There are a number of USB-to-SATA adapters that let you connect a bare SATA drive to a USB port on your computer. They’re useful for quickly copying a lot of data, or for cloning a hard drive before installing it into a computer. But now NewerTech has made one that goes beyond all that, by not only including USB, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and eSATA interfaces, but using a form factor that lets you simply drop the bare drive edge-first into a desktop block, much as if it were a cartridge. No cables or plugs to attach to the drive — just slide it in. The fanless, silent Voyager costs $100 and supports both 2.5″ (laptop) and 3.5″ (desktop) hard drives, with a push button to eject the bare drive.
Because of its flexibility and ease of operation, I suggest considering it as a base unit to host a rotating set of backup hard drives, or for photographers and others who back up projects onto hard drives. It’s more cost-effective than buying several external enclosures, and the bare hard drives are smaller to store.
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.