Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock NST-D300S3 review: Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock NST-D300S3

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Setup and ease of use: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock offers a robust solution to work with internal hard drives. It has a nice and sturdy design and offers very fast throughput speeds with USB 3.0 and is backward compatible with USB 2.0. It supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA hard drives.

The Bad The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock is rather bulky and doesn't support legacy IDE hard drives. It has no eSATA or FireWire connections, and it doesn't come with a USB 3.0 add-in card.

The Bottom Line The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock is a good, affordable tool for computer technicians and those who work with internal hard drives.

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The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock makes it easy to connect an internal hard drive to a computer, which would otherwise require you to open the computer case and fumble with the cables inside. The device supports USB 3.0 and can handle both 2.5-inch (laptop) and 3.5-inch (desktop) SATA hard drives. Costing around just $40, the NexStar is well worth the investment, especially considering its fast performance with USB 3.0. It also works with USB 2.0 ports.

On the downside, the NexStar is a little bulky compared with other similar docking stations. It also doesn't support FireWire or eSATA connections and legacy IDE hard drives. Nonetheless, the device still makes a great hard drive docking station for anybody who works with internal hard drives. If you're looking for something similar that's a little more compact, we'd recommend the Ineo USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station. If you work with a lot of legacy IDE hard drives, the WebbieTech UltraDock V4 is a better choice.

Design and features
The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock shares a similar design with the Ineo USB 3.0 HDD Docking station but is about twice the size, making it a little bulky; it measures 5.4 by 3.2 by 3.4 inches. However, the NexStar looks good and is more stable, especially when holding a full-size 3.5-inch hard drive, thanks to its added height and wider base.

It has a toaster-style design, with the hard-drive slot on top. You can insert an internal hard drive vertically into this slot, much like you would insert a piece of bread into a toaster. The opening of the slot features a spring-loaded latch that automatically secures the hard drive, regardless of its thickness. You won't be able to use legacy IDE hard drives with it, however.

On the front, the NexStar has a big, round power button with a blue LED light ring surrounding it. This light shows the power status of the unit and is rather bright, which is distracting if you want to keep the room dark. Underneath, you'll find another horizontal blue LED light, which is also very bright. This one blinks to show the hard drive's activities.

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Where to Buy See All

Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock NST-D300S3

Part Number: NST-D100SU
Low Price: $25.56 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Bus Type Hi-Speed USB / eSATA
  • Device Type Storage enclosure - external
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.