VisionTek’s mSATA enclosure lets you carry 1TB storage in your shirt pocket
Two weeks ago, VisionTek announced the availability of the VisionTek mSATA mini Enclosure. Although mSATA is primarily used with ultrabooks, it allows us to use our new Kingston SSDNow 240GB mS200 mSATA SSD in new ways, other than as a caching SSD together with a HDD for a faster-booting hybrid drive desktop PC.
We are going to explore the performance of the VisionTek mSATA controller over the USB 3.0 bus by using our Kingston SSDNow mS200 mSATA SSD versus Kingston’s fast 240GB HyperX 3K (full-sized) SSD in its own Kingston USB 3.0 enclosure.
Using the VisionTek mSATA mini-enclosure together with our Kingston SSDNow mS200 mSATA SSD, we have basically created a 240GB Flash Drive, just as we have done with the full-sized Kingston 240GB HyperX SSD. As the devices are bus-powered, we can now transfer large files between PCs over USB 3.o very quickly and conveniently, without needing an AC adapter. If the mSATA drive and VisionTek mini enclosure prove to be suitable, it will be possible to use up to a 1TB mSATA drive as a conveniently-tiny, super-fast, and relatively reasonably-priced, portable storage.
The new VisionTek mini enclosure allows for re-tasking an existing mSATA Solid State Drive after upgrading the SSD in an ultra-slim notebook or for adding a new mSATA SSD to create a high-performance ultra-portable external drive. It also allows the user to use the mSATA drive anywhere as a flash drive for portable storage up to the current 1TB capacity, over a bus-powered USB 3.0 connection.
Sized smaller than a business card and weighing 0.30 ounces empty, the VisionTek mSATA mini enclosure is tiny compared to the Kingston USB 3.0 SATA enclosure that is included with Kingston HyperX SSD bundles. In fact, more than 3 VisionTek mSATA mini enclosures can fit into the space of a single SSD enclosure, and it is a perfect fit for a shirt pocket.
Inside the enclosure is an mSATA slot with support for up to SATA3 (6 Gb/s) devices. A fast mSATA SSD will be able to max out the USB 3.0 interface, bringing some very high transfer speeds as we shall see.
All of our SSDs are currently being used for building our FCAT – Frame Capture Analysis Tool – and we are using our 2TB Toshiba HDDs and the USB 3.0 connectors on the front of our case, so we will by no means be able to show you maximum transfer speeds as Kingston’s SSDNow mS200 has read speeds up to 550MB/s and write speeds up to 520MB/s. However, when comparing with USB 2.0, this enclosure is a speed demon on USB 3.0.
VisionTek uses a scratch-resistant aluminum housing to provide a safe environment for a mSATA’s data. It costs $29.99 at the VisionTek store and slightly more at Amazon.com. It is completely plug and play, and files can be shared as soon as the mSATA card is installed in the enclosure and it is plugged into USB.
Next week, we will take a closer look at the performance of the 240GB SSDNow Kingston mS200 as a stand-alone SSD compared with HyperX SSD performance, and also as a caching drive together with a traditional hard drive in a desktop hybrid storage system.
Let’s take a close look at unboxing it, setting it up, and finally its performance over the USB 3.0 bus.