iStarUSA xAge-N99-US USB 2.0 Hard Drive Docking Station

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Performance and Conclusion

I’m not putting a large emphasis on performance because this product is all about functionality and flexibility. After all, if it was speed you were after, you would have installed the drive internally or via an eSATA connection which are inherently faster than a USB 2.0 connection. For my testing, I will be using a Western Digital Caviar SE16 drive.

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays.  HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

iStarUSA HDD Docking Station HDTach Results

Obviously, as expected there were no speed records broken here but the connection is definitely fast enough for backups and general use. HD Tune is another hard disk benchmarking and information tool and we see much the same results using it as well. However, if you really are interested in performance, they also offer another model (xAGE-N99-SAU) which has an e-SATA connection.

iStarUSA HDD Docking Station HDTune Results

Final Thoughts and Conclusions:

Overall, I think the iStarUSA HDD dock is a great device to recover the use of dormant drives or to expand your storage options. With backups being so important, this gives you one less excuse for getting them done. Found online for less than $30, this is also a relatively inexpensive solution to your storage needs. Aside from a short power cable, I found no other flaws with the docking station and was easily able to add a variety of drives without compatibility issues and even hooked it to my Apple MacBook Pro for a quick compatibility check.

Legit Bottom Line: With an appealing design, flexibility to use 2.5” and 3.5” drives and ease of use, the iStar HDD Docking Station is a solid choice for those wanting more storage without the hassle of external enclosures or adding them to their system internally. I only had one minor complaint with product so I’d gladly recommend this to anyone wanting an easy storage solution.

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