Today, I have in house, what in my mind is one of the best devices to come out of the factories at Vantec. Now you all know Vantec for its successful NexStar line-up, but in addition to those devices, Vantec has been creating hot swap solutions for ages. Their latest takes two technologies and melts them into one device, the Hybrid Mobile Rack or EZ Swap EX.
With the EZ Swap EX, Vantec has taken the next step offering a 3.5 inch case mountable rack with the full complement of SATA III and allowed for the device to be docked by the slimmer and portable 2.5 inch enclosure that carries both SATA and USB 3.0 connections.
This allows for your backup storage solution to be mounted in your PC for quick backups at home, and then removed for you to take it on the go and accessed through USB 3.0. The EX Swap EX is compatible with all modern Windows operating systems, along with Mac OS X 10.6+. Warranty for the EZ Swap Ex is listed at one year.
The scope of delivery for the EZ Swap includes the installation guide and SATA power to Molex power adapter. Then we have the rack itself in the upper left and next to it the portable enclosure.
A closer look at the mobile rack shows the slot in which the smaller enclosure slides in, and to the right an eject button.
On the back you can see the Molex or floppy power connector, as I call it, and the SATA connection is to the right.
Here we have the portable enclosure, in size it's comparable to most external drives that I have seen from ADATA, WD and Seagate.
On the backside of the enclosure you will find the USB 3.0 connection, and to the left the hot swap SATA connections for the mobile rack.
GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^
Here we installed our 256GB Neutron from Corsair into the EZ Swap EX enclosure.
To test the capabilities of the EZ Swap EX, we utilized our Corsair Neutron 256GB SSD on our Z77 chipset based motherboard.
In this configuration, we have the Neutron installed in the portable enclosure, which we have then docked into the mobile rack. As you can see, we haven't suffered any loss of performance by using the dock.
Above, we have the results from the USB 3.0 testing. Here, just using the portable enclosure through USB 3.0, you can see the EZ Swap did quite well at 356 MB/s read and 366 MB/s write in both sequential and large block random read/write.
Like I had stated in the beginning, I feel this is one of the best product to come out of Vantec in quite a while. Having the ability to take your storage with you on the go and dock it when you're at home is a great feature, and one I myself could use on a daily basis.
The build quality of the mobile rack is exceptional with it most of the construction done with steel. The portable enclosure, made from plastics could use some strengthening, but overall is done well.
Performance, as any of you can see above, is quite good. In both aspects of testing, we came up with some pretty good numbers. It was also good to see no performance loss from using the device.
Pricing at the time of writing is set at $39.99 for the full kit at many online retailers. There is also the option to add portable enclosures to your order for an additional cost of $28.99 per unit.