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NewerTech Releases miniStack MAX Hard Drive/Blu-Ray Burner/SD Card Reader/USB Hub

Other World Computing has begun selling NewerTech's miniStack MAX, an ambitious all-in-one hard drive, Blu-Ray/CD/DVD reader/burner, SD card reader and USB hub in one compact enclosure meant to match the footprint of the Mac mini. There is also a version that reads Blu-Ray discs, but does not write them.

A number of products designed to fit under the Mac mini have been released over the years, but with the addition of Thunderbolt and powerful CPUs, the Mac mini has become a viable option for users looking for an inexpensive and flexible workstation.

Newertechmaxstack
The only four-in-one storage, data access, and connectivity solution available!

The Newer Technology miniStack® MAX puts the diverse functionality of a high-capacity hard drive, Blu-ray/CD/DVD optical drive, SD card reader and USB powered hub into a single elegant aluminum finish enclosure. A perfect compliment for ANY Mac or PC, yet sized to match the footprint of the Mac mini, miniStack MAX offers fully bootable data storage/backup along with three USB ports for powering and charging external devices.
The miniStack MAX includes three options for connecting to the Mac including eSATA, FireWire 800, or two USB 3.0, as well as a separate USB port for charging devices with no data transfer.

It comes in a number of configurations, including versions with a Blu-Ray Reader starting at $150 for a bring-your-own-disk option, 500GB for $260, 1TB for $280, 2TB for $330, 3TB for $400, and 4TB for $530.

Versions with a Blu-Ray Reader/Burner are available for $40 more.

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.
Rating: 9 Positives
16 months ago
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like this is purely a USB hub and if you connect using USB you can't use the Firewire or eSATA. It looks like the Firewire and eSATA are only for alternative connections from a computer to this should you not have a fast USB3 in which case you would still need to connect a USB2 cable for the USB (and presumably the card reader) to work.

Is this right?

If so it limits its usefulness to me.

Ideally I would have liked a thunderbolt connection that then gave additional USB3 and Firewire ports in addition to the bluray and hard disk expansion but alas this does not seem to be the case for it.
Rating: 4 Positives
16 months ago
The BYO drive option sounds like a very decent deal, especially considering how that you also get a few additional USB 3.0 ports. I think one of these with a 1- or 2TB drive might just be my next upgrade if I get more into video editing and need fast storage.

Never mind. I read this too fast and thought it had Thunderbolt. Forget it.
Rating: 4 Positives
16 months ago
This would be a handy base station for the optical-less iMac as well. ...and Retina MBP. ...and MBA.

...and Apple TV and iPad (if iOS were a more functional OS).
Rating: 4 Positives
16 months ago
not horrible pricing
Rating: 3 Positives
16 months ago

At least two Thunderbolt ports is a must. No Thunderbolt is a deal breaker!!!


WTF is the point of using Thunderbolt if you already have USB 3.0? It'd just double the price of the enclosure and wouldn't gain a thing in terms of performance for a single drive.

Thunderbolt = Consumer FAIL (too bloody expensive for EVERYTHING out there)
Rating: 3 Positives
15 months ago

no thunderbolt, no deal. what a missed opportunity...


Hey, give them some time to make a deluxe version at 4x the cost that also has Thunderbolt for those that like to waste money on zero performance improvement over USB 3.0 for a single drive. Surely two posts in this thread prove there is at least some demand for a waste of money. :D
Rating: 2 Positives
16 months ago
This is not a bad unit at all and it fits well with the Mac Mini. It contains ports that are most commonly used and for the price, it serves a purpose.

Thunderbolt - A great idea that is by today's standards, not cost effective for the typical user. For those unhappy that there is no TB on this unit, go pay for a TB enclosure and empty your wallet. Given that most likely a good set of SSDs would be the only thing to really (storage-wise) take advantage of TB then you wouldn't be looking for a single drive enclosure to begin with. There are small bus units out there from a few makers that probably do just fine for 250-400 dollars.

Blu Ray reader - while nice I am one of those that realizes that slot load disc reader/burners are notoriously slower than full sized internal or external units. They also have on the average shorter lives. If one doesn't care how fast the read is, then its not such a bad thing.

USB3 and eSATA - The USB 3 is a great fit for this unit with plenty of adaptors out there to take advantage of using non-USB3 ports from MACs and other systems. The eSATA is disappointing on this unit as it is SATA II not SATA III.

Plastic vs aluminium etc. - Doesn't matter as long as the outside as stated is scratch resistant and the unit can properly cool itself down. This was not meant to be a carry around unit but a stacked unit thus sit it down and simply use it.

Power supply - whether cheap or not, it is a shame that it is a brick along the power line rather than internal. Then again to fit in a 3.5" drive would make it very difficult to have an internal power supply. If the unit instead housed 2 2.5" drives this could have been done.

If someone wanted such a unit and didn't need more than say 1 terabyte, they might consider the 1 tb Velociraptor by Western Digital given its high speed and built in heat sink casing (it really is a 2.5" style drive encased in a 3.5" heat sink housing).

If someone had a Mac Mini, wanted a local back up or additional storage this is not a bad unit at all. If someone is looking for a high end bus/storage unit, this certainly is not it.

So consider what you want vs what you need and choose to buy or not buy and not sure why anyone would be upset with no Thunderbolt at the given price. Apple was late on USB3, didn't come forth with FW1600 or FW3200 and eSATA seems to be falling out of favour.
Rating: 2 Positives
16 months ago

Lack of Thunderbolt gives me little hope of that small plug ever taking off.


I was going to say something about how I saw the lack of Thunderbolt as something that would make it affordable, but then I looked more closely at the $150 HDD/SDD-less model and saw that it was also a bring-your-own-optical-drive situation. (This is not clear from the article, as others have mentioned.)

So maybe not.
Rating: 2 Positives
15 months ago

Apparently, the Mac Mini is part of the problem. The BT module is not well enough shielded against signals from USB devices.

http://blog.macsales.com/15990-shielding-resolves-usb-3-0-conflict-with-bluetooth


Specifically USB 3.0 devices. The specification for which is also lacking in the shielding department, causing problems for more than just Mac Minis.
Rating: 1 Positives

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