The Bottom Line
As the flood gates open for USB 3.1 devices, the storage market has been rather active in getting solutions to market. One of those vendors happens to be Vantec, a company that has enjoyed great success over the past decade with its NexStar line-up of external storage enclosures.
The latest in a long line of NexStar solutions, is the NexStar 3.1. Internally, the NexStar 3.1 uses a SATA III connection so it maintains wide compatibility across drives, while maximum capacity for the enclosure is listed at 2TB. Externally, Vantec has deployed the enclosure with a USB 3.1 Type-A connection, allowing backwards compatibility with USB 3.0 and 2.0 Hosts. Operating system compatibility extends to Windows 7+ along with OS X 10.6+.
MSRP of the Vantec NexStar 3.1 2.5" enclosure is listed at $24.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging for the NexStar 3.1 gives us an image of the enclosure on the front, while to the right, we find a SuperSpeed+ logo.
Scope of delivery includes the enclosure, the installation guide and Type-A cable.
Looking over the product, the design hasn't changed much since the NexStar 6G we looked at earlier this year. Apart from some screen printing, we still have the aluminium exterior for durability and plastic cage to save costs.
Looking at the edge of the product, we have a micro B connector and activity LED at the top.
Internally, the enclosure is quite clean, with just a small PCB at the top.
In testing the NexStar 3.1, we used our always reliable Intel 730 SSD. As you can see, the NexStar 3.1 did quite well, taking over top honors as the quickest 2.5" enclosure we have tested, of course thanks to its USB 3.1 technology.
Moving over to OS X 10.10, the NexStar 3.1 was equally as impressive producing 437 MB/s read and 403 MB/s write, slightly quicker than similar solutions we have tested on the OS X platform.
The NexStar 3.1 is a rather simple solution for those that want to take their inactive 2.5" HDD or SSDs and use them as backup or additional portable storage. For those that have a capable USB 3.1 motherboard, they will be able to get the same performance externally that they would see if their drive was hooked up in its native setup.
Build quality for the NexStar 3.1 is a mix of solid materials as seen with its aluminium exterior, while the internal plastic chassis allows a lower cost while being plenty of protection for the drive inside it. Performance, as stated previously, was quite good as we reached over 475 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write in our windows testing, while moving over to OS X, we found the NexStar equally capable as it reached 437 MB/s read and 403 MB/s write.
Overall, the NexStar 3.1 is a one of a kind storage solution as many vendors have yet to release their USB 3.1 products. Pricing for the NexStar 3.1 has it carrying an MSRP of $29.99 with a one-year warranty, making it a very attractive solution in today's market.
|Quality including Design and Build||81%|
|Bundle and Packaging||75%|
|Value for Money||92%|
The Bottom Line: Vantec's Nexstar 3.1 represents a budget friendly external storage solution built with the latest technology has to offer for solid performance.
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