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Thermaltake BlacX SATA HDD USB Docking Station

t_ski

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#1
For those users out there that are constantly swapping around parts, Thermaltake introduces the BlacX HDD Docking Station. This USB 2.0 device is a variation of a hard drive enclosure that lets the user plug a bare drive into an opening on top, and then eject the drive with a push of a button. The BlacX is so simple and easy to use, anyone with extra drives laying around should think about picking one of these up.

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#2
That looks pretty frigging handy!!:) And ALOT cheaper than buying an external drive..:D
 
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#3
thats all good and well, a shame that it doesnt have an esata interface, using this will suffer the multipul file copy process bottleneck that usb has. aside from that tho i do want one :D
i would love for a ide model to be available aswell, usb is understandable for pata ide disks i would buy two - 1 for work and one for home as i have ide disks coming out the wazoo at both locations lol. think ive seen them around but when i looked around for the url again i couldnt find the product, nice review nehow i like stuff like this and had a good read :toast:
 

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#4
If it had eSATA, I'd be so sold on it.
 

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#5
I would definitely snag this if it has eSATA, but I already have plenty of USB enclosures for all types of drives and USB is going to limit the drives performance.

I can understand why it isn't compatible with IDE, it seems that the IDE connectors on drives vary from drive to drive. So setting something like this up wouldn't be practical for IDE drives.

The position of the SATA connectors is a standard, so all drives will be the same.
 
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#6
defiantly a handy device to have for those of us that work with a lot of different hard drives for stuff like data recovery, drive imaging, or wiping a drive before selling/reusing in another system. Certainly seems like a safer solution than what I normally do...which is just leave the drive on my desk or floor with cables coming out of the pc case while I'm working with the drive :p

Lacking IDE abilities dont bother me so much as SATA is effectively taken over (not entirely, but you gotta see the trend :p), but the lack of eSATA does turn me away from this device. For large data transfers to/from the drive USB is simply going to be too slow. With the lack of eSATA, I may as well just use a regular external enclosure and just not screw the drive in place.

Just cant help but feel they only got it half right...
 

t_ski

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#7
For all of you wanting an eSATA interface, I was just on the Tt website and found this:

http://thermaltakeusa.com/product/Storage/hdd_station/blacx/st0005u.asp

That's the new eSATA & USB version I was speaking of. The last I knew it was supposed to be released around May, but I can update if I hear anything new.

As I stated in the review, I feel the original USB solution will have it's own market. There are lots of people asking for the eSATA version because they want the full through-put, but there are probably going to be others out there who don't have an eSATA connector and still would like to use a device like this.
 

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#8
Definitely, I can see this being used in production/art studios. I have a customer that has litterally 20 different external drives that they have filled with their digital pictures.
 

t_ski

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#9
OK, for everyone interested in the eSATA version, I just received word that the unit should be available around the 3rd week of April.

Thermaltake said there was a production delay which prevented both units from coming out at the same time.
 

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#10
OK, for everyone interested in the eSATA version, I just received word that the unit should be available around the 3rd week of April.

Thermaltake said there was a production delay which prevented both units from coming out at the same time.
Sweet, thanks for the info.
 
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#11
I find this product useless out of several reasons:

1. The SATA "L" shaped plug was originally designed for ~50 insertions. It was meant to be inserted and left in place. This is why eSATA plug was redesigned (~5000 plug in/outs).
Using this docking station for servicing hard drives is not practical. I imagine it would on average last about 6 months in an IT service department. after that the connectors loosen and the docking station most probably "wont recognize" the hard drives.

2. The drive is sitting there in open air, you are exposed to that noise constantly. And also the drive receives no cooling whatsoever (though admittedly most PC cases have poor airflow in the hdd bay area).

3. Bottlenecking a SATA drive with a USB interface is just... wrong. ;) (Ok, ok. I got it. there will be an eSATA version :) but that doesn't make the above said things any better.

As a thought.. If it would be possible to detach and change (cheaply!) the SATA mother connector once it is damaged, this product would double it's usefulness from my point of view.
 
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#13
one thing i defidently agree on is if this product had some kind of refill style changeable data/power socket, it would greatly add appeal for me also.
in an it environment this'd get way over used and would need to have the socket replaced so if it really only is designed for 50 plugs/unplugs then for me it consider the socket a consumable. for home use tho i guess i could just use a sata to esata cable to plug naked drives to my pc.
 
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#14
We sell these where I work, and they sell very well for some reason. Most customers ask about IDE and eSATA versions. I tell them to wait and see :\

What would be nice if they had a USB 2.0/eSATA, ide/sata version kind of like that one enclosure they have.
 

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#15
It is untrue that SATA was only designed for 50 plug/unplugs. They were designed to be hot swappable just like USB. The cables used were fragile, but there are no cables involved here. So durability shouldn't be an issue.

On top of that, the fact that the Power and SATA connector are all one piece adds stability and durability. Most SATA connectors break from putting too much downward force on them, this can't happen here since when you insert the drive you can't put that type of pressure on the connector.