Kingwin EZ-2535W EZ-Dock Docking Station Review

ajmatson - 2009-01-21 08:21:21 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: February 1, 2009
Price: $24.99

Introduction:

If you are a hardware enthusiast like myself, you are always changing out your computer components, sometimes daily, and you need to be able to quickly transfer information from the hard drive of your old system to your new one. Sure you can hook the old drive up in your computer and reboot it, but what if you have multiple disks you need to either pull from or place information on? The best way to do this is with a computer dock that allows you to hot swap drives. Kingwin manufactures a hard drive dock named the EZ-Dock. Today we are going to be taking a look as the EZ-2535W, which is the white version of the EZ-Dock. The docking station gives you quick access to your 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives. It supports up to 1TB (750GB if Seagate) through either USB or eSATA interfaces for fast transfer speeds.

 

Closer Look:

The EZ-Dock comes packaged in a heavy duty box that protects it while being shipped or carried around. The front and back of the box have different views, including the interfaces on the back and how the drive looks with both a 2.5" drive and a 3.5" drive. The side of the box highlights the features and the specifications of the Kingwin EZ-Dock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening the top of the packaging, you see the dock sitting at the top. Below the dock are the accessories and the CD for the dock. Included with the Kingwin EZ-Dock is the manual, driver CD with backup software, power plugs, USB cable, and eSATA cable.

 

 

Now that everything is out of the box, let's take a better look at the dock up close.

Closer Look:

The EZ-Dock has a small footprint, which makes it ideal for your desk, especially if you are limited in space. The front of the EZ-Dock has two LED's, one for the power and one for the hard drive activity, and the "Back Up" button for fast, one-click backing up of your files. On the back of the dock is the power button, the power plug port, the eSATA port, and the USB 2.0 port. You can only have one connection at a time, not both; it has to either be USB or eSATA. Looking down on the dock you see where the hard drives get inserted; there is a port with the SATA and Power plugs together. There is no guide for 2.5" drives like the Thermaltake BlacX has, so use caution when inserting them so that you do not damage your drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a shot of a 3.5" drive inserted into the dock; notice how it sits upright and is secured in place. There are no fans or heatsinks to keep it cool; it uses ambient airflow to take care of the cooling instead.

 

 

Let's install the software and start getting on with the testing.

Closer Look:

The CD includes drivers for Windows 98, if you need them, however any later versions of Windows will automatically install the drivers for you when the dock and drive is plugged in, The CD also includes a backup program called PC Clone EX Lite. This backup software works with the dock for quick and easy backing up of your computer. To install the program, click the install button and select the install options you want. The installer will run through and prompt you when it is finished. Restart your computer and you are ready to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open the PC Clone EX Lite backup program, there are a series of tabs that you can choose. The first one is the Quick Launch button, which does the same as pressing the button on the dock, allowing for a quick backup of files that were previously selected. The second tab is the section where you select the files or drives that you wish to be included in your backups. The third tab is a simple file browser and the last tab is the settings tab for the backup program.

 

 

 

The backup software can be run either using the software itself or by pushing the Back Up button on the dock. The Back Up button will rerun the last backup settings that were selected in the PC Clone EX software.

 

 

Everything is finally installed, so testing here we come.

Specifications:

 

Model Number
EZD-2535
HDD Support
2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Drive
Dimensions
133 (W) x 123 (L) x 62 (H) mm
OS Support
Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista
Mac OS 10x & Above
Withstand Voltage
Input to output 1800Vac 3 sec.
Input to ground 1800Vac 3 sec.
HDD Capacity
Up To 1TB (Seagate up to 750GB)
Interface
USB 2.0 and ESATA

 

 

Features:

 Information provided from http://www.kingwin.com/product_pages/ez_dock.asp

Testing:

Since the Kingwin EZ-Dock is an external hard drive docking station, I will be running the same benchmarks on it that we use for external hard drive enclosures. These tests include HDTune, SiSoftware Sandra, and real world transfer times to the hard drive. To compare the results of the EZ-Dock, I will be putting it up agaist the Thermaltake BlacX (another external hard drive docking station), as well as a hard drive attached interally via the motherboard SATA connection. The Kingwin EZ-Dock has both USB and eSATA connections so the tests will be run on each interface. To rule out any potential interference with the scores, all hardware will be operating at their stock speeds, timings and voltages.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Enclosures:

 

Benchmarks:

 

 

HD Tune:

HDTune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

 

 

SiSoft Sandra:

Sandra is a benchmarking utility designed to test all areas of a computer system. Today I am going to use four tests that will measure the performance of the hard drive using each enclosure/dock.

 

 

 

Real Time File Transfer:

We will be transfering a 10MB, 100MB, and a 500MB zipped file to the hard drive and timing it using a stopwatch to measure how long it takes the file transfer to complete.

 

 

There was not much difference between the Kingwin EZ-Dock and the Thermaltake BlackX using USB, however the presence of the eSATA port was a substantial improvement with the EZ-Dock giving it a speed advantage.

Conclusion:

The Kingwin EZ-Dock makes transferring data to and from both 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives as easy as possible. There are both USB and eSATA connections available to you, which is great since eSATA is a lot faster and becoming a standard now for external data. Performance-wise, the Kingwin EZ-Dock was on par with the Thermaltake BlackX via the USB connection, however the presence of the eSATA allowed for faster transfer speeds. While not as fast as being connected to the internal SATA port, the eSATA speeds were a nice jump from the crawl of the USB speeds. Having the quick backup button is a great addition, that way you can just push it and go without having to set the backup software to run again; it just uses the last backup settings and runs with it. If you are like me, constantly transferring data from drive to drive or backing up multiple systems on different drives, the Kingwin EZ-Dock will make your life easier and faster with the eSATA connection.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: