Moving right along, the NexStar uses a similar flap system to the BlacX. When you’re using a smaller 2.5 inch SATA drive, the flap stays closed, revealing only the insert for that size of drive. When you plug in a full size 3.5 inch drive, the flap will drop and accommodate the larger drive. I can’t say that I’m pleased with the durability of the flap. The flexy nature of the plastic would snag on some drives during insertion and there were a couple instances where I was a little afraid to push the drive to lock it into place for fear of breaking the flap. But once you get it in there, it stays put. One thing that I didn’t like about the BlacX was the exposed back. Not everyone is careful with beverages and the NexStar has the same risk factor.
The release mechanism seemed solid and pushes the drive straight up. I actually liked the actuation of this system as it provided a much more positive ejection than that of the Thermaltake BlacX.
Plugs and Buttons
The front of the unit is adorned with a large on/off button that pushes to start. I don’t think you can miss that one. When in operation, the ring around the button glows blue, and the strip at the bottom acts as a drive activity indicator.
Moving around back, we see our USB 2.0 port an eSATA port and the connection for the power adapter. Sad to see that there is no Firewire 400/800 port for all those Mac users out there.
Overall, compared to the Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Dock, the NexStar does seem a bit lightweight, and seemingly less durable. However, the NexStar does seem to make up for it with a more logical front mounted power button, a better ejection system, and a far prettier presentation. Oh, and the inclusion of a higher speed eSATA port is nice too. Let’s move on to our performance testing and wrap this puppy up.
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