Hard drive enclosures today come in many shapes and sizes, but they usually have one inherent flaw, that is compatibility, in that they can only use one type of drive, either 2.5" or 3.5", meaning that you’ll have to purchase separate enclosures for each type of drive you have.
Today for review I’ve got a rather cool product from IcyDock that is sort of a hard drive enclosure but not really, it’s called the EZ-Dock and as it’s name implies it’s more of a dock than an enclosure. The Ez-Dock allows you to use either 2.5" or 3.5" SATA hard drives with it in a small docking station that is removable from the base so you can take it with you if need be. It is though, and enclosure of sorts in that it comes with a carrying case so you can dock a 2.5" drive, put it in the carrying case and take it with you.
I’ve found that it’s a very interesting product that can make our lives much easier, especially those of use that have several types of hard drives floating around.
No, video unboxing today…
The IcyDock EZ-Dock comes in a sealed clear plastic clamshell style casing that allows you to easily see the product inside.
The main product is the dock itself of course, it is removable from the base so you can take it with you if need be. The base is solid metal so it’s fairly heavy, but that’s a good thing as your hard drive won’t fall over accidentally. The actual dock part is plastic, with an LED light and a power switch near the bottom. On the right side is the power and eSATA connections, with the left side having a mini-USB connection. The dock locks into the base with a plastic clip on it’s back, to unlock it you just press the button in and pull.
Included with the dock and base is a USB cable, eSATA cable, power supply and cord, eSATA PCI bracket, user manual and a carrying case to carry the dock with a 2.5" drive docked to it.
ICY DOCK MB881US-1S-1 EZ-DOCK 2.5”/3.5” SATA to eSATA & USB
HDD Docking Station Enclosure for Mac & PC
The MB881 Series is ICY DOCK’s first docking station built for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA hard drives. It provides a USB for universal support and e-SATA for up to 3 Gb/sec transfer rate. The on/off button switch makes it easy to conserve energy and extend the life of a drive. When using the USB, you can use only the USB bus to power your 2.5” drive, allowing less wires to be used on the dock. The stand is easily detachable and allows the dock for better portability. This lightweight dock can lay on any surface for hard drive stability and is small enough to grasp with just a hand. Best of all, the carrying case lets you carry your dock and 2.5” hard drive anywhere you go. Moreover, both the dock and the stand are light enough to move and reposition in different areas. This simply, yet elegant, design will definitely stand out in any room and will work on any Windows and Mac systems.
* Compatible with both 3.5" and 2.5" SATA I/II hard drive support hot swap.
* Support eSATA connection for maximum SATA performance.
* Plug & Play USB 2.0 quick connection for any computer system.
* User friendly Screw-less design just plug in the hard drive and play.
* On/off switch allows hard drive life expendability and energy conservation.
* Exposed working HDD stands in the air vertically with fast heat radiating.
* Aluminum alloy stand is detachable for portable use.
* Protective pouch protect your HDD and important data when using as portable 2.5” enclosure.
* Design for PC & Mac systems.
Item Number: MB881US-1S-1
Drive Fit: 1 x 2.5"/3.5” SATA I & II
External Interface: eSATA & USB 2.0
Transfer Rate:up to 3 Gb/sec. via eSATA
:up to 480 Mb/sec. via USB2.0
Structure: Plastic body with aluminum alloy stand
LED Indication: Device Power & Drive Activity
LED Display Color: Power: Amber; Drive Activity: Amber flashing
Dimension (L x W x H): 126 x 106 x 92 mm
Weight: 265.3 g
Price $50 (depending where you look)
There’s nothing to installation, just plug in a 2.5" or 3.5" drive and connect your cables.
If you want to take the dock and a 2.5" drive with you you can just use the case, the entire setup can remain in the case as well because the case has cut out sections for the connections and power button. The case is very nice, and a bit thick to offer protection for both the drive and the dock, it secures with velcro so it’s easy to access as well.
I was curious about the performance of the IcyDock EZ-Dock and ran SiSoft Sandra 2009 Removable Storage Benchmark on both 3.5" and 2.5" drives and compared it to a few others.
First up here’s testing with 3.5" drive docked, two graphs, the first shows the overall rating and the second shows the 256mb files test, the same drive was used far all testing:
As you can see it’s not the fastest when it comes to overall performance, but it’s ease of use and accessibility really make up for the lower speeds I think. I mean you don’t have to install a hard drive inside of an enclosure, no tools needed etc, just pop it on the dock and you’re pretty much ready to go.
Here’s testing using a 2.5" drive, they’re not all the same drives, but it’s compared to two others I’ve already reviews here on technogog and an OCZ Rally2 Turbo Flash Drive:
Here the EZ-Dock performs fairly well overall, not the fastest, but again, ease of use prevails I think.
Overall I think the EZ-Dock is a great and very useful product, anything that makes our lives easier has got to be a good thing right?
The IcyDock Ez-Dock is a great product really, it allows us to easily access both 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives and even take them with us if need be.
The Ez-Dock is well made, easy to use, and the included carrying case is handy as well. I can easily recommend this to anyone looking for a versatile and useful way of accessing and transporting their data around with them.
Easy to use
Includes carrying case
Not the fastest