WiebeTech UltraDock v5 Review

Final Thoughts
The UltraDock v5 is a great device to have in your arsenal of diagnosis devices if you are going to be repairing and troubleshooting computers and laptops.  It is small and pretty rugged as it is made of Aluminum.  It supports both IDE and SATA drives and also is able to be powered by SATA.  That means you can use the UltraDock with a hard drive in your system without having to remove it, which will definitely save you time.

On the top of the UltraDock v5 is a nice large LCD.  It will display all of your hard drive’s information and even let you know if there are bad sectors.  You are also able to create a Host Protected Area (HPA) and Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) which can be used to troubleshoot the drive.  Also there are LED indicators for power in, power out, drive access, warning, and if a hidden area (HPA/DCO) is present.

There are quite a few different connections on the UltraDock v5.  You have USB 3.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and eSATA.  I had originally thought that the USB 3.0 port would be backwards compatible with USB 2.0, but it is not.  This is a major issue, especially on the PC side of things.  I mean if you are troubleshooting a hard drive on someone’s system that is an IDE hard drive it is likely that their system does not have USB 3.0, Firewire or eSATA ports on it.  USB 2.0 is pretty universal and it makes no sense to me why the UltraDock v5 does not support USB 2.0.

With a price of around $200 online the UltraDock v5 is mainly aimed at the IT professional, not the consumer.  Most consumers will not need all of the connections or the ability to create a Host Protected Area (HPA) and Device Configuration Overlay (DCO).  Consumers just want something to read their drive, and they can get a simple hard drive dock for $30-60 online.  But if your business revolves around hard drive troubleshooting a repair you may be able to justify the price.  Overall ThinkComputers gives the WiebeTech UltraDock v5 an 8 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– Lots of connections (USB 3.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 and eSATA)
– Support for both SATA and IDE drives
– Ability to create a Host Protected Area and Device Configuration Overlay
– Large LCD

Cons:
– USB 3.0 is not backwards compatible
– Price

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