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HDD docking station is an external HDD enclosure which offers greater flexibility against traditional HDD enclosure where it allows easy HDD swapping for faster file sharing. Today we will review HDD Docking Station from Sunbeam which is not only able to support 3.5" SATA HDD but also 2.5" SATA HDD too.
Sunbeam Company, a true art innovator in the field of PC modification and accessories at all aspect, targets on providing the top quality and state of art computer products to high tech PC users. We dedicate outstanding high quality control as our number one priority and deliver the products with the highest level of excellent Performance, as well as the coolest Innovation and an Appearance that draws your attention.
Sunbeam Company has manufacturing factories located in Dongguan City, China. In order to provide exceptional product quality combined with superior customer support, we keep updating and advancing ourselves to meet the diverse changes and increasing market demands. We strive to continue designing and developing ground-breaking, exciting, and appealing products as well as being the one stop resource and solution for all computer enthusiasts seeking to turn their ingenious visions into the coolest and fanciest reality.
SATA to USB / SATA to ESATA
Enables the direct connection of a SATA HDD or SATA II HDD to your PC
Suitable for 2.5" and 3.5" SATA HDDs
External interface: USB 2.0 (max. 480 MB/s)
Support USB / ESATA Hot Plug feature
132 x 94 x 69 mm
USB 2.0 Transfer Rate Up to 480Mbps
Supports: Window 2000 / XP / VISTA, Linux and MAC
HDD Dock x 1
USB Cable x 1
eSATA Cable x 1
12V/2A DC Adapter x 1
User Manual x 1
Package & Contents
Sunbeam HDD Docking Station comes with a blue rectangular box (~ 6.5" x 7.0" x 3.5") which looks alike with other Sunbeam products' packaging. On the front packaging box, there is a color indication of the HDD docking but as we know there is only black color available at this moment. At the back of the packaging box, it states some introduction, connectivity, and installation steps of this device.
Some accessories come along with Sunbeam HDD Docking Station are eSATA cable, USB cable, user's manual and power adapter. All the accessories including the HDD docking are all black color which looks a bit boring. Both the eSATA and USB cables length are around 40" which should be long enough.
Although Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is a simple product but a user's manual is included which contains package contents, introduction, features, specifications, installation and some Q&A to help users to troubleshoot and solve the issues instantly. The adapter of Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is a 100-240V adapter where it has 12DC output with 2A.
Sunbeam HDD Docking Station
The whole unit of Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is in black color and basically it is a rectangular size with dimension 130 x 90 x 65 mm (L x W x H). Sunbeam website doesn't state any weight of this device but it should have around 500 grams. Previously we have tested such HDD docking but Sunbeam HDD Docking Station has better feature as it also support eSATA besides USB 2.0.
On the front side of the Sunbeam HDD Docking Station, there is an eject button in front of the docking which is used to eject the connected HDD. Beside the eject button, there is a round LED to display the HDD accessing activity. The overall quality of Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is quite good than previous HDD docking that we have tested.
Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is very unique than normal HDD enclosure as this docking requires vertical HDD insertion. As Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is able to support both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA HDD, there is a HDD door to allow 2.5" SATA HDD installation without open up the whole 3.5" HDD insertion area.
At the back of the Sunbeam HDD Docking Station, it has total three connectors and a switch. The On/Off switch is a pretty interesting switch where it is a round button. The rest of the three connectors are power, USB and eSATA. Users just need to use either the USB connector or the eSATA connector as only one type of data transferring method is required.
At the bottom of the Sunbeam HDD Docking Station, there are four rubber foot pads to secure the docking on the surface. These rubber foot pads are working very well and able to avoid it moving around especially during operation state as HDD is a sensitive device which requires careful handling.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is a very simple docking where it allows users to install and uninstall the HDD easily no matter whether it is 2.5" or 3.5" SATA HDD. As we mentioned before that we have tested such similar HDD docking but the eject force is too strong where if the users don't hold the HDD probably during ejection, the HDD might bounced up and damage the HDD but we don't see this issue on Sunbeam HDD Docking Station which is good where the able to control the eject force for both 2.5" and 3.5" HDD.
Here is the LED lightning of Sunbeam HDD Docking Station. Blue LED once the HDD Docking Station is powered up and purple LED when the HDD is being accessed.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink: NorthQ Siberian Tiger Water Cooler
Memory: 4GB 800MHz DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: OEM Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
PSU: In Win Commander 1200W
Optical Drive: DVD RW HLDS
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2
Benchmark Software: Prime 95
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the HDD benchmark results with USB connection of a 80GB 3.5" SATA HDD and a 120GB 2.5" SATA HDD. Both of the benchmark results are quite similar and its speed also roughly similar with an ordinary HDD enclosure. We didn't include eSATA benchmark result here as eSATA is still not widely used yet especially for notebook but for an ideal case, its performance is around double these benchmark results. For the heat and noise, basically we didn't hear any noise that was generated during testing except the HDD operation noise and since Sunbeam HDD Docking Station doesn't comes with any closed enclosure, the HDD were just warm without overheated during the whole testing.
Overall Sunbeam HDD Docking Station is a very simple and unique product than other ordinary HDD enclosures. Sunbeam HDD Docking Station also supports both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA HDD which is a very good feature as most of the ordinary HDD will not able to support it. Besides that eSATA can be supported which has faster connectivity than USB 2.0. This HDD Docking Station suggested MSRP is around 39USD which is much cheaper than other similar products from other manufacturers.
* Hot plug
* Support 2.5" & 3.5" SATA HDD
* Support USB 2.0 & eSATA
* Good ventilation due to no closed HDD enclosure
* Bulky; not good for portable usage
Thanks to Sunbeam for providing this sample for us to review.
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