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Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station
Author: Steven Kean
Manufacturer: Thermaltake
Source: Thermaltake
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November 02, 2010

Thermaltake is constantly looking at ways to implement the latest advances in technology. Back in 2008 they were one of the first companies to offer a USB hard drive dock, an innovation that allowed users to quickly access internal hard drives via a USB 2.0 interface. Now that "SuperSpeed" USB 3.0 is gaining in popularity, Thermaltake has a new dock to take advantage of the potential for transfers that are 10x faster than USB 2.0.

The Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 hard drive docking station supports a single hard drive or solid state drive, and connects it to the host system via USB 3.0. Not only does it take advantage of this one newer technology, but it also is compatible with SATA 3.0 hard drives, which promise a theoretical increase from 3Gbps to 6Gbps over previous generation drives.

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Before taking a closer look at the BlacX 5G USB 3.0 hard drive docking station provided for review, here are some of the features and specifications taken from the official product page on the Thermaltake website.

Features:

Supports USB 3.0 SuperSpeed - Maximum Transfer Rate up to 5.0 Gbps.
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.
Trendy Docking Station Design maximizes Heat Dissipation & Exhaust.
Windows & Mac OS Compatible.
Windows 7 - 32 & 64-bit Ready!
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).

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, Mac 10.3 and later
Material: ABS Plastic
Power: Input: 100-240V / 50-60Hz ; Output: 12V / 2A
Dimension: 136 (W) x 73 (D) x 88 (H) mm [5.35 (W) x 2.87 (D) x 3.46 (H) inch]
Accessory: USB 3.0 Cable
Power Adaptor: (CE, FCC, GOST R Certified)
HDD Silicon Jacket: 3.5" (x1) & 2.5" (x1)
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).

Packaging:

The Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 hard drive docking station comes in a box that is easily recognizable as a Thermaltake product. The outside of the box is designed for a retail setting and provides enough information on the product to get a perspective user's attention. The front of the box touches on the features, and provides a brief glimpse of what the BlacX 5G is capable of. The side of the box (the picture on the right) presents a nice chart to show what USB 3.0 is capable of.

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Inside the box, the BlacX 5G is found inside a plastic bag, partially nestled in a form fitted plastic foam layer. This combination keeps the drive safe and free from moisture.

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