The folks at ZALMAN are well known for their CPU coolers, power supplies and cases. But in the last while, they’ve gotten themselves into all sorts of things including USB speakers and Notebook Coolers. Now they are even dabbling with SSD Drives. I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by today’s announcement that they’ve entered the hard drive enclosure business.

Today ZALMAN introduced two new drive enclosures: The ZM-HE100 and ZM-HE200. Both of which can house a 2.5 inch drive of your choice, SSD or platter based, and sprouts USB 2.0 (backwards compatible to 1.1 of course) for connectivity as common features while the ZM-HE200 model gives us eSATA connectivitu as well. They also both receive a nice aluminum casing, in a color choice of black or silver and are bus powered. Unfortunately, neither drive is USB 3.0 enabled which is the breakfast of champions these days but the ZM-HE200 model has one more trick up its sleeve.

The ZM-HE200 has a very innovative feature called Virtual Drive which allows you to rip and store ISO files onto the drive and then select them via a file selection switch. An LCD display, which is only on the ZM-HE200, tells you which ISO you are accessing, which we assume is by name. Because it wouldn’t be very useful if it was just 1,2,3,4. This means that during those long trips, instead of dragging along your Blu-ray collection, you can just bring this along with the images pre-loaded. This is also very useful for software install disks which tend to come in handy if your system goes kaput on vacation and you need to restore.

The ZM-HE100 should hit retail for around $15 – 20 bucks while the ZM-HE200 will cost you about $45 – 50 bucks. Both will be available sometime in March.





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