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Written by Aidan Moore   
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
INEO I-NA321U PLUS Docking Station
Closer Look: INEO I-NA321U PLUS
INEO I-NA321U PLUSPerformance
INEO I-NA321U PLUS Conclusion

INEO I-NA321U PLUSConclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions of the same product. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

Looking at the performance of the I-NA321U PLUS, it is obvious that it's maximum data transfer rate is limited by the 3Gb/s SATA port. However, the USB 3.0 interface does provide a huge advantage over USB 2.0 when the device is connected to a PC. The I-NA321U PLUS would be ideally paired with 3 Gb/s solid-state or mechanical hard drives. Any solid-state drive capable of the higher 6 Gb/s would be bandwidth limited by the SATA data rate of the external docking station.

Most customers would not make a purchase decision for an external docking station based on the appearance of the product. The I-NA321U PLUS does its best to look good, and when there are no drives present in the device its appearance is quite innocuous. The bright LEDs on the front and top of the unit to a very good job of clearly indicating the status of the I-NA321U PLUS.

Ineo_I-NA321U_drives.jpg

Almost all hard drive docking stations are made of some form of plastic and the I-NA321U PLUS is no exception. If this device were to accidentally fall, especially if there is an older mechanical drive in the unit, then it would be quite easy for the plastic casing to crack. Fortunately, the included long USB 3.0 cable should allow the I-NA321U PLUS to be placed in a safe location.

As of February 2013, the Ineo I-NA321U PLUS is available for a very reasonable price of $55.99 (Newegg / Amazon). Considering that this is a USB 3.0 dual drive system with standalone drive cloning capability, this represents very good value for this type of product.

The I-NA321U PLUS is a very useful peripheral component to have attached to your PC. Ideally the product would find use in a small IT department or a home with multiple PCs that are continuously upgraded. The I-NA321U PLUS comes into its strength as a standalone drive cloning system, which can save time and computer resources when a backup or duplicate drive needs to be created. The I-NA321U PLUS is also very useful as a simple expansion station to add up to two individual drives to any PC equipped with a USB 3.0 port. It is quite capable of accessing both hard drives in near real-time while connected to a single USB 3.0 port. If continuous access to the drive is required, then only a single drive should be accessed at one time.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ One touch drive cloning capability
+ SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface
+ Easy power-off capability for drive exchange
+ Attractive finish and ergonomic layout
+ Includes AC adapter and 6' USB 3.0 cable
+ Very simple installation

Cons:

- Transfer speed limited by 3Gb/s SATA interface
- High data rate simultaneous transfer to both drives not possible

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.00
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

COMMENT QUESTION: What would you use the Ineo I-NA321U PLUS for?


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Comments 

 
# INEO I-NA321U PLUS Docking Stationkzinti1 2013-04-08 13:34
This is a really nice little device! Other than the 3Gbs. limit, the only other con would be no dust covers for the drive slots. All I can think of is to put it back in the box when not actually in use. Surely there's another option? No matter what you do to stop it, it's quite dusty, inside and out, here at the beach.
COMMENT QUESTION: What would you use the Ineo I-NA321U PLUS for?
Copying a smaller drive to a larger one when I run out of space is the only thing to come to mind ATMO.
I'll have to think about some other uses while I'm waiting for a 6Gbs. version. If there is one.
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