The NexStar line-up of products has been one of the most successful brands of external storage enclosures and docks from Vantec. Over the years, Vantec has expanded its line-up to include everything from single bay devices, all the way up to the quad bay HX series. Today, though, we are switching gears and looking at the latest solution from Vantec for the hard drive dock market.
It is safe to say that hard drive docks are pretty common these days, even companies that aren't dedicated to storage, offer such solutions. One area that I have seen grab a lot of attention lately is the HDD duplication market - in fact, I have a couple in house at this very moment. The basic premise behind a HDD duplicator is that it has the ability to allow you to clone a drive in a pinch, without the need of a PC.
The Vantec NST-DP100S3 does just that, but with the added functionality of being a standard USB 3.0 dock as well. This unit is compatible with current Microsoft Windows operating systems along with Mac OS X 10.6+. Warranty is listed at one year.
The scope of delivery here extends as far as including the user manual, along with a power adapter and USB 3.0 cable.
The front of the duplicator is rather simple to understand, with LEDs that light up to indicate progress and a bright green button to get the process started.
On the back we have the USB 3.0 port, power adapter and power switch.
Here we have chosen to duplicate our 1TB Seagate to our 2TB 2.5" Toshiba drive. Note that this process will only work as intended if the drive being duplicated has a smaller capacity than the target drive, in our case 1TB < 2TB.
After kicking off the process, we waited about two and a half hours and came back to the unit to check its progress. Here we have reached completion at 100 percent as noted by the LEDs.
To test the capabilities of the Vantec HDD Duplicator in its Dock configuration, we utilized our Corsair Neutron 256GB SSD on our Z77 chipset based motherboard. Benchmarks of choice were ATTO Disk Benchmark, CrystalDiskMark along with our custom DiskBench testing.
Here we see the dock was capable of putting up decent numbers in the 260 MB/s + range for both read and write.
CDM showed similar results as well with speeds of 268 MB/s read and 261 MB/s write.
Putting the NexStar dock against others we have tested, you can see it does quite well.
Vantec has done quite a good job with the NexStar HDD Duplicator. While the majority of the unit is built from plastic, the added aluminium shell does add a bit of durability to the unit, not to mention that Vantec has designed the duplicator so that the eject levers work for both 2.5" and 3.5" drives.
Performance of the unit was pretty darn good. To duplicate our 1TB Seagate that was packed full of data, it took just two and a half hours. In testing the USB 3.0 performance, we found the Vantec was capable of 270 MB/s read and write, which is plenty for your standard HDD, but left us wanting more with our Neutron installed.
List price of the Vantec NexStar HDD Duplicator is set at $69.99. Considering all it does, acting both as a USB 3.0 docking station and standalone HDD duplicator, I would say the price is on par with other comparable products.
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