Tue, 07 Apr 2009 Voyager Q review
Quad-interface dock for internal hard drives
- Manufacturer: Newer Technology
- Distributor: Other World Computing
- Pros: Quick to set up; wide variety of connection methods.
- Cons: Doesn’t support older IDE drives
- Min specs: Mac computer with USB; FireWire 400 or FireWire 800; or Mac Pro with compatible eSATA card required for eSATA connection.
- Price: $94.99 (£64.93)
- Star rating:
The Voyager Q is a handy device that enables you to access the contents of an internal hard drive without going through the process of installing it in a Mac.
Essentially it’s a plastic dock that enables you to slot in a 2.5in or 3.5in Serial-ATA (SATA) drive. On the rear sits a variety of connections including one FireWire 400 port, two FireWire 800 ports, a small USB 2.0 port, and an eSATA connection (this final type offers transfer speeds of up to 1.5Gbps, although you will need a Mac Pro or MacBook Pro with an appropriate adaptor).
Installation is fairly straightforward. Simply plug the Voyager Q into the mains, and attach to your computer using one of the outline methods. Cables for all connections are included; although because our test unit was shipped from Other World Computing in the USA the power connector was in the US style. You will need a standard Figure-8 power lead (that’s the smaller one shaped like a horizontal 8). Other World Computing told us that they offer an additional EU-style power lead to all European customers for an additional $3.99. The device features an external AC Adaptor, so plugging in a standard UK Figure-8 power lead works just fine. Because these are fairly commonplace we won’t hold it against the Voyager Q.
To use an external drive you simply slot it into the top. A flap enables you to fit both 2.5in and 3.5in drives securely. When the hard drive is in place click the power button and it’ll appear just like an external drive (you may need to use Disk Utility to recover or format it).
This sort of device is fairly commonplace in system departments, where the ability to access hard drives quickly without installation is handy. It’s designed for temporary use, though, so don’t think you’ll be able to use this to create a permanent external hard drive. If that’s what you’re interested in then MacAlley has a good range of hard drive enclosures.
For temporarily accessing an internal hard drive without having to go through the process of installing it into a Mac, the Voyager Q is hard to beat.