Desktop Storage (External) Reviews
External desktop storage reviews range relatively widely from single to several drive units that perform an immense variety of tasks. Some external desktop storage reviews feature devices designed for capacity expansion, typically via 1-5 bays, that interface over Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. Others feature direct attached storage (DAS) devices that connect with similar interfaces or even Gigabit Ethernet. In these external desktop storage reviews, we also look at specialized products designed specifically for RAIDing drives, backing up home media content via a router connection, or providing a local and cloud storage solution.
by Lyle Smith

LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 Review

The LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 is a palm-size, mobile drive designed for creative professionals who want to stream and edit their HD (4K or 3D) video at home as well as in the field, a much desired feature for consumers with mobile creative workflows. The new LaCie drive quotes blistering read speeds of 1,375MB/s in addition to dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining, a nice compact size for field-based creative workflows, and virtually silent dual cooling. The new LaCie drive also comes equipped with a set of PCIe SSDs preconfigured in RAID 0, which is definitely a welcomed out-of-the-box feature. 

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by Adam Armstrong

CalDigit T3 Review

The Caldigit T3 is a 3-Bay Thunderbolt direct attached storage enclosure that is unique in that the device allows users to employ RAID 0 or RAID 1 with two drives, while also allowing JBOD for the third. This feature alone gives the T3 substantial versatility, which depending on use cases can get even better thanks to support for both 2.5" SSD drives and 3.5" HDD drives. The T3 has a maximum capacity of 12TB with HDDs and up to 3TB with SSDs across the three bays.

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by Alexandra Haskell

G-Technology G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt Review

The G-Dock ev with Thunderbolt is designed for heavy media users needing high performance transfer speeds and the ability to work on digital content efficiently. The G-Dock is a one of a kind dual-bay storage system and ships with two G-Drive ev hard drives that are dual purpose. Plug the cartridge-esque hard drives into the G-Dock to experience the high performance Thunderbolt interface. Take the drives out and connect via USB 3.0 for fast portable drive access. While the G-Dock ev is built around on-the-go Mac users who need portable storage at the desk and on the go, the ev also offers flexibility for unique workflows like production workflows that require the frequent sharing of large file sets.  Read more

by Brian Beeler

WD My Book and My Book for Mac Review

WD recently updated their My Book external desktop hard drive line for both the Mac and PC audiences. The new drives feature a redesigned enclosure that better aligns with modern design and updates to WD's suite of software that comes with each drive. The My Book for PC comes in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities while the My Book for Mac tops out at 3TB. Both drives ship with a USB 3.0 interface for rapid access to the hard drive inside. 

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by Josh Shaman

Drobo 5D Review

The Drobo 5D is a direct attached storage device (DAS) with five 3.5" carrier-less bays that features USB 3.0 and dual thunderbolt ports. Though similar in design to recent Drobo models, the 5D that we previously announced adds a lot of new features including: support for HDDs and SSDs, increased memory, a faster processor and battery backup. Drobo designed the 5D with media creatives such as video and audio editors in mind understanding their need for high capacity, high performance devices. Drobo offers a couple of other devices in the family such as the Mini which has the same features but with support for four 2.5" drives, as well as the 5N network attached storage device (NAS).

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by Josh Shaman

DataTale Smart 4-bay Thunderbolt RAID Review

The DataTale Smart 4-bay Thunderbolt RAID is a trayless system that houses up to four drives (HDDs, SSDs or a mix) and is designed for creative professionals such as video or photo editors and SOHO users who need to leverage both performance and data security. From Oyen Digital, which creates high performance storage solutions, the device enables users to connect via Thunderbolt and configure RAID modes easily using the RAID MASTER GUI. The GUI enables the drives to be configured in JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 and helps users to centralize and manage the device. Furthering functionality, the device is also Time Machine compatible, simplifying backup tasks.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate Central Review

The Seagate Central is a consumer-friendly NAS device ranging up to 4TB in capacity that features an Ethernet port which enables users to centralize their content and share it over their wired or wireless network by plugging into a router. Behind the concept for the Central is the reality that most consumers have their content spread across flash drives, portable hard drives, several computers and mobile devices. The Central makes it simple to maintain that level of freedom to have files and media wherever they are initially stored, but while also creating more convenient access to have all of that content backed-up and readily-available in one place.

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by Josh Shaman

Buffalo DriveStation DDR Review (HD-GDU3)

The Buffalo DriveStation DDR is a USB 3.0 external storage device for both PCs and Macs that features 2TB and 3TB capacities and is designed to deliver greater performance than standard external drives by offering an additional 1GB cache for accelerated transfer speeds. The DriveStation DDR also includes the Buffalo Tools software suite for Windows which is designed to boost performance and enable users to backup their content and manage their device effectively. Additionally, DriveStation DDR is compatible with Time Machine and users can use Time Machine with DriveStation Axis to back up Macs.

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by Josh Shaman

Newer Technology miniStack MAX Review

Newer Technology's miniStack MAX functions as an external storage device, optical drive, SD media card reader and USB hub simultaneously while matching the footprint and taking styling cues from the Mac Mini. This design makes it a great companion to the Mac Mini or any desktop or notebook. The miniStack MAX interfaces over USB 3.0, two Firewire 800 ports or an eSATA connection. The machine also features a USB hub with a total of three USB 3.0 ports, two of which have been designed to charge less power-hungry devices while one offers 2.1Amp power to charge tablets and other devices. The miniStack MAX is designed for backup and general storage as well as the needs of creative professionals.

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by Josh Shaman

WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB Review (WDBUSK0080JSL)

The Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB is an external storage unit that provides top-of-the-line capacity in a book-sized enclosure. Near the end of 2012, we reviewed the WD My Book Essential which provided the highest capacity on the market in a single hard drive at 4TB. Now, we're examining the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo formatted specifically for Mac and available in 4TB, 6TB, or 8TB. Our test model comes with a whopping 8TB storage capacity. The Duo crams that exceptional storage capacity into a relatively small space using two 3.5" 4TB Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000's.

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