For those of you that have stacks of hard drive laying in archive, the single greatest invention to come in the last ten years is the docking station. There is also no shortage of these solutions, as each manufacturer has put their own personal spin on it.
The MB981U3S is the latest in ICYDOCK's EZ-DOCK line-up of, you guessed it: docking stations. The ICYDOCK MB981U3S is single bay docking station that offers dual connectivity through eSATA at 3Gbps and USB 3.0 at 5Gbps. With support for both 2.5" and 3.5" SSDs and HDDs, the EZ-Dock employs a unique two part dust cover to keep the internals clean. ICYDOCK warranties the EZ-Dock for a period of three years.
The scope of delivery for the EZ-Dock includes both the eSATA and USB 3.0 cables, along with a low profile power adapter.
Looking over the EZ-Dock you will find the uniquely designed drive eject lever to the left with the power button centered on the top of the dock. Also notice the two part dust cover.
On the back of the EZ-Dock you will find the eSATA and USB 3.0 connections with the power to the far right.
To test the capabilities of the ICYDOCK EZ-Dock, we utilized our Corsair Neutron 256GB SSD on our Intel Z77 chipset based motherboard. Benchmarks of choice were ATTO Disk Benchmark, CrystalDiskMark, along with our custom DiskBench testing.
ATTO allowed for the EZ-Dock to reach speeds of 270 MB/s read and 256 MB/s write using USB 3.0.
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CDM results were similar to what we found with ATTO. We were able to reach speeds of 270 MB/s read and 253 MB/s write.
In DiskBench testing, we had the chance to compare the EZ-Dock to the highly successful BlacX 5G from Thermaltake. Above you can see the ICYDOCK came in just short of 200 MB/s, just behind the 220MB/s of the Thermaltake device.
When we get right down to brass tax, you will find that docking stations are never the most glamorous storage solutions. In fact, most docks that are pushed out these days share the same features and in most cases use the same underlying components. Simply put, devices like docks are meant to be a quick option when you need to throw a drive in to retrieve data. So, that leaves most users just wanting good build quality and the very best in performance. These two categories is a place where ICYDOCK has always tended to excel.
When first putting my hands on the EZ-Dock, I could tell there was some thought put into the design. I really enjoyed that the eject lever actually worked, even on 2.5" drives, and the uniquely designed dust cover did not negatively affect putting drives in. Additionally, the power button worked without a hitch, like a well-oiled machine.
Performance of the unit was on par with what I expected. Now, we didn't set any records today, but 200 MB/s isn't anything to be ashamed of and is certainly plenty for most users.
At the time of writing, I was able to find the ICYDOCK MB981U3S at many online retailers for a price of $49.99, a price that makes this a full $20 cheaper than the comparable BlacX 5G from Thermaltake, and a true bargain for anyone in the market for a simple, straight forward storage docking station.