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CalDigit AV Pro 2 USB-C Storage Hub 3TB Review

CalDigit AV Pro 2 USB-C Storage Hub 3TB Review
Today we look at the second-generation AV Pro from CalDigit.
By: Tyler Bernath | USB Drives in Storage | Posted: Mar 16, 2018 11:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 86%Manufacturer: CalDigit

 

We see new products from CalDigit regularly, and the latest solution is the 2nd generation of the AV Pro. Those who have followed the storage channel here at TweakTown will know the original AV Pro was one of the first devices I reviewed after coming to TweakTown. Now almost five years later this solution has been updated with the latest technology.

 

 

The AV Pro 2 takes advantage of the USB-C connection compatible with both the USB and Thunderbolt 3 protocols while at the same time offering backward compatibility via legacy USB 3.0 micro-B connection. In addition, the AV Pro 2 supports 30W of power output to a supporting notebook or MacBook while providing two additional ports of USB connectivity via a rear mounted hub.

 

This unit does support the UASP protocol for higher performance with marketing specifications showing 200 MB/s for HDD models and 430 MB/s for SSDs. This unit supports macOS 10.8.4 and Windows 7+ out of the box and comes in 3TB through 8TB HDD versions along with 1 and 2TB SSD models.

 

MSRP of the 3TB solution in-house comes in at $249.99 with a one-year warranty.

 

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Packaging is standard for a CalDigit solution. Marketing information is displayed along the bottom with an image of the device in the center.

 

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The spine houses the full specification and compatibility list.

 

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Included in the package are two USB cables, one USB-C and one A to micro-B further we have the power adapter rated at 60W.

 

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The front of the enclosure hasn't changed much from the very first years ago. At the top, we have the power button and activity light combined into one with the drive tray below, locking with a hexagonal key. The entire enclosure is aluminum for both aesthetics and durability.

 

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The sides offer subtle branding to the otherwise empty aluminum.

 

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The rear I/O is quite busy starting with a Kensington lock on the far left followed by power input, USB-C, and USB 3.0 micro-B. The two ports in the middle are hub based ports that are followed by enclosure cooling.

 

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As standard, we find a Toshiba solution inside the AV Pro 2.

 

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Running our 3TB HDD based solution through AJA, we get 88 FPS read and 50 FPS write using 1080p ProRES.

 

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This moves to 22 FPS read and 18 FPS write ProRES with Ultra HD resolution.

 

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Moving over to something more familiar, we see the AV Pro 2 peak at 206 MB/s read and 206 MB/s write at 256K. The average appears to be around 200 MB/s from 64k to 4M and 180 MB/s 4M to 16M.

 

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Testing the USB 3.0 Hub on the back of the unit, I was able to get 425 MB/s read and 437 MB/s write from our BP5e SSD.

 

CalDigit has always produced aesthetically pleasing solutions in part due to the use of aluminum throughout most of their product lineup.

 

The AV Pro 2 hasn't undergone a massive change as far as the enclosure is concerned, apart from the technology upgrades and the revision to the rear panel, the rest of the enclosure is exactly as it was designed nearly five years ago.

 

That said, the aluminum construction does offer a good bit of durability to the unit. Capacity options have moved up since the introduction of the AV Pro, with 8TB being the peak of the HDD platform and 2TB SSDs available as well.

 

Performance of our HDD model was on par with marketing reaching 206 MB/s read and write and 88 FPS at 1080p and 22 FPS with UHD. The built-in USB 3.0 hub retained a good bit of performance through the chipset offering 441 MB/s read and 439 MB/s write QD1 giving us a good idea CalDigit didn't skimp on internal parts.

 

Overall, the AV Pro 2 does get a bit pricey with the 3TB unit selling for $249.99 MSRP and peaking with the 8TB at $449.99. The SSD solutions seem to be priced slightly more aggressive at $549.99 for the 1TB and $849.99 for 2TB.

 

That said we don't know what drives are used internally for the solid state models. Warranty information appears to state all models are covered with a one-year warranty, id like to see that pushed to three-years just to stick with competing solutions and in line with warranty of the internal drives used.

 

 

 

Tyler's Test System Specifications

 

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance87%
Quality90%
Features89%
Value79%
Overall TweakTown Rating86%

The Bottom Line: With the AV Pro 2, CalDigit has done quite well upgrading the platform into the latest technology without taking away from consumers that invested in the past.

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