Simplifies drive-swapping to the point of absurdity, sturdy base, unrestricted speeds.
USB-only, rear power-switch could be moved, mounting is a wee loose.
There’s really no better way to summarize our thoughts about Thermaltake’s newest, well—we’ll call it an enclosure, for comparison’s sake. In actuality, the BlacX is more the spaceport docking bay to your Millennium Falcon of a hard drive. Your storage apparatus of choice sits half-submerged in the BlacX itself, its tail pointed to the heavens. The drive remains “enclosed” by nothing more than the molecules of oxygen hovering around its bare exterior. It’s a little perilous of a situation and definitely a little goofy. But yet, it works!
Speed-freaks that we are here at Maximum PC, we found ourselves enjoying the absurd amounts of time we saved by using the BlacX over other storage enclosures. It’s a simple equation: placing a drive into the BlacX mounting apparatus takes one second at best, three if you’re clumsy. Every other enclosure we’ve seen requires some sort of physical disassembly of the chassis, a careful insertion and alignment of the hard drive with the obligatory SATA connectors, possibly a mounting screw (or four), and final reassembly. It’s a lot to type, even more to do if you plan on swapping hard drives on a semi-frequent basis.
Since the BlacX supports both 2.5- and 3.5-inch drives, it eliminates the need to carry two different enclosures around. You don’t even need a special adapter to make use of this awesome hybrid-ness. The adaptation is built right into the BlacX’s mounting mechanism. When we stress that the BlacX is as easy to operate as it is to face a drive downwards and set it on a stand, we mean every single word. For handiness, the BlacX gets a 10-Kick Ass.
That said, we’re still nervous when we see our expensive, data-filled hard drive just sticking into the free air like a duck’s butt when it bobs for food. We also worry about our increased chance of bumping, jostling, or otherwise touching the drive and damaging its contents—the very things protected against by an enclosure that, you know, covers the drive in some capacity.
After swapping quite a few drives in and out to test the BlacX’s connection—it doesn’t limit speeds in the slightest, to note—we realized that this is a risk we’ll just have to accept. Popping and remounting the drives is just too handy a process with the BlacX. It’s perfect for use in both our Lab and home “nerd rooms,” minus two little caveats: you’ll have to store your bare hard drives somewhere (in an enclosure, perhaps?), and you’ll be stuck with the device’s USB connection. A little eSATA would sure sweeten our hearts; our verdict, too.