The name is a mouthful, but this simple solution works well. (February 27th, 2009)
Product Manufacturer: Newer Technology
Price: $97.99 US
- Simple design. Easy to use. Good transfer speeds. No software required. Uses Oxford Bridge Chipset. Supports FW 800/FW 400/USB 2/eSATA.
- Pricey, but cheaper similar devices do not offer all four connection methods. Clunky power supply.
The Newer Technology Voyager Q Quad Interface Drive Dock is a small, desktop appliance that lets you put a bare hard drive, up to 2.0TB capacity, into the dock and connect it to your Mac or PC. You can use FireWire 400 or 800, USB 2.0, or eSATA, without the trouble of putting the drive into an external case. The official product name is harder to remember than the dock is to use: Newer Technology Voyager Q "Quad Interface" FireWire 800/400/USB 2.0/eSATA - SATA I/II Hard Drive Docking Solution
If you have many drives or spend a lot of time switching drives from one external case to another, the Voyager Q could be a big time-saver for you. Using the Voyager is very simple - you slide your drive, either a desktop (3.5") or a laptop (2.5") drive, into the slot on the top of the Voyager. After turning on the Voyager, you plug the appropriate cable into the back of the Voyager and plug the other end into your Mac. The newly installed drive mounts automatically on your Mac. There are no screws to lose and no fiddling with power connectors. When you are done, you unmount the drive, remove the cable from your Mac, turn off the Voyager, and push the lever on the front to unlatch the disk drive. A large blue LED button on the front is a good reminder to turn off the drive.
The whole procedure reminds me of using a toaster; put the drive into the slot, use the drive, and when you're done, push the lever to pop the drive out of the Voyager.
The Voyager is surprisingly heavy at the bottom. This makes it very hard to tip over. It also comes with an external power supply. It would make my desk less crowded if Newer had incorporated the power supply into the base of the Voyager, and it used a standard A/C cord for power. Such a heavy case may not have been needed with a more simple power supply, but I may be nitpicking. The sturdy case weighs in at 1.32 lbs and only needs a photo size corner of your desk (approximately 4" x 6").
If you work in a tech center, where you have to deal with bare drives and switch out a lot of drives, the Voyager is a no-brainer. For people with drives that they switch around between machines, or who want to copy disks for off-site backup, the Voyager is a simple solution and makes that easier.
The NewerTech Voyager Q "Quad Interface" FireWire 800/400/USB 2.0/eSATA - SATA I/II Hard Drive Docking Solution supports Mac OS 8 and 9, ac OS X versions 10.2.2 and later, plus a variety of Windows products. Newer also includes double-shielded FireWire 400 and 800, USB 2.0/1.1, and eSATA connecting cables to use with the Voyager, a nice touch considering most manufacturers no longer include cables. The best news is the device is plug and use, because it requires no special software and works flawlessly.
As of February 26th, you can find a number of Voyager Q Quad Interface bundles. Other World Computing has paired 500GB to 2.0TB Hitachi, Seagate, and Western Digitals drives with the Voyager Q for $149.99 to 379.99.
Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor