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Thermaltake BlacX 5G USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station Review

ajmatson    -   October 6, 2010
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Closer Look:

The Thermaltake BlacX 5G looks almost identical to the original BlacX with the exception of a new power button and the re-placement of the eject lever. Other than that, they are twins on the outside. The BlacX 5G is designed to be an open dock, which allows you to quickly place a hard drive into the slot and start transferring.  This process does not require the removal of any screws, installation of a drive into an enclosure or even the repeat of such process with multiple drives.  Hence, the BlacX 5G makes copying data from multiple drives faster and easier then before. The open dock also helps fight the heat that normally builds up in a standard enclosure, since the design is completely open. On the front of the dock there is the logo and right above it on the top is the Superspeed logo with the power button. On the rear is the power port and the blue USB 3.0 port. To eject the drive safely, there is an eject lever on the right side of the dock. When you push it a set of gears and a lever slide the drive up allowing you to remove it without damaging the SATA power or data interfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the back of the dock is the connection area. To the left is the DC IN power plug port and to the right is the blue USB 3.0 port. When you look at the USB 3.0 port, you can see it closely resembles a 2.0 port with the addition of the bottom connector. If you look at the USB 3.0 cable pictured below you can see the split between the top and the bottom of the connector better. This allows the data to travel at "Superspeed" by signals running at full duplex over both sets of pins, giving you the faster transfer speeds. An older USB 2.0 cable can be used on the dock but, since it only has the single pair of wires, the dock will run at reduced speeds.

 

Looking down inside the dock, you can see the Serial ATA interface which provides the data and power connection. Next to the interface you can see the ejecting mechanism which safely allows the drive to be removed. Just as with other BlacX docks, the 5G can accommodate both 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch hard drives and SSDs. The flap that covers the interface adjusts based on what size drive is inserted, keeping it stable when spinning so that no damage will occur to the interface on the dock or the drive.

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To add even more protection to the drives Thermaltake has included two silicone sleeves which slide over the drives. This keeps them from being damaged when being laid down before and after being used in the dock. This also protects them when in the dock from falling or other debris. I found them to be very useful for keeping a tight grip on the drives when they are being inserted and removed from the dock.

 

Now that everything has been taken out and examined, we can plug it in and see how the USB 3.0 perform.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued
  3. Specifications & Features
  4. Testing
  5. Conclusion
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