The gadget: The SATA HDD Multi-Function Dock (USB + ESATA). It allows you to dock a 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA hard drive like a Nintendo cartridge and access it with a computer via USB or eSATA. On top of that, the dock includes 2 USB ports and 4 card reader ports that support almost anything you can throw at it.
The price: US$79
If you are looking for a convenient way to access multiple old internal drives or backup your system before a new install, this dock is a solid pick. Drives slip in fairly easily and an external power supply means that you really can use the dock to read all of your different storage media all while having them mounted simultaneously.
I didn’t get a chance to test the eSATA transfers, but the USB option was on par with any standard drive of its type.
The only potential flaw I noticed is that the dock doesn’t create a very tight seal when you stick a hard drive in. The small remaining gap could let it gather a lot of dust over the long haul.
Still, as a device that made my laptop hard drive reinstall relatively painless but will still remain useful to me in the future, the SATA HDD Multi-Function Dock (or one of its various incarnations on Brando’s site) seems like a decent buy. [Brando]