Kingwin EZ-Dock
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 12-17-2008
Provided by: Kingwin
Pages:
Testing / Conclusion

The Kingwin EZ-Dock was tested for performance using a Seagate 7200.9 300Gb hard drive. Both interface types, USB 2.0 and SATA 3Gb/s, were used to ensure optimum data bandwidth. The HD Tune 2.55 benchmark measures read transfer rate and access speed.


When connected via USB the drive is recognized by Windows as the correct model, although SMART data (like temperature) is still unavailable. Typically a drive connected in this way will only appear as a generic USB volume. The USB interface averages just under 34MB/s throughput, or roughly 60% of its theoretical bandwidth. This is typical for USB 2.0 and on par with other hardware that use this transmission type.


Other than the cable connector, the eSATA interface is identical to internal SATA in specification and is expected to perform as well as any standard internal SATA drive would. Here we see it average 48MB/s which also matches previous benchmarks of this drive.


The EZ-Dock software CD includes installation files for PCClone EX Lite version 2.00.26, which enables the one-touch backup button. Unfortunately this software will not allow installation on Windows Server operating systems. It does however work with Windows XP and Vista.


Once installed, the PCClone icon resides on the taskbar, and can be configured to back up files/folders of your choice, either on a schedule or when manually initiated by pressing the button on the EZ-Dock.


After pressing the button, users are prompted to confirm the backup start.


A progress indicator shows the number and size of the files as well as the percentage of backup completed...


and a confirmation that the backup is complete.


Conclusion


Just like similar hard drive docks, the Kingwin EZ-Dock gives external storage devices a fresh new look. In addition to providing the same features as other drive enclosures, such as easy expansion and handy portability, the dock allows the user to quickly and easily switch between drives and even drive formats. Both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives are supported and the hot-swap capability allows the drive to be changed without powering the computer off. Being slightly larger than the Thermaltake/Sunbeamtech clones, the EZ-Dock offers greater stability and the added benefit of a one-touch backup option.

There is arguably slightly more risk inherent in having the drive exposed if you plan to use the EZ-Dock for traveling or moving from computer to computer. While there's not much chance of the drive falling out while the base unit remains upright, there's also no latch or means to prevent the drive from coming out if the base is knocked over or dropped. In such instances, having a permanent, fixed case around the drive may be the only thing that saves it from damage and your data from irretrievable loss. There's no flap to adjust the size of the opening for the smaller 2.5" drives, which means dust and debris can fall into the slot. Without the guide it could also be possible to damage the data and power connectors on either the drive or the base if a 2.5" drive is bumped hard enough.

The Kingwin EZ-Dock can be had for as little as $25 so it is significantly less expensive than other external drive docking stations. And the one-touch backup is a feature not found on some other units, which further adds to its value.

The Kingwin EZ-Dock gets the OCIA.net Seal of Approval.




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