Volans VL-DS31 review

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If you’re anything like APC’s labs crew, you’ve probably got a massive pile of old hard drives lying around that you haven’t quite got round to wiping them yet.

New Aussie tech-accessories company Volans has the solution to that (very specific) problem with this two-bay USB hard drive dock, which lets you quickly slot-in 2.5- or 3.5-inch internal SATA drives without having to pry open your PC’s case or mess about with a dedicated enclosure.

It’s a device that’d undoubtedly also come in handy for IT shops or departments that need to do lots of drive cloning or data recovery .

The build quality is generally praise-worthy — a curved piece of metal folds around the top and sides of the body and keeps the whole thing rigid, while the front, back and bottom panels are made of plastic.

In use, it’s not quite plug and play — inserting SATA drives is easy, but before you insert or remove a drive, you need to power the dock down and, in the latter case, ’safely remove’ any drives from Windows, too.

The unit’s performance was top-notch: we managed 500–550MB/s read and write speeds on an SSD, and around 145MB/s in both directions on a freshly-formatted 7,200rpm mechanical hard drive. (Your milage may, of course, vary.)

In fact, the only things we can really grumble about are that it’s not the cheapest drive dock of this type, and the fact that Volans has only included a USB Type-C to Type-C cable in the box.

That means you’ll either need to have a PC with that plug type or fork out for an extra Type-C to Type-A (AKA the ‘standard’ USB plug) cable.

Verdict: A top-performing USB drive dock that’d make a great addition to any techie’s toolkit.

Price: $129
From: Volans

Rating: 4 stars out of 5