Installing the Hornettek SHARK is relatively straightforward. First, slide out the plastic drive tray from the aluminum housing and slide your drive into it. Next, screw your drive into place with the provided drive screws.
After that, slide the drive tray back into the housing and use the small black screws provided to secure the drive in place within the enclosure. If you don’t do this, the drive tray will possibly shoot out of the chassis, as that brushed aluminum is incredibly slippery! Connect the USB 3.0 cable and you’re good to go!
The ideal use of the SHARK is to put a 2.5” drive in, plug it in, and then transfer data between multiple machines or carry it with you as a data storage mechanism without bringing your entire computer or laptop. It’s not really designed for hotswapping multiple drives, though you can do that if you want to.
For my own personal use, the Hornettek SHARK is a shared device on my network. It is currently connected to my HTPC, with all my media files are currently loaded on a 750GB 2.5” 7200RPM drive inside it.
But…I had one other use for it as well, and it was an absolute lifesaver in this regard. One of my family members has an old laptop laying around with a broken screen and a broken fan, causing it to shut down within minutes of booting to protect itself. The family member in question has since bought a new laptop, but they wanted their data from the old machine to be transferred. In comes the SHARK. I unscrewed the back plate from the old laptop, popped the drive into the enclosure, and bam – all their data was available to see again. Awesome! Prior to this I couldn’t get the machine to stay on long enough for traditional data retrieval methods.
The supplied USB 3.0 cable was a bit short to sit flat atop my case (full-tower). This is a non-issue for those with mid-tower cases or laptops, but if you have a larger case it is worth noting.
As with any storage device, the device with the highest performance to value ratio is usually the product people opt to purchase. So how did the Hornettek SHARK perform when put through a couple of benchmarks?
All benchmarks were performed with a Plextor M3 128GB SSD. The USB 3.0 cable was plugged into the Intel-Controlled USB 3.0 ports on the z77 chipset, with an Ivy Bridge 3570K processor.
The HDTune Read benchmark reads sequentially from the drive and records the results as the filesize grows.
The HDTune File benchmark tests a 500MB file, both read and write, and the secondary test also shows the drive performance during different block intervals.
ATTO benchmarks both the read and write performance of the drive with different block sizes.
Running at 180mb/s on USB 3.0 is admirable performance for such an inexpensive unit. I am impressed with the device’s ability to keep up with the big boys in the external hard drive space.
Another important feature of any external drive is whether or not it will still function adequately on older technologies it may not have been designed for. It is imperative that a device like this functions on a USB 2.0 platform, because if you take it to a friends’ house or place of business that lacks USB 3.0 connectivity, you don’t want to be without your data.
The device worked flawlessly, and for your reference, here are the same benchmarks run on the Intel-Controlled USB 2.0 ports.