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 Mac Mini Accessories

First Look: Macpower M9-Mini Pod
Tuesday June 28, 2005 7:07 AM EST

Here is a first look at the Macpower M9-DX Mini Pod an external disk drive enclosure with a built-in USB and FireWire port replicator for the Apple Mac mini. In the box you'll find the M9-DX, top cover, external power adapter, power cord, USB cable, FireWire cable, screws, and instruction manual. Everything came packaged neatly and wrapped in plastic. The instruction manual provides ample information for usage and hard drive installation.

The M9-DX is a great looking enclosure. There's a single blue LED indicator light on the front of the M9-DX with no logos. The top cover has a raised lip around it to hold the Mac mini in place when it is stacked on top of the M9-DX. The bottom of the M9-DX has nice long rubber pads to keep it from sliding. On the back of the M9-DX you'll find a On/Off Switch, Exhaust Fan Vent, Power Receptacle, Fan Setting Switch, 3 USB 2.0 ports, USB to Mac port, 3 FireWire ports, Input Select Switch, and Micro Security Slot. All the ports and switches are solid and nicely made. The coloring of our M9-DX is slightly darker compared to the Mac mini. We wish the color match between the two would've been a little better.

The first step in installing the drive is to remove four screws on the bottom of the M9-DX to remove the heat sink. Once the heat sink is out you can fasten the hard drive to it using the four included screws. The hard drive needs to be placed upside down in the heat sink with the spindle motor facing up. After the hard drive is fastened to the heat sink you can attach the ATA cable and power cable to the drive. Make sure your hard drive is set to be the Master drive. You can now screw the heat sink back into the enclosure with the hard drive and cables attached. The last step is to attach the thermal probe with the tape provided to the spindle motor before closing the top cover. You're now ready to format or use your drive!

We found the M9-DX to be a solid performer with our 3.5" 7200RPM Seagate drive. The M9-DX's cooling system with the heat sink and fan do a fantastic job keeping things cool. The top of the enclosure was only slightly warm after five hours of usage. We're happy to report the M9-DX doesn't make a lot of noise while running. The sound level is totally acceptable and there's little to no drive vibration.

Overall, we can recommend this product to our readers and give it a score of 3 out of 4. Our score may have been a perfect 4 if the color match was just a little better. Other World Computing will be selling the M9-DX and M9-LX in the United States. We should have more information on pricing and availability shortly.

Pros:

  Build quality is excellent.
  Quiet operation.
  Ports and switches are solid.
  Excellent cooling system with heat sink and fan.
  Raised lip around the top cover keeps Mac mini in place.
  Rear power switch is easy to manipulate.
  Front design with no logos.

Cons:

  Color is slightly darker than Mac mini.
  Top cover could have fit better.

More Pictures:  Click to enlarge

  

  

  

  




More Information:
  Macpower
  M9-DX
  M9-LX
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