Friday, April 1, 2011

Kingwin DM-2536 Dockmaster II Review


Consumers who like to upgrade their computer(s) often, or even upgrade once for that matter, have a need for a product like the one I'm about to show you here. Have you ever had a computer crash on you and you lost all your data? Sucks huh? There is nothing more gut-wrenching then losing a decades worth of your irreplaceable children's pictures because you didn't take the few minutes once in a while to back them up.



Backing up one's data is of the utmost importance for today's consumers. So much of our lives have gone digital, with pictures probably ranking first on the list for non-replaceable data. Sure you could burn a bunch of CD's or DVD's (or even blu-rays now), but that is not nearly as configurable as a hard drive of some sort.

Enter the hard drive docking station. They typically work with a regular old USB port that just about every single computer in the world should have by now. You can now buy lots of different setups, but the goal is all the same; backing up your data. There's a term that geeks use when talking about data; redundancy. What that means is basically "copies". Copies of your data in difference locations so that if one "copy" goes down, you have another "copy" in a different location (for instance, a HDD dock) that you can use to get your data back. It's really quite simple.

Today we take a look at one such product that could save you from being killed by your spouse for losing all the important data in your lives; the Kingwin (DM-2536) Dual bay 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hard Drive Docking Station. This particular product runs off a basic USB 2.0 port on your computer and will accept both desktop and laptop hard drives. Let's take a closer look at the features and specifications. 

Features:
  • Model: DM-2536
  • 2.5” / 3.5” Dual Bay SATA H.D.D. Docking Station
  • Support 2 SATA I/II H.D.D.
  • Up to 480 Mbps Data Transfer Rate In USB
  • Increase Storage Capacity to Any System
  • Plug & Play
  • LED for H.D.D. Access & Power
  • Rohs Compliant
Specifications:
  • H.D.D. Support 2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Disc
  • Dimension: 146 (W) x 115 (L) x 71 (H) mm
  • H.D.D. Capacity: 3 TB
  • Support OS: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7
    Mac OS 10x & Above
  • Interface: USB 2.0
Packaging:



The retail box is an informative and secure package. Fold open top reveal a securely packed product inside. This is the just right amount of retail packaging in my opinion. It gets the job done without frustrating the hell out of you.

A Closer Look:







The Kingwin (DM-2536) Dual bay 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hard Drive Docking Station comes with the usual group of suspects; the power brick, cord and USB cable. You will unfortunately have to connect all of these for the product to function correctly. I say that because some of the newest backup hard drives can run on just a single USB cable. However those are single 2.5" drives and you lose all the options this product gives you for different drives. 
 
I love the simple design for compatibility between small and large drives. The little flip down adapter is a brilliant idea that has continued into this product as well. Kingwin has been making hard drive docks using this basic overall design for a bit now and well, don't change it if it works, and work it does, perfectly fine. 

Installation and Usage:



Using The Kingwin (DM-2536) Dual bay 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hard Drive Docking Station is very simple. Just plug in the AC to the wall, plug in the two cables to the back of the unit (AC and USB), and then plug the USB from the Dockmaster II to an available USB port on your computer. This particular unit is USB 2.0, but if you've got USB 3.0 already and want to take advantage of the speed boost, Kingwin has you covered. 
 
Again with the built-in hard drive adapters, these Dockmaster (II) units from Kingwin are just a breeze to use. No screws needed. No converters. Simply take any bare drive and slide it in (from the top). Just be sure to add/remove hard drives when the unit is powered off to avoid any hard drive damage or data corruption. Better safe than sorry. Once you power the unit back on, your PC will recognize the hard drive(s) and you can drag and drop all you like. 

Be aware this is NOT a true backup hard drive system. There is no backup software included, or hard drive mirroring software. This is simply a way to for you extract data off all those hard drives lying around, or for you to manually backup your data however you see fit. I also would not consider this a portable unit by any means. Sure you can take it anywhere, but it's got to be plugged into the wall to work. If you're looking for a purely simply hard drive backup that connects to your PC with a single USB cable, then check this out.

Conclusion:

   If you've ever had a computer failure, let's say a motherboard failure, and you're left with a hard drive full of data and no computer to plug it into, then you already know you need a product like this. Protecting your data is like car insurance or home owners insurance; you don't think about it until you need it, then it's too late if you didn't already have it. 

The Kingwin (DM-2536) Dual bay 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hard Drive Docking Station is a very simple and affordable way for you to use a hard drive you may already have lying around and put it to good use backing up your valuable data. Or perhaps you need to get important data off an old hard drive. It's perfect for that too. To be quite honest, this is the type of product that every computer user needs to have in his/her arsenal. Your personal data is more important than how fast your CPU is or how big your monitor is. 

Kudos to Kingwin for continuing to innovate the hard drive dock segment. We all need one if we know it or not. Grab yours from Amazon.com right now for just $29.99!