I'm a big fan of Thermaltake's original BlacX hard drive docking station. It's a simple device, really, but one that's been invaluable around the Benchmarking Sweatshop. Unfortunately, mine's a little behind the times. It's more than two years old now, and the USB 2.0 interface is looking mighty slow next to all the new SuperSpeed hotness. OK, so the second-gen USB interface was still mighty slow years ago. But back then there really wasn't a viable alternative to inspire jealousy.
We caught a glimpse of a USB 3.0 version of the BlacX at CES earlier this year, and Thermaltake has finally made it official. Dubbed the BlacX 5G, the new docking station has the ability to dock 2.5" or 3.5" hard drives, and it includes a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface. You won't find any the extra USB ports or other connectivity options that have appeared on some previous BlacX models. USB 3.0 is easily the best interface available for this sort of device, though.
There's no word on when the BlacX 5G will hit store shelves, but the docking station has a suggested retail price of $49.99. That price is roughly in line with other USB 3.0 docking stations currently available on the market, and truth be told, there appears to be very little that differentiates the 5G from its rivals in this space. Perhaps we can expect a more stylish or at least distinctive take on the concept from Thermaltake's Luxa² luxury brand, which seems to share my fetish for brushed aluminum. One can only hope.
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