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TOSHIBA PH3500U-1I72 5TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache Serial ATA 3.0 (SATA) Desktop Internal Hard Drive Retail
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: 5TB (approx. 4.5TB after formatting) at a reasonable price.

Large 128MB cache.

Decent 3-year warranty.

Cons: Manufacturer states that the box contains only the hard drive - no mounting screws, etc. Maybe that's why they say "Professional installation recommended"?

Other Thoughts: We have the 2TB and 3TB versions of this drive for a couple of years. They've been solidly reliable and have good transfer rates.

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TOSHIBA PH3300U-1I72 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

5 out of 5 eggs Remember to "Initialise" it Before Use 05/18/2015

This review is from: TOSHIBA PH3300U-1I72 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Retail Kit

Pros: You must Initialise the hard drive or it won't show up in Windows. Right-click on Computer (or My Computer or This PC) and select "Manage". In the Management window select "Storage" then select "Disk Management" or similar words. Wait several seconds while Windows scans for hard drives. Your new hard drive will likely show up as "Unallocated". At any rate, it will be 3TB capacity (which is 2.72TB after you format it). Right-click on the Unallocated space and set up the drive in one or more partitions. You can also Format the drive here; choosing Full Format instead of Quick allows Windows to scan the drive for any bad sectors and deal with them. Anyway, after Initialising and creating one or more partitions, you can exit Computer Management. I suggest a reboot at this point to be on the safe side. After reboot, your new drive should show up in Windows.

Cons: A retail box should include screws and a SATA cable.

Other Thoughts: Some reviewers say they received multiple drives that were Dead On Arrival. They probably didn't realise the drives need to be Initialised before they show up in Windows with a drive letter, etc.

I wish manufacturers would provide users with a BIG, CLEAR warning label to Initialise and Format the drive before use!

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Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD with 1-Meter Thunderbolt Data Transfer Cable, Designed for Thunderbolt 2 Technology with 4K Resolution (F4U085tt)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Gives added functionality to laptops with few ports.

Thunderbolt connection for great speed.

Includes an ethernet port!

Sleek design.

Stays in place on the desk - doesn't slide around much.

Ports are spaced well apart for easy access.

Cons: Thunderbolt 2 spec. allows connection of up to 8 devices through a single Thunderbolt connection. BUT, to be a truly complete all-in-one dock it needs to charge / supply power to a laptop and have additional USB ports. *See OTHER THOUGHTS below for more on
this.

Lacks ability to charge your laptop so it's only an easy one-click dock if you have plenty of battery power.

USB 3.0 ports are not as fast as you might think. **See OTHER THOUGHTS below.

Expensive. Should be able to run dual or triple Thunderbolt monitors without adapters, and should handle mouse & keyboard (USB 2.0 would be OK) and still have several USB 3.0 ports available. Presumably, you could attach a USB hub to one of the ports on the
dock but i didn't attempt that so can't promise how well it might work.

Other Thoughts: *Thunderbolt 3 will add more features (dual 4K monitors, 100-watt power for laptops, etc.) Probably available early 2016. Search wikipedia for Thunderbolt 3 for more details.

USB 3.0 ports speed test: Copied a large contiguous file from one USB 3.0 external hard drive to another similar drive through the dock, and then through a USB 3.0-equipped PC. The file transfer was noticeably faster when the drives were hooked up directly to the PC than when they were hooked up to the dock. Didn't measure it scientifically but definitely quicker through the PC.

The hub definitely makes it easy if you use your laptop as both a desktop and portable. Only one cable to hook up.

There is no perceivable lag or any other noticeable issues when using the hub with a monitor.

If you are a Macbook user and want to turn it into a more fully equipped tool for desktop use this Belkin dock is well worth considering. Just be sure it has all the connections you need.

For PC users maybe you can get better equipped (more ports!) docks for the same or less money, but will they be as fast as this Belkin? Also, some docks for PCs include a charging port for your laptop, thus making it a true one-click connection.

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Andrew M.'s Profile

Display Name: Andrew M.

Date Joined: 04/18/02

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • 100 Reviews
  • Reviews: 344
  • Helpfulness: 172
  • First Review: 02/27/08
  • Last Review: 05/26/15
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