Over the last couple months we took on the mission of finding the perfect HDD desktop docking station. The first two products we looked at were low cost units that were only limited by the amount of bandwidth our motherboard was able to provide. After that we moved on to the Thermaltake BlacX 5G, another USB 3.0 docking station that included some great accessories, an extra long cable that made moving our test system from under the desk less painful and was also able to deliver amazing performance. Now that we've seen the best USB 3.0 has to offer, a new docking station has taken over our test bench. The Thermaltake BlacX Duet forgoes USB 3.0 entirely and sticks to a tried and true eSATA / USB 2.0 combination, but that's not what the duo in Duet is about.
Using eSATA's port replicator feature, Thermaltake managed to add another HDD dock to their standard USB 2.0 / eSATA docking station. This allows users to quickly add two raw hard drives to their system without cracking open the system's side panel. If you are a user who would like to swap one drive in and out of the system with ease, then most likely you have more than one drive to swap around. The best thing about the Duet, though, is that it still offers enough bandwidth to run the fastest SATA platter drives at full speed, just like USB 3.0 does.
Let's take a look at the full specification list for the Thermaltake BlacX Duet and see if this new, dual drive model is what we've been looking for.