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Vantec NexStar HX USB 3.0 Edition External Storage Enclosure Review

Vantec NexStar HX USB 3.0 Edition External Storage Enclosure Review
We check out the revamped NexStar HX from Vantec. The last time we looked at it, it included eSATA. This time the new model gets faster USB 3.0 support.
By: Tyler Bernath | Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Sep 7, 2014 2:15 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Vantec

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Back in March of this year, we took a look at the NexStar HX eSATA model. Turning the clock forward a few months, we are now back in the lab with the latest from the NexStar line-up, the HX with USB 3.0 support.

 

The NexStar line-up of storage enclosures seems to be one of the most popular coming out of the lab at Vantec. It seems every few months these solutions get a refresh, whether it's the internal components used, or a new outer shell. The difference this time around tends to be the hardware inside.

 

While the last HX was a decent solution, it topped out at 250 MB/s, so back to the drawing board and five months later, we have the latest HX powered by the ASMedia 1153e. Compatibility of the HX extends to Windows, OS X and Linux 2.6+.

 

MSRP of the Vantec NexStar HX is listed at $39.99 with a one-year warranty.

 

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Scope of delivery for the HX includes, a USB 3.0 cable, power adapter, and reading materials.

 

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This time around, Vantec has opted to produce the HX in two distinct designs. On the left, we have the bare aluminium model, while the right, we have the anodized black model.

 

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The backside is quite similar to the last model minus the eSATA port. Here we have the power switch up top, while the USB 3.0 port in blue as usual resides below.

 

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As you can see, the NexStar HX holds your standard 3.5" hard drive quite snug, and its tool less for easy installation.

 

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To test the performance of the HX, we installed a Seagate 600 Pro 200GB SSD. As you can see above, the performance of this revision is much improved over the 250 MB/s we peaked at with the original NexStar HX.

 

While the external design of the Vantec NexStar HX didn't change this time around, the internal components used make for a world of difference. By using the latest and greatest USB 3.0 controller available, the ASMedia 1153e, Vantec has put the HX in another storage tier. Build quality, like last time, is great - we still have the rigid plastic internals wrapped with aluminium for added durability.

 

Performance as you know by now was much better this time around. With the latest HX, we were able to touch 438 MB/s read and 398 MB/s write, much improved over the 250/250 we achieved last time with the eSATA version.

 

 

PRICING: You can find the Vantec NexStar HX USB 3.0 Edition 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 USB 3.0 Edition retails for $38.93 at Amazon.

 

Canada: The Vantec NexStar HX USB 3.0 Edition retails for CDN$40.99 at Amazon Canada.

 

 

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