Picking the right headphones can be quite tricky, but with a great range of versatile and reasonably priced headphones in their range, it seems the Inateck has got you covered. Today we’ll be taking a look at three of their latest sets, all of which come targeted at a slightly different part of the market. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help guide you in which ones offer the best performance, features and value for money to suit your own needs.
Inateck produces a huge range of products, such as mobile accessories, USB hubs, hard drive docks, laptop bags and so much more. They’ve had great reviews in the past and their brand continues to grow in popularity, so I’m looking forward to testing out these headphones today. In the eTeknix office, we have their new Aries Dynamic Driver In-Ear Headphones (BH1101), the Taurus Wireless Sport Headset (BH1001) and the more affordable Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone BH1105’s. They all have some a little unique about them too, so it’ll be interesting to see which ones offer up the best options and performance overall given their respective price ranges and target audiences.
Aries Dynamic Driver Headphones
“Built in modern aluminum-housings and classic premium genuine wood, Inateck Aries BH1101 likes more like a work of art. 22 cored anti-oxidized cooper wire can better extend its service life. Furthermore, the PU Aluminum Foil cable makes it sturdy and tangle free.”
Wood In-ear Hi-Fi Headphone
“What is the most important thing to headphones? A well-rounded and clear sound! BH1105 is not only superbly balanced but also offers awesome bass, trebles and ear protection. The Zebra Wood pumps up your sound to an orchestral-like level. Bring a concert with you wherever you go.”
Taurus Wireless Sport Headphones
“Inateck Sport Bluetooth headset-BH1001 provides a comfortable, curved fit. Its magnetic design allows the two ear buds attract with each other, forming a circle that could hang on your neck to avoid falling down or losing when you finished exercising.”
The packaging on the headsets/headphones is pretty simple, with a minimal waste box and some stylish representations on the front.
Around the back, quite simple again and a few major specifications on the Aries and Taurus boxes.
The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!
We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!
Rock Band 4 Band in a Box
Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.
The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.
What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.
Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.
Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard
Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.
Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo
The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.
RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!
The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.
The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.
A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.
We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.
Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.
SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.
Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.
AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.
Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.
It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!
Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!
Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.
Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.
The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.
Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.
Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.
The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.
Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.
Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.
A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.
Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.
Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.
Inateck is a brand name I’m seeing more and more recently. While they don’t make a lot of big products, such as PC cases and graphics cards, which we see plenty of here at eTeknix, they do make a lot of smaller lifestyle products that many of use day-to-day. From mobile devices, to desktop computers, Inateck has an interesting range of accessories and products to help improve your usage experience. Today we’re going to be looking at their very promising MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker, but Inateck were also kind enough to send us their new 2-Port Rapid Charger and a nifty waterproof bag (more interesting than it sounds).
First up, let’s take a look at those cool little accessories. The first is the Inateck 2-Port Rapid Car Charger, which is pretty much what it sounds like, it’s a car cigarette lighter adaptor that provides you with a couple of USB sockets; but there’s also a nifty little extra!
In the box, you’ll find a fairly straight forward Micro-USB cable, perfect for connecting your smartphone, SatNav, dashcam, etc.
The actual unit is really compact and the back is slim, so it won’t stick out of your dashboard too much.
The cool part, however, is that it comes with a hard-wired lightning cable, giving you room to charge an Apple device while keeping the two USB ports free!
Even better, both ports are rapid charging 2.1A ports, always a welcome bonus.
Onto the next funky accessory, the Inateck Waterproof case. This is a simple one, it’s a 100% waterproof sleeve, which is perfect for your smartphone, but Inateck also say you could use it for money, documents, medication and all kinds of stuff. This isn’t something you’re going to need every day, but if you’re on holiday and want to jump in the sea with your kids, it could be the difference between a soaking wet phone and a dry one.
It’s pretty easy to use, come with a neck strap and while it may not look like the coolest thing on Earth, it’ll get the job done. It’s also amazingly lightweight and slim, so keeping it in your bag shouldn’t be a problem.
You might be short of some extra USB ports in your system, or maybe you just want another host controller to keep up the transfer speeds on multiple devices at once. Maybe your system doesn’t have a wireless network connection or you just want to upgrade your old 2.4GHz n or lower card to something better.
Inateck’s latest add-on expansion card does all of this in one, and it only takes up a single PCI-Express x1 slot. I’m talking about the Inateck KT9001 USB 3.0 & Wireless LAN card and it is one of the newest products to come from Inateck.
The add-on expansion card provides you with an additional 3 USB 3.0 ports controlled by a Fresco Logic FL1100-1Q0 Host Controller while the dual-band wireless is powered by a Realtek 8812AU Wireless LAN 802.11ac USB controller.
The cards allows your desktop computer to connect to high-speed wireless networks, or create one itself. It uses two antennas for increased wireless performance and stability and can reach great speed on both the 2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz bands. The range is specified to 150m which is what most network equipment is and it supports the 802.11 AC protocol for 300Mbps and 867Mbps connections.
The base chip controlling the entire card is the FL1100EX which is a 4-port USB 3.0 host controller. One of the ports is used to connect the Wireless Signal while the last three are available for the usage of your choice, may it be for your storage drives, peripherals, and other random USB devices.
The controller fully supports UASP for increased bandwidth and doesn’t need any drivers in Windows 8 or newer operating systems. UASP especially helps at multitasking as it can handle more commands at the same time compared to BOT connections and also increases the overall throughput.
On the rear IO, you’ll find two LEDs to give you an insight into the WiFi cards actions, a power and an act LED. The two antennas are detachable and the connections are can be covered with the included plastic caps when not used.
The black IO shield is a nice touch as the majority of users will have black PC cases and this card will match that perfectly. The white print is bright and easy to read even in the darkness that reigns behind a PC.
Inateck always includes a little more in the package that you need. This time it contains two screws in case you should have lost one from your chassis or it comes without. A simple thing, but one that is great to have when needed. Else you’ll find a driver disk for Windows 7 users, a manual, two antennas, and the expansion card itself.
Have you ever found yourself in the situation that you have run out of USB ports? Maybe your sick and tired or switching your hub from system to system depending on where you need? Or how nice would it be to use the same keyboard and mouse on multiple computers and just switch the target when needed?
Let us start with the basics. You get a small 3-port USB 3.0 hub, allowing you to connect all your high-speed storage devices at once, even when you’re out of onboard connectors. The HG4009 is a USB hub and as such supports what it is connected to, including UASP for maximized transfer speeds and full utilization of the 5Gbps USB 3.0 capabilities.
But this isn’t an ordinary USB hub, far from it. The HB4009 it features the Magic Port on the end of the device, and it carries that name with a good right. Instead of being a port to connect another device, it’s a port to connect it to another computer – at the same time.
Whether the two connected systems run Windows or Mac OS, the Inateck HB4009 connects to them all. It can even connect to OTG enabled Android devices. Smartphones and tablets lack the normal USB port to connect it, so Inateck included an OTG adapter, converting the normal USB connector to a micro version.
The advanced functions, meaning everything besides the USB hub itself, do require software or drivers. Thanks to the design of the hub, it has an internal storage where all this is located.
The MacKMLink software allows you to switch keyboard and mouse between your Windows and Mac systems and the VirtualLink will provide you with a link and QR code to download the Android app. It’s a simple way to include it all in one package without the users needing to have an optical drive to install from or having to download drivers and carry around all the time. Take the hub with you and you have what you need to use it.
The MacKMLink software doesn’t just allow you to switch your keyboard and mouse from one system to another, it also allows you to share the clipboard and copy files from one system to another without the need for an extra network connection.
The hub itself is made from grey plastic and the USB ports themselves are metallic gilded for long-term usage. The gold-plated USB connectors should last a lot of plugging.
A really cool thing about the KM switch is that the keyboard and mouse don’t need to be connected to the hub itself. It will simply take over the control, when you want it to, of the already connected devices. You can use either mouse or keyboard from either connected system. This is awesome.
I’ve taken a look at quite a few of Inateck’s products so far, and I have yet to be disappointed. They are taking known concepts but improve on them with a twist of some sort. They have done exactly that again with their new FE2007 Tool Free UASP USB 3.0 HDD Enclosure with built-in and powered 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub.
Thanks to the power of the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), the FE2007 is able to utilize the entire USB 3.0 bandwidth and provide excellent transfer speeds.
You connect the enclosure directly to your system via the micro USB port on the one side of the enclosure and that is all you need to do. The enclosure is both tool-less and driverless. Another bonus feature is the ability to power down the inserted drive when you don’t need it. Save on your power bill and save lifetime on your drive.
There is one problem that you often run into and that is the problem with too few USB ports. This is especially the case on notebooks and compact systems that generally have fewer ports, but not exclusively. Inateck added a three-port USB 3.0 hub to the enclosure and increases the functionality of this tiny device a lot.
There is a second USB cable included that isn’t for data transfer, but rather to provide extra power to the connected devices. This allows you to use more power hungry devices at the same time and charge mobile products faster.
The top cover slides off without the use of much force, at the same time it still stays where it should be when closed. The enclosure has the same width internally as your 2.5-inch drive, so all you need to do is slide it in until it’s plugged into the SATA connector and close it again.
Inateck’s FE2007 can take 2.5-inch drives with a height of up to 9.5mm, making sure that you’re also able to mount the thicker drives.
Inateck also included a foam pad with the package that helps to keep a thinner 7mm drive in place inside the enclosure. This is especially useful when you take the enclosure with you on the go.
I’d also like to point out that I really like how Inateck is packaging their products. For the most part the package is just a brown box with a sticker. While this might be boring, no one actually looks at the box after you got it and it’s much better for the environment as well as saving production costs and machine maintenance that ultimately would end in a more expensive products. Well done.
Inateck probably has the widest array of docking stations and enclosures for hard drives and solid state drives and today I’m pleased to be able to take a look at another sweet looking on. The Inateck FD1005 is a single-bay top-loading docking station for SATA hard disks that connects through USB 3.0 and supports UASP for maximum transfer speeds.
Top loading docking stations are probably the easiest to use, especially if you switch your hard drives a lot. The Inateck FD1005 allows you connect a hard disk or solid state drive to your computer by simply plugging it into the docking station and turning it on. It couldn’t get much simpler than that. When you then also get top transfer speeds on top of that, then we have something worth considering.
Creating backups of large amount of files across multiple hard disks can’t get much easier than this. The Inateck FD1005 supports the newest SATA 3 hard disks with up to 6TB capacity, so storage limitation isn’t a thing that you’ll run into either. The dedicated 12V power connection ensures that the drive always has both enough power and a general stable power supply. The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.
The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.
Inateck’s FD1005 is a very compact one-bay unit and as such it needs a stable footing. Mechanical hard drives aren’t light, especially not when we deal with those that are packed with full with platters. Inateck added four tiny rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding and gave it additional weight by adding a metal block inside.
And the two work great in conjunction. I tried placing the enclosure with my WD RED 6TB hard drive on a surface with an angle and it stayed right where I placed it. Running several HDD benchmarks to bring the drive into vibration didn’t change this either.
The cover has a small static opening fitting for a 2.5-inch drive while the rest of the cover folds back when a drive is inserted and springs back into place to cover and protect the opening when the drive is removed again. In the photo below, I used a DVI protective cover to keep it open while taking the photo.
Inateck used the ASMedia ASM1153E chip which is a one-chip solution with embedded USB and SATA controller, as well as its own memory. Previously I’ve mentioned that the enclosure supports up to 6TB drives, but that’s only because that’s the biggest I can test with right now. Theoretically, the only limitation for a docking station like this is the GPT limit of 18 exabyte (although Windows file system is limited to 256TB per drive), meaning that future 8 and 10TB HDDs shouldn’t be a problem either.
I’ve had the pleasure to have a closer look at quite a few of Inateck’s docking stations and enclosures so far, and it has been a pleasure every time. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Inateck FE2004 2.5-inch portable HDD and SSD enclosure. The FE2004 enclosure connects through a USB 3.0 connection for great transfer speeds thanks to the 5Gbps bandwidth and it can take drives up to 9.5mm height.
The Inateck FE2004 has a delicate and simple appearance. The only thing that stands out from the black enclosure is the battery indicator and company logo. The manufacturing is great and every part fits together without gaps or edges that you’ll feel. The surface also feels very smooth and it’s generally an enclosure that is pleasant to touch and hold.
A portable enclosure also has to be convenient to carry and light weight. Inateck’s FE2004 is both as it only weighs 90 grams the rounded corners make the 130 x 83 x 13 mm small enclosure easy to slide into even the tightest pockets. The USB cable is detachable so you don’t break it during transport and can pack it all better. A detachable USB cable also allows you to replace it with a longer or shorter one depending on your needs.
The FE2004 would be a great expansion for laptop users to store all their extra media such as films and images, ready to stream when needed and without the need to take up that little precious internal storage that most laptop users are bound to. The enclosure is
The enclosure is suitable for 9.5mm and thinner drives. There is a pre-mounted foam pad inside the enclosure to keep thinner drives such as 7mm SSDs mounted properly and prevent them from rattling around and Inateck also includes a second foam pad with the enclosure in case you ever need to replace it. A minor thing that costs them maybe a cent, but one that is extremely convenient for the user buying the product.effectively.
The bottom side of the enclosure has four tiny nipples as feet and while they don’t look like much, they do provide a better grip on the surface than the other side does. Place on the top side, the enclosure could easily slide off a smooth surface, but the feet hold it in place.
Built-in foam pad, protect hard disk effectively
Blue and red power supply/HDD LED activity indicator
Suitable for 9.5mm and thinner 2.5-inch SATA HDD and SSD.
Super Speed USB3.0 offer Speed up to 5Gbps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000/Windows Me/Windows 98/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4 above
Hot Swap & Plug and Play: No reboot and additional driver is needed
Tool-Free design: Mounting a drive in three-second without tools and mounting screws.
We’ve all run into this one particular issue at one point or another and that is where we have to work with too few USB ports. This is where USB hubs come into play and today I’m taking a closer look at two of them. On the test bench is the Inateck four-port HBU3VL2-4 USB 3.0 hub and the Inateck three-port HBU3VL3-4 USB 3.0 hub with Ethernet connectivity. Both of these new USB 3.0 hubs are aimed at netbook, notebook, ultrabook, tablet, and similar portable PC users and they reflect that in their size, features and portability.
The Inateck HBU3VL3-4 and HBU3VL2-4 both feature the same basic design and are highly portable. They barely take up any space with their 110 x 32 x 20mm size and are lightweight enough to not notice in your bag at just 59grams. They are both passive powered units so you don’t need to carry around an extra and heavy power supply just for the hub. Perfect for users on the go.
The first of the two units, the HBU-3VL2-4 four-port USB 3.0 hub, comes with a short USB 3.0 cable so you can connect it without having meters of cable rolled up next to your laptop. It features three USB ports on top of the unit and one on the end. The one at the end of the unit is especially suited for bigger plugs and devices that would otherwise impair connectivity to the rest of the ports. Other than that, the four-port USB hub doesn’t feature much because there is no need for anything else. It has a sticker on the rear with the product and company names as well as the model number.
Being a passive powered unit does bring the benefit of not having to carry around an extra power supply, but it also means that there are a few limitations on what you can connect. The maximum power draw from connected devices can’t exceed 5V 900mAh. It would be tempting to use a hub with this design as a charger, but that isn’t recommended for passive hubs. But normal smartphones, flash storage, and input devices shouldn’t provide any issues at all. Inside it features the VIA VL812 chipset that should deliver more than enough performance, and I don’t expect to see much of a performance impact through its use.
The second USB hub is a little more specialized and comes with one really cool extra feature, a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. This could be particular useful for ultrabook and tablet users that only have wireless connections at their disposal. Just connect the Inateck HBU3VL3-4 to your system, install the Realtek drivers and enjoy the benefits of a cabled connection.
The Inateck HBU3VL3-4 looks just like the 4-port hub we just saw, but it only features the three USB 3.0 ports on the top. The fourth port at the end has been replaced with an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. This is really awesome and thanks to Inateck’s use of a Realtek RTL8153 chip inside, I expect to see solid performance here.
If you choose to download the drivers for the LAN port instead of using the included driver disk, make sure you download the right one. There has been a revision in the product, but it can easily be identified by the sticker on the bottom. The download page will also warn you about this and guide you to the right version. This is well done and something I wanted to point out, I like when a company makes everything as easy as possible. One is identified by a serial number sticker while the other has the mac address on the sticker.
I’ve taken a look at many different drive docking solution lately and today it has become time to take a closer look at the Inateck FD1006C USB 3.0 Lay-Flat Docking Station. The FD1006C offers UASP support for maximum USB 3.0 transfers speeds as well as support for large capacity hard drives.
The FD1006C is designed to work with both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives and solid state drives to offer speeds close to the theoretically 5Gb/s that the USB 3 bus has to offer. The serial USB protocol allows for more commands to be issued at the same time, resulting in an overall improvement of up to 70% compared to non-UASP systems.
The FD1006C comes with a top cover to protect the drive from unnecessary dust and other dirt, a great addition that protects your drive better especially if it stays in the enclosure for longer periods of time.
Due to the Plug and Play nature of USB, the enclosure is widely compatible with everything from Windows 2000 over Linux to Mac OS 9.1 and above. It also supports hot-swapping of the drives
While solid state drives easily will get enough power directly from the USB 3.0 connection, mechanical hard drives require more power. Inateck included a power adapter to make sure that enough and stable power is provided to the plugged in drive.
The use of a full-sized USB 3.0 connector on the drive further aids in stability and security. This bigger connector is a lot easier to handle and plug-in as well as being more sturdy than a micro type connector – and there is enough room on the FD1006C to use the full-sized B-type connector.
The tool-free design allows you to both easy and quickly add, remove and replace drives in the enclosure without the need for any tools or mounting screws.
Two LEDS will show when the device is powered and when the docked drive is being accessed. An ASmedia ASM1153E USB to SATA bridge chip takes care of the internal transfers between the two connections.
Top slot-loading hard disk docking stations have been around for some time, and once in a while they come with increased functionality over just being a docking station. These days we need the fastest transfer speeds possible with the ever growing user-base that facilitates solid state drives. At the same time, it has to stay as easy and compatible as it always has been. Inateck created the FD2002 Dual HDD Docking station with off-line cloning feature, that is a device that should give us everything mentioned above.
The Inateck FD2002 comes with SATA 3.0 ports connects through a USB 3.0 connection for maximum transfer speeds. USB 3.0 is in its basic version only gives real-world speeds up to around 250 to 300MB/s at the best of times, that is until UASP came into play. UASP stands for USB Attached SCSI Protocol and is designed to address the failings of the classic USB BOT drivers by adding command-queuing and out-of-order completions, among other things. With the use of the UASP, we can archive raw speeds up to and around 450-500MB/s, a thing that just isn’t possible without.
Where most manufacturers would have stopped here and had the users rely on software options, Inateck took it one step further and added a copy and clone function to the docking station. And best of all, it doesn’t even need to be connected to the PC to this function to work.
The clone function is for pure offline-mode usage as a USB connection will interrupt the process. If you wish to be able to have it connected at the same time, Inateck has another model that supports connected duplication. It however requires more internal hardware and Inateck have thought about that and is giving you the choice to get just the right item for you.
The FD2002 supports both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives. Small drives plug in right through the opening while bigger 3.5-inch drives will push the lever aside when inserted. Plug and play as it should be. The docking station also supports hot-swap and no drivers are needed besides your systems normal USB drivers. The tool-less design makes it both easy and fast to switch drives.
The LED indicator on the top displays the progress of a running duplication process as well as drive activity and connection. There is only one button to use for the clone function, but it requires a bit more than a touch to activate. A good things, as we wouldn’t want to start a duplication by error.
Security is another thing we all like and we want to keep our drives safe from physical damage. The Inateck FD2002 comes with overvoltage, leak currents, short circuits, peak voltage, interference and disturbance protection to guarantee safer data transfer and access.
The unit is listed as compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, Mac OS and Linux, but it should work with any USB capable device.
The Inateck FD2002 comes with both a USB 3.0 cable and a 12V 3A power brick for steady power to even the most power-hungry of drives.
Modern smart devices can perform all sort of things and we’ve reached a time where the term smart might actually apply, that is at least until we get to the issue of connectivity. And this is where the On-The-Go (OTG) feature comes into play, it allows us to expand the connectivity to our Android and other OTG devices by turning the micro USB connector into a USB host adapter. We’ve recently tested some flash drives that support this feature, but OTG is so much more.
Inateck have taken a serious look at what smart device users could lack on features and created the HB3001G All in one Card reader and 3-port USB hub for smart devices. While the packaging highlights Samsung S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4, Tab 4 and Tab S devices, this hub will work fine with any OTG enabled device. One of the great features that USB has, the plug and play nature, makes this a possibility.
You could run into the trouble that your internal SD card slot simply can’t read the card size you have available, so plugging it directly into the smart device isn’t an option. The Inateck card reader doesn’t have this issue and should load any capacity card you can provide or that is supported by the operating system. It supports SD(HC), MS, TF and M2 memory cards just as good as any ordinary USB storage.
Many people aren’t aware that Android has native support for mouse and keyboard input, and as such you can just connect your normal mouse and keyboard and use your smart device as an all-in-one computer instead. Any true plug and play device should work like a charm, but getting printers or similar things to work isn’t a thing you should count on, although it is possible.
When you connect USB devices to your tablet or smartphone, you’ll use the battery to power these devices. There is also a natural limitation on how much power your device can provide for the hub and that is why Inateck also added a power connection that can be connected to any USB port or charger to supply those additional power requirements without putting extra drain on your devices battery.
Inateck may not be a common brand name, at least not yet, but they’ve got a great range of low to mid budget products that certainly caught our attention. While many of us love the high-end flagship products, sometimes we just need something affordable, that does the job we need with ease; the Inateck wireless Bluetooth speaker we’re reviewing today is one of those products. It’s got a fairly straight forward job to do and it’s not likely a product you need to put much thought into either. If you need a stand for your tablet, but you also need a wireless speaker to enjoy your music, or hands-free calls in the office, at home or wherever, then you’ll most likely be looking at this device or something similar on a popular shopping site such as Amazon. So just what do you get for your money?
The Inateck Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a nicely designed unit. It has a hard black speaker grill on the front of its extra wide design, as well as a little bit of silver trim around the edge and around the control switch on the front.
The wide design makes the Inateck ideal for mounting your smartphone or tablet on the top of the speaker. There’s a hard rubber slot that runs the full width of the device for maximum compatibility with a wide range of devices. There’s also a small cut-away in the middle, which makes accessing the home button on tablets such as the iPad a whole lot easier.
There is only one control on the front of the device, which can be used to play or pause music (via Bluetooth), answer or reject calls, or redial the last number on your paired device.
The base of the speaker is wider than the top, giving a little extra stability to the speaker, but it’s not so thick that you couldn’t chuck it in your backpack.
Around the back, you’ll find a fold out speaker bracket and the I/O ports.
There’s a master power switch on the back to help save power, an AUX line-in jack and a DC5V port for charging the built-in battery.
The speaker bracket is very handy, as putting a 10″ tablet on the top of the speaker in portrait mode could make the whole setup prone to tipping; a problem easily solved by deploying the bracket.
Included in the box you will also find a USB to Micro-USB cable, which is perfect for keeping the speaker charged, as well as a 3.5mm cable for connection devices such as MP3 players.
Having an external enclosure for your Hard Disk and Solid State Drives can come in very handy for a multitude of reasons. You might have those old Hard Disk drives from a laptop you’ve upgraded with an SSD, or an old SSD you’ve upgraded to a bigger and better one, or maybe even both. If you could answer yes to one of those questions, the Inateck FE2005 tool free 2.5″ external enclosure might be just the right choice for you.
Inateck have designed the FE2005 as a tool-less solution and there is no need for any screws or other fastening tools. You just slide your drive into the enclosure, connect it to a USB port and you’re ready to go. It is compatible to all systems with USB ports; Mac OS, Windows and Linux and supports automatic sleep and spin down of the drives.
The first few times you’ll open the enclosure it will be very tight but once it has been open a few times, the operation will become much smoother. You just pull on the clamshell and the enclosure slides apart. You can also push at the rear bottom in case it is too tight at first and you don’t want to risk accidental damage. Fold the clamshell down, slide the drive in, fold it back and push the enclosure together. That’s it.
The exterior is kept very simple and the only detail added is the name on the top of the enclosure. It is manufactured in a combination of ABS plastic and aluminium to give it an improved heat dissipation.
The choice of materials also helped Inateck to keep the weight down at just 75 grams, without a drive inserted. The enclosure is equally small as it is light and the external dimension equal those of a 3.5-inch drive.
The Connection to your computer is done by a USB micro-B connector, a common choice. It’s also a choice that might give you a bigger choice on what cable you will be using, if the included shouldn’t be the right match for your needs.
A dual-coloured activity LED will tell you what connection mode is active. It will shine white on USB 2 mode and blue on USB3 mode. Inateck also added a slide-lock to prevent accidental or unwanted opening of the enclosure.
By adding a foam-pad inside the enclosure, Inateck made sure that 7mm drives will be securely mounted even though the enclosure also can handle 9.5mm drives. A minor thing to do, but one that gives a big bonus, is that Inateck also included an extra foam pad with the packaging in case you need to remove the pre-installed and later want to add it back to once again safely use 7mm drives.
The enclosure doesn’t have any external anti-vibration features in the form of rubber feet or similar, but covers it internally instead. The bottom of the enclosure is fully padded to protect your drive from scratches and help to eliminate vibrations when mechanical drives are used.
Inateck used the JMicron JMS567 chipset for direct conversion from SATA-III to USB 3.0 with support for USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP) and a Winbond chip for caching. This combination should ensure us as close to the practical speeds possible. There will be a minor impact on the transfer speeds here just as there is with any conversion, but it should be marginal.
Within the package is everything you need to get going. A manual to get started, a USB 3 cable to connect the enclosure and with your PC as well as a replacement foam-pad as mentioned earlier.