Drive Enclosure or USB Hub?
From the front the Inateck FE2007 looks like a typical travel USB 3.0 hub but from the side it appears to be a run-of-the-mill black plastic drive enclosure. Which one is it you ask? Well, it’s actually both! Inateck integrated a blazing fast 3-port USB 3.0 hub into a SATAIII USB 3.0 drive enclosure which can accommodate nearly any 2.5” hard drive or solid state drive. For someone like me who transfers large files on the go and uses a plethora of USB devices at once, a device like this is a lifesaver.
Currently priced at 20 USD on Amazon, the FE2007 offers an affordable and pragmatic alternative for those who want a compact all in one data storage and I/O solution. Even though this ended up being a great product, during my unboxing things did start off a bit rough. Concerning quality, first impressions were pretty mediocre. It feels like your typical cheap plastic USB drive enclosure. The structure is composed entirely of ABS plastic and there is a noticeable amount of flex in the case when opposing forces are applied to each side. Although it looks nice and even feels like it will protect your drive from a mishap or two, the build quality of the FE2007 is definitely on the cheap side. (I would love to see an aluminum or partially metal version of this drive enclosure!) Package contents included the enclosure, a ~30 inch data transfer cable (micro-B to USB-A), a 5V USB power cable to provide some extra power to the drive if needed, and of course a basic user manual (which you probably won’t need).
Now onto everything I liked about this enclosure. First off, this hub/enclosure combo is dead simple to use. It is plug and play with Windows, Linux, and MacOS and it takes less than 30 seconds to thrown a HDD into the enclosure. To install a drive into the enclosure, just slide the back panel off, slide the drive in, and then close the panel. The switch on the side of the enclosure regulates power to the drive and the 5V power connection can provide some extra juice to an older spinning hard drive if needed. I did not need to use the power cable at all during my review, plugging it in made no difference in the speeds of the drive enclosure or USB hub during my testing with a SSD.
For testing purposes I used a 120GB ADATA SP550 SSD in conjunction with Crystal Disk Mark and AS SSD Benchmark. My testing machine was a Lenovo Thinkpad T430, I5 3230m, 4GB DDR3, 120GB ADATA SP550, and of course USB 3.
This is one of the fastest drive enclosures I have ever tested (420MB/s read and 350MB/s write), speeds were on par with the fastest drive enclosure I own (an ORICO USB-C enclosure). The USB hub was also incredibly quick, I noticed no speed deviations when I tested a drive enclosure while directly connected to my laptop and then when I tested it through the hub built into the FE2007.
This is a refreshing take on the dime a dozen, boring, plastic, black USB drive enclosure. The integration of the USB hub is seamless and the drive enclosure performs better than a majority of the enclosures I have tested in the past. Quality is a tad bit lackluster, but overall the FE2007 is an impressive all in one solution.
*Just a side note: I could not tell which bridge controller they were using. It is advertised to use the J-micron JMS567 but my system recognized it as an ASMedia device.
- Integrated USB HUB!
- Speeds from the enclosure and hub are blazing fast
- Power switch
- access indication and power lights
- Plug and play
- Easy drive installation
- Slightly flimsy construction