The Thermaltake BlacX is a neat little USB-based hard drive docking station
that fills a gap left vacant by removable hard drive racks and external hard
drive enclosure systems.
The task of adding an extra hard drive while keeping it somewhat portable has long been relegated to
two devices, both of which require a lot of screws... Removable
hard drive racks take time to install into the PC
case, and until very recently the hard drive itself required a specialized caddy also.
External drive enclosures encase a hard drive just as
firmly, but allow the data to be moved from PC to PC with
greater ease, as long as things are within reach of a power socket.
What about external Serial ATA you wonder? True, e-SATA has greatly
simplified the process of temporarily connecting a hard drive to a computer,
but only within the last 6 months, and only for flagship motherboards, oh and
power is still an issue.
Thermaltake has devised a novel docking station that can be used to quickly connect one SATA I / II
3.5" hard drive or 2.5" notebook hard drive to any computer with an
available USB2.0 socket. The hard drive slides into the hot swap capable dock
without any tools, screws or transport caddy, and ejects with the push of a button.
If you happen to have the very sleek Western Digital RaptorX hard drive, the aptly name
Thermaltake BlacX makes a perfect way to
showcase that stunning bit of hardware hacking to your friends. The RaptorX hard drive
is the first ever commercially available HDD with a see-through top so you can watch the
drive platter spin, and read/write arm move rapidly to and fro.
||Thermaltake BlacX HDD
Installation Guide, Power Supply, USB
The Thermaltake BlacX (N0028USU) supports USB2.0 data
transfer speeds up to 480Mbpos, requires no drivers, and is Windows Vista and
Apple Mac compatible. A second version, model ST0005U,
supports both USB and
eSATA (with the obvious advantage that entails). IDE hard drives are not
supported by either model. The Thermaltake BlacX retails for approximately $39 CDN / USD
For techies who are constantly backing up entire drives, making images, or formatting new hard drives at work, the Thermaltake BlacX seems like the ideal solution to quickly accessing a bunch of different sized hard drives with minimal fuss.
The small black box is free standing, but does require a DC power supply to
function. It supports a single 3.5" SATA desktop or 2.5" SATA notebook hard
drive at a time. Data is transferred to the computer via a 480Mbps USB 2.0 cable
included in the package. The device measures 5"x3.5"x2.5" is size.
Rubber pads on the base prevent it from sliding around on the desk, and help keep vibrations from the drive from transferring. The manual covers set up and the basic operation steps, both of which are self explanatory in a device this simple.
The nice thing about the Thermaltake BlacX is that it accomodates different sized Serial ATA hard drives. The SATA
data and power connector is standardized, so really any sized hard drive or
device that has the hot swap SATA connectors will function with this unit. A
standard 3.5" desktop and 2.5" notebook hard drive are pictured as they
are when slid into the Thermaltake BlacX docking station. There's more to come,
so click next....