Storage enclosures are one of the hottest items when it comes to backing up data or taking data with you on the go. It also happens to be one of the most saturated markets, as nearly every manufacturer is catering to the needs of end users.
In the lab today, we have the NexStar HX from Vantec. As stated in many reviews in the past, the NexStar name is the bread and butter of Vantec. With the HX, though, things have changed slightly. While older NexStar storage enclosures were typically made of plastic, the new HX uses a metal outer shell, which adds durability to the solution. On the back, you will find eSATA and USB 3.0 connections.
Compatibility of the HX extends to modern Windows operating systems and OS X 10.4+. Warranty is listed at one-year.
Scope of delivery includes both eSATA and USB 3.0 cables along with the power adapter and reading materials.
Looking over the enclosure, notice we now have a brushed metal exterior with a large cooling fan to maintain drive temperature.
The front of the unit houses a light bar down the center that illuminates a steady blue for power and blinks with drive activity.
Over on the back, we have eSATA and USB 3.0 connections, a switch for the fan, and, of course, the power connection below.
Removing two screws from the side of the enclosure allows you to open it up for drive installation. Internally, the layout is rather simple: flip up the retainer, slide in your drive, and flip down the retainer to lock the drive in.
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Above, we have installed our SanDisk X110 SSD into the HX for testing. In ATTO read, you can see the enclosure peaked around 275 MB/s, quite enough performance for any standard 3.5-inch HDD you would install.
Write performance for the HX was similar. We found the unit touching just over 250 MB/s.
Something new I will be adding to all reviews is price/performance. This should aide in purchase decisions. It takes into account the price for the enclosure and its relative performance. As you can see above, thanks to the excellent MSRP of the HX, the Vantec enclosure comes out on top by quite a margin.
I must say after spending a few weeks with the NexStar HX, it is quite the enclosure. Having installed many different drives into the device, including the 4TB WD Black, the fan installed in the enclosure does do a good job at keeping the unit cool. I found overall build quality to be equally impressive, and the outer metal shell, while adding durability to the unit, also adds a professional appeal.
Performance in our testing was decent; nothing too extreme, but it would do the job perfectly for its intended use with 3.5-inch hard drives.
MSRP of the Vantec NexStar HX sits at $39.99 with a one-year warranty. Current market pricing for the storage solution can be found below.
PRICING: You can find the Vantec NexStar HX for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Vantec NexStar HX retails for $38.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Vantec NexStar HX retails for CDN$44.85 at Amazon Canada.