We all know that regular backups are an essential and necessary part of computing life. However a lot of people still don't do it. INEO makes backing up your data simple and super fast with their line of USB 3.0 external hard drive docking stations. Their super speed USB 3.0 gets your backups done fast and gets you back to your important stuff. Today we' take a look at INEO's latest USB 3.0 docking solution, the I-NA321U Plus. Lets take a closer look....
INEO is no stranger to storage solutions. Their products range from USB 3.0 PCI-E cards to full blown NAS units. We've previously tested their I-NA320U Plus with great results. The I-NA321U Plus is similar to the I-NA320U Plus with the exception that is has bays for 2 2.5" or 3.5" drives.
"I-NA321U PLUS series is an intelligent solution for your bare drives. It supports both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA Hard Disk Drives. I-NA321U PLUS series makes it convenient to install your HDD's and it supports Super Speed USB 3.0 for your extreme Data transfer and backup. It makes file exchange even easier than you can imagine, you can just move data between your bare drives with I-NA321U PLUS series." - INEO Tech USA
The I-NA321U Plus comes packaged in a full-color box. The front shows a picture of the unit along with some basic info.
The rear of the box shows 2 more pictures of the unit and lists more detailed specifications.
One side of the box lists the UPC code, serial number and support info.
The other side shows a transfer speed comparison chart and an image that shows that it is compatible with both PC and Mac. USB 3.0 functionality is only supported on Windows XP and above though.
Once the box is opened the unit and accessories slide out in a plastic tray.
The unit itself has a protective plastic film to protect the white acrylic topside of the device during shipping and handling.
Once the film is removed you get to see the unit in all its glory.
The top of the unit has spots for 2 drives, either of which can be 2.5" or 3.5". You'll also see a pair of LED's and the words "Target" and "Source". More on those in a bit. One thing I'm a fan of is the doors covering the bays. One thing I'm not a fan of is that there is no door for the 2.5" portion, so dust can still enter. In my opinion either put covers to completely close the opening or don't bother with either.
The front side of the unit is finished in a nice brushed aluminum with 5 status LED's and a pair of chrome buttons for the built-in functions.
The rear features an on/off button, power jack and a USB 3.0 port.
The bottom of the unit has a rubber non-slip pad applied to keep it from sliding around on your desk.
The included accessories with the I-NA321U Plus are a power adapter, user's manual and a USB 3.0 cable.
As you can see both 2.5" and 3.5" drives fit snugly into the enclosure.
Then plugged in and powered on the INEO I-NA321U+ shows its power status with a blue LED.
Now all the specifications state that it has red indicator LED's. This is not the case however as the 4 front progress LED's are all green, and the top two are blue.
Tests were performed over the motherboard's built-in USB 3.0 ports using the latest version of Crystal DiskMark (3.0.1). Tests were run via the included USB 3.0 cable and using the WD Caviar Blue 120GB HDD in the "Target" slot.
Overall the INEO I-NA321U Plus did a respectable job at transfer speeds considering the target device is a 5400 RPM HDD. Expect speeds to increase drastically when the target device is a 7200 RPM HDD or better yet an SSD.
We also tested the I-NA321U+'s clone mode where you can insert a drive into the "Source" slot and insert a second (or equal or greater size) into the "Target" slot. Make sure the device is disconnected from the USB cable. Press and hold the "Copy" button on the front for 4 seconds until the LED's next to each drive's slot comes on. Then press the "Copy" button again to start the copy. You'll then see the front progress indicator LED's light up sequentially from 25% to 100%, then back. This will continue throughout the copying process. As the process hits 25%, the 25% LED stays lit, and the others go sequentially, and so on until the copying is completed. We copied 30GB of data from the Kingston 96GB SSD to a 320GB Seagate HDD. The total time from the start of the copy process until all four progress LED's were lit (indicating the copy process was complete) took 20 minutes and 37 seconds. This translates to about 1.46 GB/min transfer speed between disks.
Overall INEO did a great job with the I-NA321U Plus. It's simplistic and clean styling will compliment any work environment. It's speedy transfer rates will get your backups and file transfers done quicker and let you move onto more important projects. The built-in clone feature makes copying drives fast and easy. The INEO I-NA321U Plus is available from NewEgg for only $69.99 plus $3.99 S&H at the time of this writing. We think the INEO I-NA321U Plus deserves our Gold rating for excellence.