Thermaltake BlacX 5G Hard Drive Docking Station ReviewMon, Jan 31, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Thermaltake BlacX 5G Docking Station
How many times have you had to crack open your case to temporarily mount a hard drive to either clone or to move data to it, or had to go through the hassle of mounting a drive into a cumbersome external chassis that can take a while to reassemble just to move a disk? Thermaltake, a leader in innovative devices for the unique needs of the hardware enthusiasts, has created a hard drive dock that will make it quite a bit easier to deal with those issues.
Today will be looking at the Thermaltake BlacX 5G hard drive dock, a new model that supports USB 3.0, which brings a much needed speed boost to an aging standard. Let’s have a look at the specifications:
Enclosure Interface SATA / SSD to USB 3.0
Transfer Rate USB 3.0: up to 5Gbps
HDD Compatible SATA I / II / III & SSD
HDD Capacity All Standard 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA & SSD Hard Drives
OS Compatible Microsoft Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2003 / 2000
Material ABS Plastic
Power Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz ; Output: 12V / 2A
Dimension 136 (W) x 73 (D) x 88 (H) mm
Accessory USB 3.0 Cable
Weight 312 g / 0.69 lbs
Special Features *Supports SATA III (6 Gb/s) Hard Drives with maximum speed up to 5.0 Gb/s (maximum theoretical speed offered by USB 3.0).
Thermaltake BlackX 5G Features:
- Maximum Transfer Rate up to 5.0 Gbps via USB 3.0 support
- Backward-Compatible with USB 2.0 (Max: 480 Mbps) & 1.1 (Max: 12 Mbps)
- Premium Shielded USB 3.0 Cable – Corrosion Resistant Plating & Heavy Gauge Wires for Years of Reliable Use
- Plug & Play Installation – Ready to Work in seconds, No Software needed
- Supports 2.5″ & 3.5″ SATA I/II/3.0 & SSD Hard Drives up to 2 TB
- Hot-Swap Capability for Rapid Multi HDDs Access & Exchange
- Windows & Mac OS Compatible
- Supports SATA III (6 Gb/s) Hard Drives with maximum speed up to 5.0 Gb/s (maximum theoretical speed offered by USB 3.0)
Thermaltake BlackX 5G Bundle:
- A power adapter
- A 3.5″ silicone drive sleeve
- A 2.5″ silicone drive sleeve
- A USB 3.0 cable
The manual is very brief but well written giving simple instructions on how to attach and install the dock. It also has some tips and troubleshooting steps if, for some reason. You can’t get the unit to be seen by the operating system.
The dock itself has a very elegant but effective design that includes a power switch which glows blue when power is applied. Next to the power switch is a USB 3.0 superspeed indicator which also illuminates in blue when attached to a USB 3 port.
A very nice touch is the inclusion of a drive eject button, which makes it both easy and safe to eject an inserted drive from the dock. Other docks do not have this feature and I would be concerned with breaking the drive connectors while trying to get it out without an ejection button.
The rear of the unit is the where the USB 3 and power supply ports are located. The new USB 3 spec uses a different connector than USB 2 when plugging into the dock, but the other end is normal. Here is a close up of the great cable that is supplied:
Thermaltake has also taken into consideration that the BlacX Docking Station needs to protect a bare hard drive from damage as well as prevent personal injury by including both a 3.5″ and 2.5″ silicon jacket that goes around the drive. The jacket makes it really easy to pick up the drive after long periods of use when the drive could be quite toasty.
Let’s have a look at performance and see how this dock works in a real world situation as well as a few benchmarks.