Installation and Use
I tried out the Kingston SSDNow V-Series 128 GB Solid State Drive Bob reviewed a while ago to see how this enclosure holds up. USB saw approximately 27.79 MBps (~222 Mbps) down, 23.75 MBps (190 Mbps) up. eSATA would likely be near native speed of 100 MBps (800 Mbps).
Be careful when using SSDs with the Blacx series, though: I found that the eject button has some kick to it and once sent the Kingston SSD about six inches into the air. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reproduce it for my video.
A caveat spread throughout the packaging and documentation warns the user that multi-mode SATA must be enabled in the motherboard’s BIOS settings in order to use both ports simultaneously through eSATA:
When utilizing eSATA interface, Port Multiplier feature is required on the host system’s eSATA controller for two hard disk drives to be seen at the same time. All USB supports Port Multiplier function.
I think the Blacx series appeals the type of users who are doing repair work or who are constantly rotating hard drives, either for backup or archival purposes. Video production folks who keep a hard drive for an event would certainly like this unit, as would a sysadmin who prefers hard drives to tapes.
The appeal to the general consumer is little—the Blacx series might be too “hard” for them even though it could potentially save some money. The fact that the hard drives are unprotected is a double-edged sword: easy access for you, easy access for your pesky, meddling cat. The Blacx Duet has an MSRP of $70, but can be had for around $45 at reputable on-line retailers.
Nonetheless, we do really like the ThermalTake Blackx Duet and give it a 9 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!. This one will be around for a while!
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.