DockCase, known for its integrated MacBook hubs and cases, has returned with a new external USB-C enclosure for SSDs. They previously launched an M.2 drive enclosure, but their latest two enclosures are designed for larger 2.5 inch drives to accommodate SSDs or even traditional mechanical hard drives.
I want to start off with my usual Kickstarter warning. DockCases is an established company with a long history of selling their products, but they are still launching the product on Kickstarter. As such, it will take much longer to ship than purchasing one of their existing products on Amazon.
With that out of the way, the product itself is modeled!
The 2.5 drive enclosure is compatible with the other smart accessories that they have previously been introduced. Rather than being an enclosure you throw an inside and forget, the DockCases 2.5 enclosure has a small screen and capacitive buttons that allow you to get more information about your drive.
The smart trend with some of their hubs first emerged, allowing you to see which devices are connected to which ports. With the SSD enclosure, you can see your drives partitions, temperature and exact input voltage, the status of the power-loss protection, and the SMART status of your drive. This includes your drive power-on hours, power cycles, and the number of unsafe shutdowns, as well as the amount of data you receive.
Ive found this implementation to be superior to the one on their M.2 enclosure, as the three capacitive buttons on the front make it straightforward to navigate through the screens.
Given that this is a 2.5-sATA drive enclosure, the enclosure will not be able to deliver the highest speed possible from some USB-C SSDs specifically designed for the task. Its limited to the speed of the SATA interface, but it can still deliver more than 500MB/s with the correct drive.
If your primary aim is to achieve the highest performance possible on an external drive, then you may opt for a Thunderbolt enclosure and a NVMe drive. However, picking up an enclosure is a great way to get more life out of it. There is a second USB-C port that can be used to provide additional power for more power-hungry HDDs.
One of the main features of the enclosure is the power loss protection. Similar to the M.2 enclosure, it has a capacitor to assist provide a bit of power to the drive for a few seconds after being unplugged. This is intended to allow the drive to clear any data in its cache and obtain it successfully written to the storage to prevent loss or corruption of information.
DockCase 2.5 Smart enclosure
The standard smart enclosure and the pro versions of their 2.5 smart enclosure come in two versions: the standard smart enclosure and the standard one. The standard enclosure can measure up to 9.5mm thick, while the pro version can measure up to 15mm thick.
Both of them have the same metal and glass design as seen from DockCases previous items. A few silicon cases are also included for the enclosure, which provides some protection from drops.
At a discounted Kickstarter starting price of $70, it''s a tricky sell. If you need a drive that includes an external enclosure, you can get cheaper alternatives from the likes of Sabrent or SSK for less than $20. There''s just a week left in their Kickstarter to support the product which has nearly reached ten times its goal.