Oleg came in contact with Addonics at this year's CES. When I Googleed Addonics I got Addonics: Making Data Storage Simple. To me that's a huge claim for any company to make. Why? We've seen so many types of removable media come and go and various formats that OEM manufacturers have adopted and dropped. Simple not only has to be easy to use, it has to be something that has staying power. But what hasn't changed much since the dawn of the PC? Enter where Addonics have done something few have figured out: the hard drive format is very stable. Whether its the full size 3.5" size of the desktop or the laptop 2.5" size these things haven't changed since forever. Sure, someday someone will want a laptop that is a quarter inch thick and that will require solid state memory soldered to the motherboard, but for now manufacturers like the ability to swap out a defective drive and to change the stuff they put in their products as supply changes.
The unit came in a pretty simple white cardboard box with a sticker with the model number, a small pic, and a few specs. On the box it states "Use as a 1:1 HDD/SSD duplicator or as a USB 3.0 HDD docking station." Inside are a USB 3.0 cable, the wall wart power supply, and the unit itself. Directions came on a simple fold open sheet and a mini disk provides the software. The unit itself is about 6 inches wide x 5 inches deep x 3 inches deep. This is a lot smaller than I expected.
On top are two simple spring loaded openings - drop a 3.5" drive right in or put a 2.5" drive in the upper left corner. On first glance it looked like a black toaster I hooked up to my computer. Simple eject buttons next to the slots will pop your drives out. On the rear of the unit are the connector for the power supply and the USB 3.0 cable connection. A simple on/off rocker and two buttons on the top labeled backup/clone are all the things you need to interact with. There are small cutouts in the openings so that a 2.5" drive is aligned correctly on insertion.
So lets start this story how I think many users will come across a product like this. My daughter recently dropped her laptop cracking the screen and doing who knows what other damage. I needed a way to back up her data in case I ruin her HDD doing my repairs. I've done it enough times where the only solution is a clean install of Windows which wipes out all the old data on the drive. Enter this HDD Duplicator Station. Not only did I backup her drive, but now I have a simple way to move massive amounts of data between machines as this duplicator can be used as a docking station between two computers.
As soon as I have her computer up and running again I'm going to use this drive duplicator for my second anticipated usage: the aforementioned docking station. On my home network I have one computer that is a dedicated storage unit (data server). Any other computer on the network can access it and pull data but that means that data server has to be on all the time. I'd rather be able to save my data on an SDD drive and hookup the docking station to whichever computer I'm using. I can have an extra drive for MP3's, another for work related data, another for family pictures, etc. You get the idea - yes I'll have a library of drives but any day now I'm dreading the failure of one of the drives in my data server and I'm tired of having to add more and more drives to that machine.
Addonics box art states "drives are added or removed just like using VHS cassettes without any special tool." It should say "if you can operate a toaster you got this." Basically insert your two drives in the top, hookup the USB 3.0 cable between the unit and your computer, and hit the backup button after you've installed the software on your computer.The software will auto launch and your off and running. Its really that simple. LEDs on the top will let you know when your drive is 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% backed up. Depending on the size of your source drive and how much data is on it will dictate the speed of the backup. Let's say you bought an OEM computer with a smallish drive that is now full. You can upgrade to a much larger drive that employs higher speed technology and nothing on your computer will seem different once you re-install the new drive. That's it. Nothing else to it. No need to understand different drive configurations, etc. Simple is a very accurate description of this process. The only limiting factor is that the drive in Slot 2 needs to be of equal size or larger than the drive in Slot 1 (source drive).
We've been lucky to be getting a slew of great products lately. Add the Addonics HDMU3 Mini HDD Duplicator Station to that list. This thing is super simple to use. At $45 at Addonics own site this is a lot of performance for a price that won't make you roll your eyes. You can back up drives for cheaper using a USB to drive style cable but after using this unit I'm not going to do it that way anymore. This unit has simplified the process tremendously and given me a docking station for rapid searching of data. Addonics even has a 2.5" Flash drive available that opens all sorts of options for data transfer.