Turn your SATA drive into a portable hard drive/jump drive with the HDD dock from isonix.
Believe it or not, building a computer is much easier than one may think. Working with one of my best friends DJ, we checked benchmark data, read reviews and navigated to Newegg.com to select the best/most cost-effective components. The desktop tower had room for extra hard drive bays and as larger drives went on sale, I exchanged smaller drives for larger ones. Even though I thought I was being frugal, my wife likely would tell you that I was a borderline tech hoarder. Instead of tying down a bay with a single drive, I found a much better option.
I absolutely fell in love with the StarTech 5.25-Inch Dual 2.5/3.5-inch HDD Trayless mobile rack and the ability to quickly swap drives. This tech allowed me to use old hard drives, without purchasing an extra enclosure for them. Essentially, I was able to create my own swappable portable drives. As my life became more mobile, I started to move away from a tower/desktop and to a more portable MacBook option. Perhaps you have old drives lying around, or you may have an older desktop that no longer functions optimally. Consider recycling the hardware, salvage the hard drives and reinvigorate them with a portable option. For those with desktops without extra ports or for those with laptops that want similar functionality to the StarTech device, look to iDsonix.
The iDsonix Smart Interactive iDD-U3102 Super Speed USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station arrived in a 7 3/8 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches thick by 3 5/16 inches tall retail package. The outer white cover displayed a 5 1/2 inches long by approximately 2-inches tall black image of the docking station upon a flat white background. To the right of the image, you will find the company name and model number within a centralized 1 5/8 inches thick navy blue rectangle. The long product title with 3/4 inches diameter USB 3.0 label was displayed across the top of the panel. Other than the website address along the bottom right, the remainder of the cover was blank. The top panel provided the same long product title as the cover panel. The bottom panel had an SKU sticker and standard FCC, CE, RoHS, do not dispose and recycle product labels in small print. The reverse panel listed the same product title, provided a small iDsonix Smart Interactive logo, a QR code, information about the 5.0 Gbps transfer rate, the ability to use 2.5” and 3.5” SATA Hard drive or SSD drives, and that the device was plug and play. With the outer slip cover set aside, the inner cardboard box was accessible. Except for the “iDsonix Smart Interactive” title and the www.idsonix.com website address on the bottom panel, the inner box was left au naturel.
Opening the box, I was greeted by a plastic wrapped Hard Drive dock within a cardboard pocket. The black 13.96-ounce dock measured 2 15/16 inches wide by 5 5/16 inches long by 2 1/2 inches tall. The base had four 7/16 inches diameter rubberized anti-slick pads, a QR code, iDsonix Smart Interactive logo, model number, and product marks. The front panel of the device displayed the “iDsonix Smart Interactive” trademark logo, while the back duplicated a few of the product marks, had a centralized USB 3.0 port and a right-sided DC input port with a power reset button. The top of the device had a 5 1/8 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches tall cutout, with spring operated divider to accommodate 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA drives. Beneath the cardboard, I found a 40 1/4 inches long USB-B to USB A cable, and an AC charger with 48 inches long cable. I did not like the 1 11/16 inches wide by 2 7/8 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches thick AC brick, as it was too bulky and did not pair well with the limited space of modern offices/dorms. I would have preferred to see a standard type A wall prong with inline adapter, similar to the Xbox One charging cable. Besides the gear, there was an eight-panel instruction manual and a business card themed comment card.
Before you can utilize the product, you will need to determine which type of hard drives you have, IDE (PATA) or SATA. Similar in size and shape, you will need to look at the lower aspect of the hard drives to evaluate the power ports. The SATA type hard drive will work with the docking station but the older IDE type hard drive cannot work. To utilize the docking station, I plugged the type A wall plug into an outlet, the power cable into the device, the USB-B cable into the dock and then the USB-A/USB-3.0 cable into my MacBook Pro 15″. During the review of this device, my wife’s aunt contacted me noting that her computer had stopped working. Saddened at the potential loss of all of the pictures, she asked if there was anything that I could do to help recover her photos/videos. I plugged her HP SATA drive into the dock and I transferred a 294.24 GB folder of pictures from the hard drive to the desktop of my MacBook Pro. The transfer was at 10 GB at about 3:45, 20GB at 5:29, 43 GB at 10:00, 74 GB at 16:16, 106 GB at 22:31, 127GB by 26:51, 164 Gb by 34:08, 200GB at 41:21, 225GB at 46:46, 250GB at 51:56, 298.24GB at 63:42. This transfer rate was 0.07GB/second or roughly 0.6 Gb/second. It took just under 64 minutes to transfer the entirety of the 298.24GB file, which was not terrible.
I loved the ability to transfer files to and from my MacBook Pro and my PC. The docking station did not require any tools and cables were easy to utilize. If you are looking for options to breath life back into old hard drives, look no further than the iDsonix SATA HDD Docking Station.
Learn more about the iDsonix 2.5″/3.5″ USB 3.0 SATA HDD Docking Station
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