When we heard about this new HDD docking station from iStarUSA, we knew we had to try it out. Unfortunately, we have a ton of drives all over the place and their solution, especially since they billed it as hot-swap capable, sounded too good to be true. Thankfully, we have since then discovered that the xAge-N99SAU docking station is a welcome addition to our desktop despite a few limiting factors.
The xAge-N99SAU features an all-black plastic design with a slightly dull sheen. It has simple lines that are more than aesthetically-pleasing enough to fit in with most desktops. The biggest improvement over its slightly older brother, the N99US, is the addition of an eSATA connection. The front and sides of the docking station are clean, with no controls to speak of. There is an LED power indicator on the front, but its cool blue light is rather stylish. The ports and controls run down the back of the docking station. There you will find the AC power port, power button, and eSATA/USB ports.
iStarUSA’s xAge-N99SAU does have one drawback that is quickly apparent
when setting it up and that is the power cable is very short. This causes problems while trying to figure out where to set the unit up with relation not only to the eSATA/USB ports but also the power outlet.
There is no software to install in order to use the docking station, simply plug your 2.5” or 3.5” eSATA drive into the docking station and go. Since the unit uses an eSATA interface (even with the USB aspect), it is hot-swappable meaning that you can change out drives on the fly. This capability, coupled with its 150MB/s transfer speed while in the eSATA port, make it an excellent piece of equipment for testing, full drive usage, or even making quick backups of data on multiple disks.