It seems Vantec is one of only a few companies that consistently releases new solutions either into the storage market or the accessories market. Today's entry borders both markets as Vantec's latest solution enables USB 3.0 storage, networking and HDMI display.
The DSH-M100U3 is a multipurpose DisplayLink solution featuring USB 3.0 connectivity. While many of past docking station we have looked at were larger desktop units, this solution comes about as compact as possible. With its compact form factor functionality is limited, but Vantec has managed to include gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI connectivity.
Resolution support scales to a rather decent 2048 x 1152 over HDMI while using the included DVI adapter will net you a slight bit of loss down to 1920 x 1200. The USB 3.0 port on this unit does support the UASP protocol for quick transfers and lastly we have the gigabit Ethernet port that supports Auto-MDIX and full duplex connectivity.
Operating system compatibility extends to Windows XP+ and OS X 10.6+. The Vantec mini docking station DSH-M100U3 carries an MSRP of $79.99 with one-year warranty.
Packaging for the Vantec Dock includes marketing information across the bottom with an image of the device centered.
Additional features are listed out in several languages.
The scope of delivery includes a driver disk, HDMI to DVI adapter and the dock itself.
Taking a look at the dock, we have the USB 3.0 port on the side of the unit that sits next to what looks like a power input. An amber LED lights up next to this which indicated the unit is on.
On the end of the dock, we have a gigabit Ethernet port next to the HDMI output.
Above, we have the DVI to HDMI adapter that appears to be Dual Link capable.
In testing this docking station we first ran the gigabit adapter through. As you can see, we weren't quite able to reach true gigabit performance with this dock as it hovered around 650 Mbps for the full 30 minutes.
USB 3.0 performance for the dock was decent. We were able to reach 261 MB/s read and 258 MB/s write in sequential testing while adding queue depth netted us 212 MB/s read and 223 MB/s write.
Docking stations have seemingly become popular over the last few months, as I have seen everything from high-end Thunderbolt docks to mini docking stations like this Vantec come through the lab. While a situation like this is normally good for the consumer, at the same time, it does cause congestion in the market making it harder for consumers to choose.
The Vantec M100U3 is a well-built solution with a decent amount of features and at the same time bus powered. While one thing we haven't seen too much of is bus-powered solutions, it would have been nice to see this unit carry a bit more performance in both Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0.
As we seen in our quick tests, we were able to reach into the low 200 MB/s arena for USB 3.0 performance, which isn't terrible by any stretch, but I would like to see a bit more. On the networking side of things, we were only able to reach 650 Mbps in our testing, which quite honestly isn't gigabit Ethernet. Like many of these docking solutions, I wasn't able to fire my Qnix 2710LED Evolution with this DisplayLink adapter, due to its resolution limits, but I was able to power up my 1080p Samsung panel without issue.
Overall, the Vantec M100U3 is a bit hit and miss and is only worth it if you need a bus-powered solution. The Vantec mini docking station DSH-M100U3 carries an MSRP of $79.99 with one-year warranty.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z97-A - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 4770K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 750W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||82%|
|Bundle and Packaging||81%|
|Value for Money||78%|
The Bottom Line: Vantec's M100U3 is a decent docking station for those needing a bus powered solution. USB 3.0 performance is ample around 200 MB/s and the gigabit throughput while not full gigabit is still a bit quicker than the quickest wireless we have tested.
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