Having the proper tools at your fingertips makes everything you need to do a bit easier. In the tech world, sometimes the simpler the tool, the better. Having a docking station in your workspace can make data easier to manage and outfitting that docking station as a standalone duplicator makes it an indispensable utility. It wasn’t that long ago that StarTech sent us the SATDOCK22RE for review and today, ineo thinks they have a product that can do the job better… and faster. Enter the ineo I-NA321U+, a hard drive docking station and standalone duplicator.
The I-NA321U+ is an aluminum outfitted docking station that supports two drives at either 2.5inch or 3.5inch sizes. It sports a USB 3.0 interface with data transfer rates up to 5GB/s, the unit officially supports SATA I/II drives up to 3TB in size, it features cloning functionality, and measures 136 x 111 x 54.5 (mm); that makes it smaller than the SATDOCK22RE. The docking station comes packaged with a user manual, a USB 3.0 cable, and the power adapter.
ineo has designed the I-NA321U+ to be simple all the way around. The top of the unit features the two bays for either docking or duplication marked with Target and Source. The front of the unit features an LED for power, LED’s for duplication status at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, a reset button, and a copy button. Around back you have the DC In for power, the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, and an On/Off button. The sides are blank, and the bottom has a no slip adhesive to keep it in place.
Missing from the top of the unit are eject buttons for the drives. This makes removing the drive a bit more difficult than it is on the StarTech unit because of its snug fit. When removing, you have to give the drive a good strong pull and that makes me a bit nervous.
Internally, the I-NA321U+ is powered by a ProlificUSA PL-2773 USB3.0 eSATA to SATA II bridge controller. The controller has an embedded high performance 8-bit microcontroller that can be used to support applications like one button backup, power controls, and more. Conversely, the SATDOCK22RE is powered by the JMB352U bridge controller.
Connectivity is handled through USB 3.0 and this thing flies. If your PC is capable of sustaining the transfer speeds capable with USB 3.0 you will quickly fall in love with the I-NA321U+.
Aside from the USB connectivity, and the ability to quickly swap drives, the I-NA321U+’s ability to clone drives is one of its most attractive features. However, cloning is somewhat cumbersome. It took a few tries before it would successfully clone a drive.
Clone instructions ( I-NA321U+):
- Before the cloning process, please remove the USB Cable from the device USB Cable
- To Clone, insert the Source Drive into Slot A and Target Drive to Slot B.
- Power on the device and Press the Clone Button for 4 seconds until the constant LED indicator lights are flashing from Slot A (Source Drive) for hardware preparation.
- The LED indicator lights for Slot B (Target Drive) will constantly flash readily, then press the clone button once again to start the duplication process.
- The four orange LED indicator lights will blink/flash starting from 25% to 100% in progress, once finished the LED indicator lights will stay solid orange to indicate progress completion.
- When the clone process is complete the four orange LED light indicators will be completely solid orange, Slot A (Source Drive) and Slot B (Target Drive) LED’s will shut off.