This power supply is like a small sized laptop charger. It is rated for 12V / 3A (36W) and should easily be able to provide enough juice for two hard disk drives. Our sample unit came with UK power cord, but depending where you live, the localised power cords should come with the device.
Using the duplicator is easy. One simply plugs in the hard disks as seen in the picture. With both disks plugged in, the device takes quite a bit of space and the disks are not very firmly connected to the device. This means that even a small knock can interrupt the cloning process as the drive can easily get loose from its connection to SATA connector. I’d have liked to see some sort of safety system to avoid the accidental unplug of a drive. You can watch the cloning process from the progress bar. Once the progress bar hits 100% and the entire bard lits solid, the process is done and both hard disks should have the same data in them.
We did two tests with the device. First one is a simple cloning a hard disk test with 320GB drive full of random data. We measured the time needed for process (in minutes). Time consumed for cloning larger or smaller disks should be linear. Second test is with using the dock as a USB HDD with the same 320GB disk attached into it.
320GB drive was cloned in 68 minutes which isn’t that bad considering it has quite a lot data in it. Roughly over an hour seems like a good deal to back up your computer, as reinstallation of your machine easily takes at least multiple hours. In USB transfer speed the drive came up with reasonable 29MB/s. It’s not the best result we’ve seen, but considering the docks main function is to be cloning service, the transfer speed isn’t something to worry about. Consider it as a bonus – not a main feature.
Being easy to use device with enough features for what it does the Startech Portable eSATA USB to SATA HD Duplicator is very nice product for those who need to duplicate / backup their drives. Duplicating a drive takes quite some time, but does not require any user actions during the cloning. We used the device multiple times during our review and did not encounter any problems with cloning. However, we would have liked to see some sort of way to avoid accidental remove of hard disk from the device. Priced around 70€ the duplicator isn’t for everyone, but those who need to duplicate their disks often will most likely appreciate a easy to use device like this.
+ Simple to use
+ Can act as USB HDD
- Hard disks connection to the SATA connectors is a bit loose
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