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StarTech USB 3.0 2.5/3.5" SATA/IDE Hard Drive Docking Station Review

Upgrading your system with hot swap drive bays for quick access storage solutions.

Today I'm taking a look at the UNIDOCK3UGB USB 3.0 to SATA and IDE Dual Hard Drive Docking Station, a simple USB 3.0 device that anables you to hook up two 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives (one IDE and one SATA) by simply plugging them into the top of the device, removing the need to open up your chassis and manually wire up the devices.

This is very handy when you need to handle a lot of data between multiple systems, need to access extra hard drives for data backup, recovery or even just test procedures on a lot of drives. So lets take a look at what this smart little device has to offer.

Features

   • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 compliant host interface with supported data transfer rates up to 5 Gbps
   • Independent power buttons for each hard drive
   • Supports both 2.5" and 3.5" form factor hard drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD)
   • Dual bay top slot-loading design with drive doors
   • Drive Power/Activity LED indicators
   • Patented hard drive eject push-buttons for each drive
   • Supports SATA revision 1.0/2.0/3.0 (SATA 1.5/3.0/6.0 Gbps)
   • Supports 40 Pin IDE (3.5" and 2.5") with an additional 4 Pin Molex connector for power

The StarTech docking station comes with everything you need to connect the device to your system and the additional cables to connect IDE drives with. In the box you will find a straightforward operations manual, IDE connectors (both Data and Power) for 3.5" and 2.5" IDE drives, a DC power adaptor, USB 3.0 cable and the dock its self.

From the front of the device we see that its fairly simplistic in design yet still looks tidy enough that it wouldn't look out of place on top of your desk and its not exactly ugly to look at either thanks to its rounded corners and unobtrusive design.

Along the top of the dock we find there are two flip down covers when you can simple slot your drives into place. Next to those we have some eject buttons that pop your drive back out of the docks locking mechanism and finally a pair of HDD selection buttons, allowing you to toggle on/off either of the drives that you connect.

 

Around the back things are just as simple, we have the IDE Data and Power connections along with a USB 3.0 connection port and the DC-In for the included connection and power cables.

 

Setting up the device was as simple as plug an play and it doesn't take long to get it setup, powered up and put it to good use. Within 2 mins of opening the box I was able to have it connected to my Windows 7 PC, slotted in a 2.5" SSD that I had lying around and gain access to the files that I had backed up on there.

I also plugged in a 3.5" mechanical IDE hard drive, which I was then able to format and restore to its factory settings. This was very handy as I intended to use the drive in another system and all previous data had to be removed first.

With both drives connected the front HDD buttons allowed me to toggle on or off the power status separately for each drive. Very handy should you no longer need a device but need it later as the less times you have to physically plugin and remove a device the better in my opinion.

That's generally about it for this dock, while it may no be the most feature heavy device in the world, it was never intended to be. What it does do however is offer a rock solid solution to a simple problem that can really speed up your productivity and make your life a whole lot easier when you have to handle lots of storage and data devices. Being able to plug and play drives for backups, restorations, file transfers and more is a whole lot easier when you don't have to get your hands dirty and install them inside you PC. For that reason alone I highly recommend this product.