and it uses USB 3.0 or eSATA to connect to your PC. Thanks to the USB 3.0, the device can achieve 5Gbps transfer speed.
The enclosure supports drives up to 4TB and it uses 12V 2A power adapter. Rosewill RX-358 U3C comes with a built-in fan that will ensure that your drive is cool and working properly. The device also has a power switch on the back, so you can easily turn the device on or off.
Rosewill RX-358 U3C is a bulky device, but it should keep your hard drive cool thanks to the built-in fan. The enclosure looks solid and durable, so your hard drive will remain protected. Regarding the flaws, the only flaw might be the lack of support for SATA III drives.
Vantec NexStar TX
Vantec NexStar TX is a slim aluminum hard drive enclosure, and this enclosure uses USB 3.0 for file transfer. Thanks to the USB 3.0 you can achieve up to 5 Gbps transfer speed. Of course, Vantec NexStar TX is compatible with USB 2.0 but if you decide to use USB 2.0 your performance will suffer.
This enclosure supports 2.5-inch SATA I,II and III hard drives and Solid State Drives. As for maximum height, Vantec NexStar TX can work with 7mm, 9.5mm, and 12.5mm drives. The device is hot swappable, so it doesn’t require rebooting in order to use it. In addition, no extra drivers are required, so this enclosure will work with both Mac and Windows computers. The enclosure also comes with an LED indicator for power and HDD activity.
Vantec NexStar TX is a decent hard drive enclosure. The aluminum case looks great, but at the same time, it also cools your drive.
Sabrent 2.5-Inch External Hard Drive Enclosure
Sabrent enclosure comes with clean and simple design, so it will keep a low-profile on your desk. The device uses USB 3.0 port for file transfer and supports transfer speeds up to 5Gbps. The device is compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1, but keep in mind that you’re limited to 480Mbps while using USB 2.0.
The enclosure supports 2.5-inch drives and it works with SATA I and SATA II hard drives. Sabrent enclosure is hot-swappable and it requires no drivers in order to work. You just need to insert your hard drive, connect the enclosure to your PC, turn it on and you’re good to go. Sabrent enclosure supports 7mm and 9.5mm hard drives, and it’s also compatible with SSDs. We also have to mention that enclosure has a tool free design, so you won’t need any tools to install your hard drive.
Sabrent enclosure has solid design and it weighs about 2.1 ounces. USB 3.0 cable is included with the enclosure, and you can get this device for a price tag which goes around $10 (depending on the store).
Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you’re interested in buying a reliable external HDD, check out our wide collection of guides.