Need some extra space for files or a place to back up your system? The CRU-DataPort RTX100-3SJ appears to be your average, ordinary external hard drive. However, looks can be deceiving. Upon further inspection, it hits you: this is actually an external dock for internal hard drives. It includes a 3TB drive, probably more space than you'll ever use in your lifetime. This device is great if you need to perform rotating backups.
Again, the RTX100-3SJ looks just like any other external hard drive. When you first see it, you see its black metal exterior. Then you see that the front panel is not flat and blank like other external drives. There are slats for air cooling, and a finger catch that opens a door on the front of the drive. As the door opens, the hard drive pops out of the case just a bit, allowing you to grab right on to the 3.5-inch internal drive and pull it out, replacing it with any standard SATA internal hard drive.
There is no fan needed as the slats and metal enclosure do a good job of cooling the drive on their own. This means the drive is great for small work tasks, backups, and file transfers, but not so good for tasks like editing video or file sharing. Those who currently rotate backup tapes or external drives for their backups will find the RTX100-3SJ is perfect. It makes it simple to rotate a couple of internal drives regularly, with ease.
With the power of USB 3.0, the RTX100-3SJ proved it was fast and efficient. A 1.2GB test folder was “dragged and dropped” in a quick 14 seconds. When using eSATA, the time decreased to a mere 10 seconds. When compared to other drives, such as the ioSafe SoloPRO desktop drive which scored a 13 on this test using USB 3.0, it really holds its own.
The RTX100-3SJ sets itself apart from the crowd by operating with standard 3.5-inch internal drives, where other hard drives would use cartridges. The RTX100-3SJ doesn't require a specialized drive and drive-exclusive interfaces. Easily and inexpensively switch from drive to drive without any added hassle.
If you are constantly rotating backup tapes or external drives and are looking for another way, this drive is perfect for you. The fact that it doesn't require anything but another standard drive is huge. However, don't forget that if you are rotating drives, you must find a way to keep that alternate drive safe when it is not housed in the RTX100-3SJ. There is a CRU-Dataport DriveBox made specifically for this, but its another expense to consider.
The drive itself lists for $399, but you can skip the included 3T drive altogether and buy just the enclosure for $99. If you are a video editor and are looking for a storage solution, this is not the solution for you as it lacks an active cooling system. Otherwise, it's a great buy with plenty to offer the average user.