Voyager Q makes drive docking dead simple
Hard drives start out a bit like babies: powerless and with a single standard connector port. But drives require a stable perch from which to read and write data -- they’re usually attached by screws to a computer case -- a specialized connection to swap that data, and a steady supply of electricity to work. For technicians building up new computers or rescuing old data, hooking up new drives ten times a day only to work on them for an hour or less can be a time-consuming annoyance at best. With NewerTech’s latest hard drive dock, the Voyager Q, all that work is rendered as simple as docking an iPod.
Stick a common SATA I or II type hard drive on end into the squat and solidly built Voyager Q, and the dock acts as an adapter, allowing you to connect it to a Mac or PC with USB 2.0, Firewire 400, 800 or eSATA interfaces -- your choice.
The dock requires no software installation, accepts both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch storage drives, and comes with all required cables. It was up and running a 1TB drive on our Vista x64 test machine within minutes of opening the box. With no fan, it’s nearly silent, save for the soft whir of spinning drive platters. Data rates of up to three gigabytes per second with SATA II drives make light work of huge data loads, while support for drives of up to 2TB drives should keep even pack rats satisfied.
Home users should stick with commercial external drives, which offer the full-time protection of an enclosure, keeping dust, dirt, and static at bay. But those yearning for a simple way to quickly deal with connecting and disconnecting drives may find the Voyager Q to be a convenience well worth the $100 price tag.
--Michael Fitzhugh, tech writer
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