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We have all been there trying to fix a dead computer long enough so you can back up your data. Sometimes the system can be recovered and sometimes the OS is just too far gone to do anything with. Of course all is not lost, in some cases you can reinstall the OS and recover your data however you always risk the chance that the reinstall will wipe everything out. Another option would be to install an OS to another separate drive and use that install to read from the broken disk. Alternatively you can move the drive to another computer and do the same thing. All of this is a huge hassle, so there has to be a better way.
And there is
In this review we will be looking at the Thermaltake BlacX duet. Duet is a simple product that resembles a standard portable HDD enclosure with the exception that the drives are not enclosed and the device is not so much portable. What the product does allow you to do is easily install SATA hard drives so you can transfer and/or backup data without cracking open your case. Then after the data transfer is complete you can simply eject the hard drive and move on to something else.
In keeping with most external HDD "standards" the Duet comes with both eSATA and USB connections and does require an external power source to operate. Any SATA drive can be installed including the 2.5" variety including SSDs. For larger drives the protective panel will swing away and allow the drive to slide in. The button to the right of the drive bay is used to eject the drive after it has been installed.
All cables and power adaptors are included so you won't need to scrounge up anything. Cables include a standard length USB and eSATA cable. Power is supplied by a standard 12v power adaptor.
Performance is similar to any USB HDD over USB 2.0. eSATA is a little faster but transfer and access time really depends on the speed of your drive. There is no software to install so after you have hooked up the BlacX and installed a drive you'll be ready to go.
The Thermaltake BlacX Duet is a high capacity update to the original BlacX allowing you to address 2 hard drives over the same connection and anyone having to deal with computer upgrades and repair will agree having access to 2 drives at once really helps.
For the computer enthusiast the Duet can make upgrading to larger hard drives extremely easy, simply fire up your favorite drive copy program, install the target and source drive(s), and copy away. When you are done take out the new target drive and you'll be set and ready to go. Along the same lines backing up data is almost effortless especially considering you can swap out drives with a push of a button. Having to do this with any other enclosure would require time and tools.
As you can imagine there are a few principal drawbacks to the BlacX. Given the open air nature to the device you will need to exercise some care to ensure you (or your pets) don't accidently "zap" your drives with an electrical shock. Under most conditions this won't be a concern but is always something you should consider.
And now the ever popular list of good things and bad things.
Ease of use Dual SATA drive access eSATA and USB support
Not really portable No real drive protection
Thermaltake BlacX Duet Review
Furious 5 of 5 http://www.hardwareasylum.com
We would like to thank Thermaltake for making this review possible.
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