Vantec NexStar TX Enclosure and Dual-Bay Dock Review

Vantec NexStar TX Enclosure and Dual-Bay Dock Review

Vantec launches a full lineup of value based storage appliances in the NexStar TX series. We take a look at the enclosure and dual-bay dock.

| Jan 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm CST
Rating: 83%Manufacturer: Vantec

Introduction

VIEW GALLERY - 17 IMAGES

Vantec always seems to keep their product lineup fresh revolving in new technology to replace the old and today that's just what we have.

We have seen many solutions over the years from Vantec's MX, HX, and CX product lines. Today they introduce a TX branding to their portfolio with two enclosures taking care of 2.5" and 3.5" operations and a docking station that too can house both form factors.

In this review, we will check out the performance of the dock and 3.5" enclosure leaving the 2.5" on the shelf since it shares its components and thus performance with the 3.5" solution.

The dock supports both 2.5" and 3.5" HDD and SSDs with a SATA 6Gb/s interface. This is branched out to a standard USB 3.0 Type-B supporting UASP for top performance. The 3.5" enclosure shares much of those specifications including the same Type-B USB 3.0 connection along with UASP support. Both solutions are compatible with Windows 7+ along with OS X 10.6+.

The MSRP of the Vantec NexStar TX 3.5" Enclosure comes in at $21.99 with a one-year warranty, and the MSRP of the Dual Bay NexStar TX Dock comes in at $29.99 with a one-year warranty.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

Vantec NexStar TX Dual-Bay Dock

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Packaging for both these products is similar. For the dock, we have a bit of marketing surrounding a rather illuminated blue box that carries an image of the dock on the front.

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The back has a features list just below we find the specifications.

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The scope of delivery includes a manual, power adapter, and USB 3.0 cable.

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A quick look at the dock shows us it's not much different from similar solutions. Each slot has its own LED for activity to the left.

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The backside houses a rather simple I/O with just power input and USB 3.0 connectivity.

The Performance

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I tested the dock as I do any external solution that requires I supply the drive. We simply slap in a freshly erased SSD into the system, in the case of these two solutions from Vantec, a Seagate Nytro Client LM140 512GB. In our first run through, the dock was more than capable and reached 415 MB/s read and 410 MB/s write in Flash Bench.

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Moving over to CrystalDiskMark, we topped out at 396 MB/s read and 388 MB/s write at QD32.

Vantec NexStar TX 3.5

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The enclosure shares it fluorescent blue packaging with marketing information tucked away in the bottom right corner.

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The back has features listed in several languages along with a specification list to the left.

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With the enclosure, we received a power adapter and USB 3.0 cable along with a small screwdriver and drive screws.

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The exterior of the TX has a single-piece aluminum shell with the internals comprised of plastic.

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The backside houses a rather simple I/O with just power input and USB 3.0 connectivity.

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The tray area is large enough to accommodate any 3.5" drive, but it does not have mounting for 2.5" drives.

The Performance

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Flash Bench is where we started, again with the same Seagate SSD. Read and write started off around 390 MB/s but moved up to 400 MB/s from 8M through 512K.

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Above, we have the results from CDM. We reached 389 MB/s read and 387 MB/s write giving this solution plenty of throughput for any mechanical drive you wish to install.

Final Thoughts

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When Vantec sent the email asking if I would like to check out their latest enclosures, I thought they were ready to launch a new USB 3.1 or USB-C series. While that didn't happen, the TX lineup carries a good amount of variety for anyone wanting to make use of a spare drive on a budget. I would say the durability is going to be higher for the enclosures with both having aluminum exterior shells while the docks are top to bottom plastic.

The performance will be plenty for anyone using a hard drive in any of the models. Each of these solutions use a SATA 6Gb/s interface allowing you to get the most out of your drive, which was the case in my own testing. I was able to reach 400 MB/s read and write with both solutions, although the dock will have some performance issues if you are accessing both drives at the same time.

Overall, the pricing is what really makes both of these solutions fantastic options for slapping in an old drive and using it as backup or even game storage.

I was able to find the NexStar TX 3.5" enclosure at $21.99 with a one-year warranty, and the Dual Bay NexStar TX Dock comes in a touch higher at $29.99 with a one-year warranty.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

Performance85%
Quality including Design and Build80%
General Features75%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money90%
Overall Rating83%

The Bottom Line: Vantec's NexStar TX series is a value-based approach to creating capable USB 3.0 solutions for consumers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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