When I upgraded the SSD in my Macbook I found myself with an SSD with no home. The logical solution was to put it in an enclosure and turn it into a robust external drive. Making use of the SSD’s SATA 3 connection narrowed down the possibilities, but the inateck stood out because of it’s positive reviews.

It’s not just got an internal SATA 3 connection but the enclosure is designed specifically for an SSD – they sell alternative versions for mechanical drives, if you’re interested. Connection is via USB 3, which ensures that you’ll get maximum benefit from the transfer speed.

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The enclosure is made of a matt black plastic with rounded edges. On the flat end there is a USB 3 connection and an on/off switch. On the top is a blue light to indicate power and activity. It’s designed to be tool-less, which means that you simply slide the top away to access the inside – the drive is then inserted into a connector at the end. If you have a particularly slim drive (below 9mm, I’d suggest) then inateck provide a foam pad to add to it to ensure it doesn’t move about inside.

Benchmarks for my Macbook SSD within the enclosure, and connected via USB 3, are as follows…

Sequential / 4K blocks – 27.64 MB/sec read : 127.17 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 188.26 MB/sec read : 246.81 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 13.19 MB/sec read : 65.66 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 163.63 MB/sec read : 208.70 MB/sec

To compare, these are the benchmarks for the SAME drive whilst it was within my Macbook…

Sequential / 4K blocks – 35.93 MB/sec read : 342.17 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 309.23 MB/sec read : 270.67 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 15.49 MB/sec read : 65.13 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 182.04 MB/sec read : 243.39 MB/sec

In a way, it’s disappointing – although USB 3 shouldn’t limit the speeds, there is a marked slow-down (particularly sequential file reading) when using this enclosure. However, the next benchmarks are for a Western Digital My Passport – a mechanical drive which is also USB 3. That, at least, shows that you are getting a substantial boost speed by using SSD, whatever the enclosures short-comings may be…

Sequential / 4K blocks – 21.01 MB/sec read : 95.48 MB/sec write
Sequential / 256K blocks – 83.63 MB/sec read : 76.13 MB/sec write
Random / 4K blocks – 0.52 MB/sec read : 2.45 MB/sec write
Random / 256K blocks – 171.62 MB/sec read : 54.94 MB/sec

Without another similar enclosure to compare against, I don’t know if this is fast for an external enclosure. Certainly, as mentioned, it’s not as quick as being internally connected but I wouldn’t really expect it to be.

Packaging is relatively simple – a simple, and compact, box containing the drive (in a plastic bag), USB 3 cable, small instructions booklet and the aforementioned foam pad.

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Summary

A good speed (that I can tell) coupled with easy maintenance, reasonably looks and excellent price means this is an enclosure I can wholeheartedly recommend.

inateck USB 3.0 Portable HDD Enclosure

£13.99
inateck USB 3.0 Portable HDD Enclosure
100

Rating

10/10

    The Ups

    • Good speeds
    • Easy to assemble
    • Excellent value for money
    • A useful power switch

    The Downs

    • The looks are a little bland