Meet the Inateck barebones tool-free HDD
Recently Inatek sent over two products to test out, the FEU3NS-1 USB 3.0 HDD Tool Free External Enclosure and the BP2001 10W Bluetooth Stereo Speaker. Inatek has been around for a while, though originally their products were only available in the EU they have recently expanded to North America. They sell a variety of peripherals such as PCIe USB cards, cables and chargers as well as Bluetooth input devices and mobile device protectors, in addion to external HDDs enclosures and of course Bluetooth speakers.
The first product to take a look at is the USB 3.0 enclosure which ships with a USB cable and manual in addition to the tool free USB HDD enclosure. It is a very simple product at a very low price and is small enough to stick in a laptop bag without having an unsightly bulge. The base model is currently $14 on Amazon and for an extra $5 you can get one which supports USB Attached SCSI Protocol to allow an SSD to hit full speed when installed in the enclosure. The USB 3.0 cable is a dual male cable; no proprietary plugs or breakable adapters needed to make this work and as enough power can be provided over USB that this is the only cable you will need. The only compatibility issue concerns the relatively uncommon 12mm 2.5" drives which will not fit, 9.5mm and 7mm are both acceptable and there is a removable cushion to keep your 7mm drive nice and snug.
It is a mere 13.4 x 8.3 x 1.3cm (5.25 x 3.25 x 0.5") and weighs less than the USB cord when empty. The enclosure does not include extras such as media streaming application or wireless connectivity which is of no concern to a tech who simply wants to have an easy way to access a 2.5" SATA drive or perhaps someone with an older SSD lying around they want to use as a portable flash drive. As you would expect there were no drivers to install and the drive was picked up and accessible by Windows seconds after plugging it in.
This 128GB Samsung 840 Pro hits the speed you would expect on the non-UASP model, capping the 3Gb/s port on the laptop it was plugged into. For those who have a faster interface you can expect better performance but it would be smart to spend the extra money on the optimized version.
This beat up old 7200RPM 160GB HGST Travelstar 7K320 on the original SATA interface represents a more likely usage scenario, it was pulled out of an old laptop in order to transfer the data on it to another machine and benchmarked in that state. SATA 2 drives should be able to surpass this performance but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the interface on this drive whatsoever. No bells or whistles included nor desired.