Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK
  • Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK
  • Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK
  • Vantec NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Transfer speeds, SATA to e-SATA bracket/cable, e-SATA and USB connectivity

Cons

  • Nothing notable

Bottom Line

The Vantec NextStar 3 is an excellent option for directly connected external storage. It's fast, easy to use and is not too imposing aesthetically.

Would you buy this?

External storage offers an easy solution when a PC is overflowing with video, music and picture files. It can also be a simple way of moving large amounts of data from one location to another. The Vantec NextStar 3 is an external hard drive enclosure for SATA hard drives, and offers the benefits of e-SATA connectivity as well as USB 2.0.

The black and silver enclosure doesn't come supplied with a hard drive, but includes everything else needed to get a fast, external hard drive hooked up to the PC. A single hard drive cage slides out of the enclosure and a hard drive can be fastened to it using the supplied screws. For testing we used an Asus P5B premium motherboard with an e-SATA port on the rear port cluster. However, the Vantec NextStar 3 comes supplied with a SATA to e-SATA cable and bracket for motherboards that have no e-SATA port. Also installed in our test bed is a 150GB Western Digital (WD) Raptor (10,000rpm) hard drive, so we installed an equally speedy WD Raptor 36GB hard drive into the Vantec NextStar 3 for transfer tests.

We used a total of 4.12GB of raw data in varied file sizes for our transfer test. Using this data we did copy tests to and from the Vantec NextStar 3 external enclosure with the supplied e-SATA cable and also with supplied USB cable. Connecting the device with either cable can be done as a hot plug device, and the device shows up as an extra drive in Windows Explorer, just as an internal drive does.

Using the e-SATA cable to write data from the PC to the Vantec NextStar 3 took two minutes and 36 seconds, or 26.4MB per second. Copying data back, or reading from the Vantec NextStar 3 took only one minute and 50 seconds, or 37.4MB per second. Both of these results are excellent, and software is not required, so data transfer is both quick and easy.

As an external drive, the device needs to be somewhat portable and needs to be easily connected to any PC. Since not all PCs support e-SATA or may not have any free ports, the NextStar 3 can also be connected via USB 2.0. Writing the same 4.12GB of data from PC to the enclosure using the USB cable took three minutes and 14 seconds, or 21.2MB per second. Reading from the device and copying data from the Vantec NextStar 3 back to the PC took two minutes and 50 seconds, or 24.2MB per second.

Clearly the e-SATA connection is the best option, but having the USB connectivity gives the enclosure greater versatility and portability. If Network Attached Storage (NAS) over LAN capabilities are not required, this system offers an excellent solution.

The enclosure has clear markings for each port, including the power connector, which the Vantec NextStar 3 requires to function, so it's relatively clear how to set it up. Its aluminium case helps keep the hard drive cool and a light on the front edge shows the system is powered on and indicates hard drive activity, though it can be a little too bright and overbearing at times.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?