on April 6, 2010
This dock is simple and functional. Package contents are not mentioned clearly anywhere. So I am listing them.
1. dock (has on/off switch, activity indicator light)
2. power adapter (110-240 V)
3. Usb cable
4. esata cable
I am happy that it came with esata cable. Also I like the fact that activity indicator light is not very bright.
on December 30, 2009
Simply put it works. Set it down, plugged it into my Win7 x64 machine via provided USB cable, plugged the dock's power adapter in, dropped in a 750gb sata drive, turned it on, turned on my computer, all good and perfect. Computer recognized the external hd automatically and has been happily letting me do all kinds of work, copying, tests, etc. on it. Not a single glitch or complaint. No esata port to test it on, so can't speak to that function.
on September 28, 2010
We bought 5 of these to use in a tech center, and 3 of them ended up having power issues. We have to hold or tape the power cable a certain way so that it would hold power.
We were wondering why the drive would loose power half way through a backup, and the reason was the power connector on the base flaking out.
on December 23, 2009
It is simple to use. Works as expected. It has all accessories (eSATA and USB cables). I was doubtful about the capacity it supports before purchase - spec says 1TB or 2TB max. But it works with my 1.5TB HD well.
on August 30, 2010
After reading the reviews and watching the price continually go up every time I checked on it, I quickly jumped on this and picked up three of them. One is for my computer at home, one for my computer at work, and one for my son's computer.
I was looking for a good eSata docking station plus hard drive to replace my aging external USB drive that I use to transport data between home and work. I was drawn to this one because I had never tried eSata before and this one gave me the option of doing USB in case the eSata didn't work. It was also less expensive in the long run than buying multiple eSata external drives.
I bought a 3.5 inch HDD to use with this. The eSata on this works very fast and I am happy with the speed. It came with two cables: an eSata and a USB cable. The eSata appears solid, but I don't have enough experience with other eSata cables to say whether or not it is well built. The USB cable is your typical low quality USB cable with metal connectors, no ferrite core and a fairly skimpy insulator. I've got 4 high quality USB cables (thick insulation, gold plated, some with ferrite cores) and have been able to get things to work using those cables when it didn't work with the kind that came with this dock. But I digress.
I do have some concerns and some gripes with this dock. The first is that the drive doesn't snap into the dock or feel snug at all. It leaves about 1/2 inch between the drive and the front of the dock. On my first day of using the docking station, my desk was bumped (minor bump) and it caused the drive to lean forward in the dock, disconnecting inside the dock and locking up my computer. I have since made sure that the drive is pushed FIRMLY down, but there's no locking mechanism to hold it, nor any indication that I've pushed it in far enough to avoid having this happen. The drive still rocks back and forth in the cradle no matter how firmly I push on it. If somebody were to bump the drive from the back side, there's a good chance it would disconnect again.
The second is the logistics of moving the SATA drives back and forth between the two docks. I hadn't considered that the back of the drive is exposed. So as long as you don't touch the circuit board, there shouldn't be a problem. I'm finding that I have to use my static shielding bag while transporting the drive to and from work. I think an external eSata drive with two power supplies may have been a better choice for this purpose.
I also do not like the fact that the dock stays powered on when the computer is off. My external USB drive that has its own on/off switch automatically shuts off the LED when the computer powers down, but this docking station does not do that so I have to shut off the docking station as well. And then I have to remember to turn it back on before I boot up my computer again.
There was also an unexpected problem with the computer. I was expecting this to be a hot dockable drive that I could plug in when I wanted to use it and just select 'Safely remove hardware' and disconnect it when I was finished, just like my external USB drive. But my machine treats it like an internal drive, so I had to configure my bios to recognize it. I have to power up the machine with it plugged in, and to remove it I have to power down the machine, then shut off the docking station, then I can remove the drive. That's a hassle I can live with, but one I didn't expect. Your experience with your computer may vary. My son's computer treats it as an external and he can tell it to safely remove.
There is no cooling mechanism built in, as many external hard drives have. But I knew that before I bought this and that's why I chose a green drive instead of a high powered (and hot) drive.
Overall, I'm satisfied with the product in that I'm not going to return it. But I think I'd take another look at other ones to find an eSata dock that holds the drive better.
on May 26, 2010
This is a great solution if you have to deal with several HDs and don't want to buy an enclose for each drive. It also works great if you have to install, backup, swap out or in any way have to configure computers and hardware.
The base is well built, solid and both 3.5 & 2.5 drives fit in without any adapters. This way you can quickly swap out drives, but even if you use it just as one external drive the unit stands pretty solid and safe.
The connectors on the back are from the power supply, a USB and an eSata. It also has a On/Off switch which it handy when you charge drives.
I was positively surprised that it came with both a USB and an eSata cable. I didn't expect the eSATA cable. The eSata connection is signifcantly faster then USB. USB usually maxes out at a little over 20 mb/sec. With the eSata cable I get twice that speed easily, but depending on the HDs used it can go even much higher.
I'm very happy with this dock, it works great and reliable so far. It works much better and more practical that other solutions or adapters.
on January 27, 2010
I tried a similar device by a different manufacturer before I purchased this dock -- but the other dock broke after about 15 minutes of use. I'd never heard of StarTech before, but this dock just keeps going, and going, and going...
I like keeping an offsite backup of our home computer's data (for assured survival of home movies, family pictures, etc.), and this dock (along with a couple of bare SATA drives) helps me with that. Plus, this approach is pretty much "future-proof" -- when I need more space, I can upgrade the drives and sell off the current ones easily.
on June 19, 2013
We use Time Machine on our macs to backup our computers and this makes it easy. First, you can just plug a drive in, plug the usb in and you're good to go. Second we can easily use different drives for different computers since it's so easy to swap out. This would also be perfect for anyone use has to archive stuff and then store the drive somewhere safe. Photographers would love this, anyone with important documents (accountants, attorneys, videographers, etc).
This also comes in handy when I need to transfer data to a friend or co-worker. If it's not small enough to fit on a usb stick they can bring a HD over, I plop it in and copy everything and it's quick and easy.
Warning: If you're swapping drives make sure the drive has fully spun-down before you pull it out. It could damage the drive and it's very odd to hold a spin harddrive. :-)
on January 14, 2012
This dock works great, and looks decent doing it.
I've tried it on a WD 3.5" 1TB drive, a Hitachi 2.5" 160GB drive, and a Kingston 96GB SSD so far, and they all work great.
The stand is stable for either 3.5" or 2.5" drives (although it may not be stable for slimmer versions of either size). Standard size drives are perfectly stable in the dock, and you could always put something in to shim slimmer drives.
I am able to hot swap drives that do not contain a master boot record. Drives that contain an MBR fail when I attempt to safely remove them. I'm not sure what the consequences would be if I removed them anyways, but I'll stay on the safe side. I only notice this because I keep bootable backups of 3 PCs on hand, and that's what most of my extra drives are.
I bought this to add more storage to a SFF HTPC, without having to drop to USB 2.0 speeds, or having to upgrade to USB 3.0. Working great for my purposes. I may get another dock for my other HTPC to make transfers faster.
My one and only gripe is that the eSATA port on the dock is a little loose allowing the cable to become unplugged easily if the dock is moved. In fact, when I first hooked it up, my pc didn't recognize it until I realized that the cable needed to be reseated. It's not so loose on the computer end on either of my PCs.
on June 21, 2012
Works as it should - so far no problem.
I like a big LED function-indicator.
eSATA / USB cable also included. Good price.
The only minor cons (not to worry about) is the fact that the build quality more on the cheap side, not solid enough for this important mission; like very important back up of very important DATA . Whole house contraction made of thin plastic...not a single metal part, even for decoration ;)
Have to be very careful when insert/change HDD's ,coz there is no alignment support inside the dock.
Overall it works like a Swiss clock and this,I think,is the most important factor.
I don't know for how long it will perform under constant stress, coz I use it as a scratch Drive with very heavy apps, like Adobe After Effect CS3, Adobe PS CS3 ,etc. plus occasional data back up. One month - not a single problem yet.