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Although we didn’t have a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive, we did have a Seagate Barracude 7200.10 SATA II 250 GB Hard Drive. We’ll be running benchmarks using HD Tach and comparing the results between USB and the faster eSATA.

USB 2.0 Peformance

Vantec NexStar eSata/USB Hard Drive Dock Review

The USB 2.0 performance was good, topping out at a 35.2 MB/s and averaging 34.8 MB/s. Random access times were 13.7ms while CPU utilization was a reasonable 10%. However, in the big scheme of things, it’s kinda slow, particularly if you are using it to transfer or backup large files.

eSATA Performance

Vantec NexStar eSata/USB Hard Drive Dock Review

Since eSATA basically puts out the same performance as an internal hard drive, it was no surprise when it blew away the USB 2.0 results. We had a max transfer speed of 119.0 MB/s with an average speed of 65.9 MB/s; nearly twice to triple the fastest speed that USB 2.0 could put down.

Final Thoughts

Vantec NexStar eSata/USB Hard Drive Dock Review

It’s pretty clear that the performance crown goes to the Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock. They were smart to include the eSATA onboard, which has yielded some very impressive results while USB provides mostly universal connectivity with most computers. Although the performance is there, the durability is questionable. The unit feels very lightweight and the flap for the drive dock seems flimsy. I would really like to see something more solid in the future. While doing that, the addition of Firewire 400/800 might open this product up to the Mac community as well.

Although the toughness is somewhat a question, it is clear that Vantec has done a great job with the cosmetics and the layout of the design. The ejection lever is solid and the front panel mounted on/off button is convenient. The drive activity indicator is also a nice touch. For now, the NexStar offers enough for me to let it walk away with my recommendation, but do be gentle with it.


  • Front mounted on/off switch and drive activity indicator
  • Positive ejection level action
  • eSATA offers high performance conveniently


  • Build quality is a little suspect
  • Exposed back can be a bit hazardous for habitual spilly talkers

Overall Rating: 9.0 / 10.0

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