A video storage solution – Voyager Q Drive Dock

June 9, 2010 · Posted in B-Roll · Comments Off on A video storage solution – Voyager Q Drive Dock 

Through the South Florida Final Cut Pro Users Group, I got my hands on this new drive dock.

It looks like a toaster.

For small slices of bread.

The NewerTech Voyager Q drive dock is a quad-interface external drive dock that takes bare SATA drives in a slot on top.

It has a lever on the front, a slot on top, and a black-and-silver kitchen appliance color scheme. Just like your toaster.

But unlike your toaster, the Voyager dock has two firewire 800 and one firewire 400 ports, an SATA port, and a mini USB2 port. You can use the firewire interface to boot your Mac.

It takes both 3.5″ desktop and 2.5″ notebook SATA drives – and you can hot swap them.

If you’re a drive junkie always looking for your next fix of free space, this dock is terrific. You can order bare drives in bulk and pop them into the dock like your morning pastry. Less shelf space to worry about and much cheaper than buying external drives.

The day OWC sent me this dock for review, it saved me a lot of grief. The video card in my Mac Pro went out, leaving me in the dark. I was lost. I needed happy hour at the Genius bar. But first, I needed to clone my precious boot drive before taking the computer into the Apple store.

I hooked the Mac Pro to my laptop’s firewire 800 port and put the tower into target mode, and then plugged the Voyager dock into an Express Card eSATA adapter.

I fired up Carbon Copy Cloner and put it to work. It started copying at about 100 gigs an hour. Did the job quickly.

Later, I used Black Magic’s speedtest.app to check the speed of a Hitachi 1TB 7200rpm drive in the dock. With an ESATA connection, it reports 96.3 MB/s read and 97.8 MB/s write. With a firewire 800 connection, it reports 83.6 MB/s read and 58.5 write speeds.

It has the look and feel of most Chinese electronics… ABS plastic, and a little unpolished. But it pops the drives in and out just fine and the interface ports work great. In what must qualify as a modern miracle, it comes with all four cables: firewire 800 and 400 cables, sata, and usb cables. Its brain is an Oxford 934DSb chipset. It uses an auto-switching, UL-listed, external power brick that puts out 12 volts/3A from 100-240v, 50/60 Hz power. It has a one year warranty.

The specs at http://eshop.macsales.com say that it has data transfer rates up to 3.0GB/s; that it is RoHS Compliant and CE approved, and that it is roughly 4″ x 6″ x 3 inches. It has an LED on the front that shows blue when the power is on and flashes red when the disk is busy. It’s just as silent as the drive you put in it, since it has no fan or other moving parts. It will take up to a 2.0TB drive.

Mac accessories retailer Other World Computing, at http://macsales.com, is selling the Voyager Q for $89.99 and is offering it bundled with drives as well.

(I’m not being compensated for this review and have no connection with OWC nor NewerTech.  I liked the dock enough to buy the review unit at full price.)

(Originally posted November 16, 2009)

  • Filthy Lucre: I don’t control what ads run here… caveat emptor