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- Plethora of supported interfaces
- Supports any modern hard drive
- Sleek looking
- Drop-in hard drive mount
- No tactical indicator of successful drive mount
- Price is a bit high
The Bottom Line
If you’re like many in todays modern techno-family, then you have extra hard drives lying around your home. Additionally, with the low cost of hard drives today, there really is no reason not to have extras for archive purposes. Either way, NewerTech’s Voyager Q allows you immediate access to your data without any work other than dropping the drive into the Qs bay and double clicking an icon on your Desktop. Instant access with more ways to connect to your hard drive than James Bond ever associated with his Q.
Hard drives liter my draws, cabinets, and desk. They’re every where. Some are archived drives and others retired ones. Needless to say, accessing anything on them has required some work in the past with either mounting them internally in a PC or in an enclosure. Yes, there’s also many variants of the SATA/IDE to USB set-ups that can be used, too, but man, what a mess of cables that is. Thankfully, the folks at NewerTech live like me and desire a nice easy, clean, way of data retrieval. The Voyager Q has landed on my desk and what a relief it has provided. Can it offer your scrap pile of metal, platters, and silicon reprieve as well?
The Voyager Q accepts SATA I and II interfaces from either 2.5″ and 3.5″ sized drives allowing you to access both drives found commonly in laptops and desktops. Older PATA, or IDE, drives are not supported due to the difficulty of being able to connect to the many pins easily. When you turn the Q around, you’ll see six ports on the back. From left to right, they are DC-IN, eSATA, USB (mini), two 1394b (Firewire 800), and 1394a (Firewire 400). I’ve been noticing more and more USB-mini ports on the back of many external drives of late which adds no deficiency to speed but may make cable replacement more difficult since most will have the larger USB A-B type cables lying around in their home than the newer mini type. But, like all things NewerTech, all your cables for every interface is supplied with the Voyager Q.
Flip around the Q and the front has a blue lit circled button with a lever above it used to release, push, the hard drive out of the bay. The blue light indicates power while a flashing red signals data activity. I found that you could simply pick up the hard drive without the need of pressing the lever in my tests. That said, this lends a slight “problem” for the opposite maneuver. When you drop in a drive, there is no “click” or feedback that the drive is mounted properly. You can only hold the sides and wait for the drive to spin to know that you did in fact get it on the dock properly. In all my tests, I never had a drive not connect, so this really doesn’t seem to be an issue but feedback is always a good thing.
Once mounted, you can watch the data just fly off the platters since you get the option of either Firewire 800 or eSATA. When you go with the latter, you’re getting near internal mount speeds of 3.0Gb/s. Even at 1394b rates, data access was darn impressive in our tests. We were able to play HD movies, music, and access other files in unison without so much a hiccup. When I booted the drive on my Mac Pro as the primary start-up drive, it was slow; however, this could have been more to the issue of the original OS install rather than the interface as I have booted just fine with USB in the past on the same Mac Pro.
Plain and simple, if you’re looking for an easy way to grab data off some older drives or wish to have a batch of back-up drives, then there is no doubt you want the Voyager Q. With the added bonus of eSATA, you’ll be able to use this drive as a primary drive if something bad ever happens to your current drive as well. Oh, and if you’re a technician, this thing is a gold mind for you!
Website: Product Information