Inateck FD1006C USB 3.0 Docking Station Review

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Inateck continues to roll out a steady stream of new and innovative products to meet the demands of their customers. Case in point is their newly released FD1006C USB 3.0 docking station, which they sent along for us to check out. This Inateck docking station is a “Lay-Flat” design that supports the UASP protocol and accepts large capacity 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDDs. So, let’s get started and see what Inateck has come up with this time around.

Specifications and Features

The specifications and features below were pieced together with information found on the retail box and from Intaeck’s product page. The big ticket item here is that the FD1006C supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), which can bring speeds substantially higher than normal USB 3.0 operation. All modern Windows and MAC operating systems are supported in both 32 and 64-bit versions. You’ll also note that the docking station requires the use of an auxiliary power supply that’s included in the package, but only for 3.5″ platter type HDDs. The FD1006C supports HDDs up to 4TB in size and uses an ASMedia USB to SATA bridge chip to handle internal transfers between the two connection types.

Inateck FD1006C Specifications
Model Inateck FD1006C
Output Interface USB 3.0/2.0
Chipset/Controller ASMedia ASM1153E
Compatible 2.5″, 3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD Up to 4TB
Power Input:100-240V, 50/60Hz, 0.8A
Output: 12.0V-2000mA
OS Support XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 (32/64-bit)
Mac
Weight 146g/5.15oz
Size 179x116x35 mm/7.05×4.57×1.38 in
Inateck FD1006C Features
  • UASP support for even faster performance, requires UASP capable host system
  • Enhanced Radiating design, ergonomic design easier operation
  • Compliant with 2.5″/3.5″ SATA HDD/SSD
  • Compliant with USB 2.0 or lower version
  • Compliant with SATA6G, SATA3G, and SATA1.5G
  • Super speed USB 3.0 offer speed up to 5Gbps, ten times of USB 2.0
  • Hot Swap , Plug and Play , no reboot and additional driver is needed; LED activity indicator, clear and informative display; Perfect solutions for your external storage
  • Tool – Free design allow to mount HDD in three second without tools and mounting screws , Allow to accessing multi HDDs externally and easily

Inateck claims 70% faster speeds than traditional USB 3.0 by way of the UASP transfer protocol. In order to take advantage of the UASP feature, you need to install a SSD in the docking station and have a system that supports the UASP protocol. Below is a picture of the speeds Inateck achieved during their in-house testing with a Samsung 840 Pro SSD installed in the docking station. They compared their results to products that do not offer UASP to illustrate the improvements.

Inateck_FD1006C (1)
Most docking stations as we know them are “open air” so to speak, but the FD1006C comes with a cover that is removable for quick access to the drive. The cover also adds a layer of protection for your HDD and keeps it dust free as well.

Inateck_FD1006C (2) Inateck_FD1006C (3)

Packaging/Accessories/Product Tour

The retail packaging does a good job of explaining the product within and keeps it well-protected during transportation. As you tour the box, you’ll find most of the features and specifications printed in various locations. The back of the box has the most detailed information and a picture of the FD1006C.

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With the box opened, we see the docking station laying in a plastic bed with the accessories sitting below. The accessories include the power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, and an anit-vibration foam pad. If you use the docking station with a SSD, you won’t need to use the power adapter as the USB connection provides enough power. However, using a 3.5″ platter HDD will require using the power adapter.

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The docking station has a removable dust cover that simply slides rearward and off. It’s a tool-less design that works very well and makes for quick and hassle-free access to the drive mounting area.

Dust Cover Slid Back

Dust Cover Slid Back

Dust Cover Removed

Dust Cover Removed

With the dust cover removed, you can see installing a drive is just a matter of setting it in place and sliding it forward to engage the SATA power and data connections. There is no provision for securing the drive in place once installed, so you’ll want to remove the drive if you plan on traveling with it. As you can see in the first picture below, there are ventilation slots in the bottom of the tray to help keep the HDD cool.

SATA Power and Data Connections

SATA Power and Data Connections

3.5" HDD Installed

3.5″ HDD Installed

2.5" SSD Installed

2.5″ SSD Installed

At the front of the docking station, we find the USB type B port, power adapter connection, and the on/off switch. The Inateck logo on the top of the docking station is flanked by a couple of LED lights. The blue light indicates power is on, and the green one is the activity light letting you know when data is being accessed.

Business End of Docking Station

Business End of Docking Station

Power and Activity LED

Power and Activity LED

Removing the bottom plate exposes the printed circuit board, which is highlighted by the ASMedia ASM1153E SATA to USB 3.0 bridge chip.

PCB Exposed

PCB Exposed

ASMedia ASM1153E Bridge

ASMedia ASM1153E Bridge

Benchmarks

We’ll be using our daily driver system for testing the Inateck FD1006C docking station. Mostly because Windows 8.1 is loaded on it, which has native support for the UASP protocol. Here are the components that make the system up.

Test System Components
Motherboard ASUS Maximus VI Impact
CPU i7 4770K
Memory G.Skill TridentX 2X4Gb DDR3-2666 MHz
SSD Samsung 840 EVO 500GB
Video Card EVGA GTX 750 Ti
Case w/PSU EVGA Hadron Hydro – 500W PSU
OS Windows 8.1 x64

We took the recently reviewed Patriot Ignite 480 GB SSD and installed it into the docking station. The SSD is rated for 560 MB/s read and 545 MB/s write, which is plenty to saturate the USB 3.0 interface. You should know that those rated speeds were obtained during our review of the Patriot Ignite while it was connected to a SATA 6 GB/s port. Keeping that in mind, you can judge the benchmarks below on how close it came to those speeds while using the docking station connected to a native Intel USB 3.0 port.

The first thing we needed to check was if the FD1006C was recognized as UASP ready. To check that, we opened up the ASUS USB 3.0 Boost utility and indeed found it to be UASP ready.

UASP Ready!

UASP Ready!

It’s said with the right hardware, you can get up to 450 MB/s read/write performance through a UASP capable system. Those claims are usually based off the ATTO benchmark because of the compressible data it tests, so that’s where we’ll start. As you can see, our run of ATTO resulted in a max read of 463 MB/s and a max write speed of 459 MB/s. No complaints here.

ATTO Benchmark

ATTO Benchmark

The remaining benchmarks below will typically show slower read/write performance due to the incompressible data tests they use. Even so, the read/write results were still well over 400 MB/s in most cases. Pretty impressive results that clearly show the speed advantage a UASP capable device can deliver.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

AS SSD

AS SSD Benchmark

Anvil's Storage Benchmark

Anvil’s Storage Benchmark

Conclusion

Inateck has a habit of providing great performing peripherals at even better prices. Speaking of price, the FD1006C is available at Amazon for a mere $26.99 with free shipping. Given how well it performs, that’s a nice price in our opinion.

The Inateck FD1006C works its best with a SSD because of UASP support, but it’s an attractive option for use with a standard platter drive as well. The ease of which drives can be installed and removed is something that keeps the unit in the docking station class, but with the protection and dust free environment more akin to a HDD enclosure. Either way, the Inateck FD1006C is a great choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to add external storage to your system.

Overclockers_clear_approved

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Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

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