Ineo I-NA321U+ Dual Bay Docking Station Review
Ineo I-NA321U+ Conclusions
So with testing out of the way, let’s talk about the docking station. Overall, it’s a pretty good unit. It’s one of the best looking hard drive docks you can buy at the moment, and it’s extremely well built – serious thumbs up for the brushed aluminum finish. Love it. USB 3.0 is also a nice touch, and it does support up to about 200MB/s sequential reads and writes, so the ceiling here is slightly higher than most traditional hard drives on the market. There’s the WD Velociraptor 1TB 10,000 RPM drive that can hit around 350MB/s or so in burst, but I doubt anyone will be using something like that with this dock.
Feature wise, the drive cloning function works, and it works quite well. Those who need daily backups of their files could just hit the clone button at the end of each workday and have all files on the source drive cloned to the target drive. Do expect it to take a long time as it doesn’t just simply copy files over. It literally clones the whole thing so even with drives that are 95% empty, expect it to take a long time. This however, is a good and a bad thing as it may be capable of cloning drives that are damaged or dying. This may be extremely helpful to those who work in IT or computer repair and have to recover files from hard drives that are near death.
Good points aside, let’s talk the negatives. First, I’m still not happy with the 3 feet USB 3.0 cable. Come on Ineo, seriously? 3 feet is ridiculous. 6 feet at the minimum, please. Second is the fairly low 200MB/s sequential transfer ceiling. 5Gb/s, as advertised, should translate into 640MB/s. Now I understand that USB 3.0 simply isn’t capable of such performance at the moment and is limited not only by the USB 3.0 device itself, but the motherboard’s chipset as well. However, in my recent USB 3.0 flash drive review roundup, the fastest drives were capable of hitting up to 252MB/s sequential reads. In fact, even the older, single dock Ineo I-NA320U Plus was able to hit up to 228MB/s. This almost seems like a step backwards instead of a step forward.
Finally, the price on the Ineo I-NA321U+ is currently $79.99 on Amazon. This makes this product very expensive, but so far I haven’t found a single dual bay dock out there with offline cloning functionality and USB 3.0 compatibility. The closest out there I’ve found is the Startech Dual Bay HDD Duplicator Dock, which retails for $56.99 on Amazon. That said, it doesn’t support USB 3.0 (It does however, support eSATA) and it doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as the Ineo I-NA321U+.
While there are small limitations with the Ineo I-NA321U+, it’s an excellent dock for those looking for a dual bay docking station with USB 3.0 and offline cloning functionality. Those looking to pick this up to use with a desktop, don’t forget to pick up a 6 feet or longer USB 3.0 cable along the way.
Special thanks to Ineo for making this review possible.
The Ineo I-NA321U+ is currently available on Amazon.