The ability to hot swap hard drives has been around for a long time in the business market. You don’t see it as often in the home or even enthusiast market. Thermaltake came out with their BlacX recently, giving people the ability to hot swap hard drives into a small box on your desk. This gives you the ability to use hard drives the same way that tape drives and zip drives have done in the past. With 750 gig hard drives breaking under the hundred dollar mark you can backup and swap hard drives freely without worrying about running out of space. We are going to take a closer look at the USB2.0 model number N0028USU. We are going to see how it performs compared to other hard drive enclosures that we have looked at to date, along with how a product like this can change the way people backup and transfer files. Click to read more.
Review Sample Provided by: Thermaltake
Review by: Garfi3ld
Pictures by: Garfi3ld
Specifications Enclosure Interface USB 2.0 Transfer Rate Up to 480 Mbps (Max) HDD Compatible SATA and SATA II HDD Capacity All 2.5” or 3.5” SATA HDD up to 1TB OS Compatible Windows Vista / XP / 2003 / 2000 / NT / 98 / 95 Mac 10.3 and later Material ABS Plastic Power Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz / 1A; Output: 12V / 2A Dimension 5.12 x 3.55 x 2.56 in. (L x W x H) 130 x 90 x 65 mm (L x W x H)
The packaging for the BlacX catches my eye for some reason. There is a picture of the BlacX in use with a Raptor X, the picture explains what the BlacX is without saying any words. They do include a couple important tidbits on the front like the maximum size hard drive is 1TB.. The back of the packaging has pictures of the BlacX being used with both a 2.5 inch drive and a 3.5. They also include a list of Specifications and features. Overall, this is an effective packaging. Very simple, lots of pictures, and is clear on what the product does.
To test out the performance we used HD Tune Pro 3.10 with a Seagate 750 hard drive. This is the same setup we used to test the Eagle enclosure we tested earlier this week. As you can see the BlacX performed almost exactly the same as the Eagle enclosure. This can be attributed to the USB 2.0 interface that they both run. This performance is still more than enough for everyday use. If you need something faster I would recommend checking out the eSATA version of the BlacX.
Let’s be clear; this is not an enclosure, Thermaltake classifies it as a docking station. There are going to be downsides to not having your hard drive fully enclosed. Not to mention the risk of damaging your hard drive by handling it often. Those are downsides to the idea of the docking station. But the BlacX does its job well. The only issue with the model we are testing today is the lack of eSATA. Color me spoiled but using an interface three times faster than USB 2.0 can make USB 2.0 feel slow. If you are in the same boat as me you might want to consider checking out Thermaltake’s eSATA BlacX, with eSATA and USB 2.0 you won’t have to worry about transfer speeds. If USB speeds are fine with you but you are interested in having a 4 port USB hub on your desk take a look at Thermaltake’s BlacX-SE. No matter the model you end up with you will be happy with the BlacX’s flexibility and style.