We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
NAS (network storage) Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Sonnet Fusion F2 review

£462 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sonnet

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Somewhere between a desktop media drive and a portable storage unit, the Fusion F2 comprises two 2.5in eSATA drives bolted together in a rugged chassis.

Somewhere between a desktop media drive and a portable storage unit, the Fusion F2 comprises two 2.5in eSATA drives bolted together in a rugged chassis.

Pitched at video editors, VFX and motion-graphics artists, and animators, the Sonnet Fusion F2 is an innovative but pricey device that's in essence two 2.5in eSATA drives bolted together in a rugged chassis, with power provided by a FireWire lead.

The standard set-up for the slick, matte silver Sonnet Fusion F2 requires you to connect the device to your MacBook Pro or Windows laptop over two eSATA cables, using an ExpressCard plug-in card such as Sonnet's Tempo SATA ExpressCard/34.

You then plug the power lead into the laptop's FireWire port and set up the drives as a striped or mirrored device using Mac OS X's Drive Utility, or as a striped array using Windows Administrative Tools (as only the server versions of Windows support creating RAID 1 arrays in software).

The Sonnet Fusion F2 uses the FireWire's power output, and is designed to be used alongside AJA's Io external capture and effects box - which requires all of the FireWire bandwidth to itself - to create a full Final Cut Studio edit suite around a MacBook Pro.

The innovative set-up enables you to create a floating edit suite: you can edit on the road just using your laptop and Sonnet Fusion F2, then plug in an LCD screen, decks and other hardware boxes such as the Io for a full-powered studio. As it uses a software RAID, it's not practical to swap the F2 between desktop and laptop edit suites.

The Sonnet Fusion F2 is a niche device but if you regularly edit on location or in transit, it's going to be highly useful. For example, Sonnet has made much of the F2 being used for editing Iron Maiden's recent tour diaries between gigs.

Sonnet Fusion F2 [PC] Expert Verdict »

1TB storage
2x 2.5in SATA drives mounted side-by-side
drives formatted as a RAID 0 volume
Field Video Certified–
both drives individually shock-isolated
two eSATA data cables, one power cable, and slip case included
RoHS compliant
149x157x18mm
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Sonnet launched the Sonnet Fusion F2 over a year ago, but it was recently released in a 1TB capacity, which is the model we tested. With two 5,400rpm laptop drives at its core, the F2 can’t deliver the throughput of the G-RAID 3 or UltraMax Plus - which both use 7,200rpm desktop drives. However, its performance is good enough for up to day-to-day real-time editing of three to five streams of compressed HD video.

  • Sonnet Fusion F2 review

    Sonnet Fusion F2

    Sonnet's Fusion F2 RAID array is tiny – slightly wider than a CD case, around 20 percent deeper, and as thick as the bottom half of a MacBook Pro with the lid open.

  • LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk review

    LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk

    With the introduction of the new LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk, the company has updated the look of the original d2 external drive case to incorporate some of those changes found in its newer products.

  • Rocstor Rocpro 850 500GB review

    Rocstor Rocpro 850 500GB

    The Rocstor Rocpro 850 may look rather generic, but it leaves rival external hard drives in the dust.

  • Buffalo MediaStation review

    Buffalo MediaStation

    They say that you can't tell a book by its cover, and that is definitely true for the Buffalo MediaStation 8x External Blu-ray Writer.

  • My Passport Studio review

    My Passport Studio

    Western Digital's My Passport Studio is a portable hard drive that's bus powered—it doesn't require a power adaptor.


IDG UK Sites

Microsoft smartwatch release date, price and specs rumours: Launching within a few weeks

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...