DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure
DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure provides an excellent opportunity for portable, external digital storage. The case is designed well, and it's straightforward to use.
- Ease of use
DockCase provides a one-of-a-kind SSD storage option with this smart case.
Storage is always at a premium when you are working with digital clutter for a living. Sometimes that’s how I classify myself – a digital clutter wrangler. With that in mind, I try to keep extra external drives close at hand and one of the easiest ways to do that is to add drives to enclosures. I happened to have an extra NVMe SSD laying around from an old laptop that went by the wayside, but I needed an enclosure to make it a workable storage option. The best device for the job was the DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure.
DockCase was founded in 2016 by a team of engineers and designers who wanted to USB-C easier to use for consumers. Since August 2017, they have successfully launched and run three Kickstarter campaigns to get their products off the ground. This time around, the DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure is the product on the table. The campaign started on March 1, 2022, and while it still has 27 days to go (at the time of writing this article), the campaign already has 279 backers and has surpassed its $5,000 goal by more than six times.
The DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure is designed to provide safe, reliable protection for large amounts of data. It features Power Loss Protection (PLP), smart SSD health info detection, and dual-heat dissipation. PLP is built-in to reduce the risk of data loss when a drive is unexpectedly disconnected from power. It uses onboard supercapacitors to sustain power to the SSD long enough for data to be written to Flash memory. The main features of the DockCase enclosure are:
- Hardware power loss protection – The DockCase enclosure provides around 10 seconds of writing time after power failure.
- SSD health detection – DockCase can detect and display the SSD health status after power-on, disk life, disk power-on times, and remaining capacity at a glance.
- SSD info display – Exclusive D-Key control can switch between different pages to check SSD detailed info and select multiple functions.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps) – Transfer massive files within seconds with the incredible speed of USB 3.2 Gen 2 port (up to 10Gbps, 1050MB/s, actual data rates may vary depending on operating environment and other factors, such as chosen interface and disk capacity).
- Supports M.2 NVMe/SATA SSD – B&M Key M.2 (NVMe/SATA) or M Key M.2 (NVMe)
- Compatible with 4 sizes SSD including 22 x 80, 22 x 60, 22 x 42, and 22 x 30.
- Sleek and portable – The enclosure features an integrated design of aluminum alloy and tempered glass making it sleek, durable, and convenient. The fins cover prevents slips when held, the slim body easily slides in your pocket to enjoy maximized portability.
- Dual heat dissipation – DockCase RTL 9210B control chip is equipped with temperature control which can be up to 10 degrees lower than other chips, reducing heat generation from the source. Additionally, the fins are covered with graphite thermal pads which increases the heat dissipation area and blows away the heat.
- Upgradeable firmware – This means the enclosure can be continuously optimized to improve the stability of your work.
- Model: DSWC1P-10
- Power Loss Protection: 10 sec
- Screen: 1.33” 240 x 240 IPS-LCD
- Upstream Port: USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10 Gbps)
- Power Requirements: DC 5V=3.0A+0.2A
- SSD Type: M Key M.2 (NVMe) or B&M Key M.2 (NVMe/SATA)
- SSD Length: 2230/2242/2260/2280
- SSD Max Capacity: 2TB
- Operating System: Windows 7/8.1/10/11, macOS 10.6 or later, iPad OS 12.0.1 or later, Linux, Android, PlayStation 5, ChromeOS, or Harmony
- Firmware: Upgradeable
- Cable: USB 3.2 Gen 2; USB-C to USB-C/A Data Cable
- Size: 127 x 39 x 14 mm
- Material: Aluminum alloy + tempered glass
- Installation Method: screen fixation
The enclosure comes in plain packaging. The box is white with the DockCase logo on the front. The name of the product is stamped just under the logo in small print. The back of the box has some information on the product along with a sticker that calls out the model-specific info. The interior packaging was more than sufficient to keep the enclosure safe during transport. I also really like that an extra screw was included because those tiny screws can easily be lost.
The packaging being plain is just an observation and not a criticism. It’s important to remember that at the time of completing this review, the product was still being funded through Kickstarter. So, even though this enclosure is production-ready, mass production of the product is still to come.
The installation of the SSD is very easy and self-explanatory if you have installed SSDs in the past. The instructions don’t describe the process, but there is really only one way the SSD can be installed correctly into the slot. The Kickstarter page does include a short video that demonstrates how to install the SSD in the enclosure, but it would be nice if this were also included in the user manual.
As far as form goes, I was blown away by the style of the enclosure. It feels really good and does not get very warm – even after being connected to a computer for several hours. The case is very sturdy and it’s really easy to carry around. I wish that a carrying case was provided since the cable is separate from the enclosure, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. The display is really easy to read and I love that it’s color-coded.
I didn’t have any issues with the drive connecting to my computer (MacBook Air via Thunderbolt 3 dock). I did have to format the SSD once it connected to my computer, but that was only because it had come out of a computer and was read-only at the time. Formatting only took a few seconds and then it was ready for testing.
I completed three different tests – Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, AJA Speed Test Lite, and a real-time drag-n-drop test. All three of the tests were mind-blowing to me because of how fast the drive transferred data. The Blackmagic test provided a result of 871.6 MB/s WRITE and 900.1 MB/s READ timing. The AJA test (4K Full, 64GB, 16bit RGBA) ended with a result of 751 MB/s WRITE and 787 MB/s READ timing.
The drag-n-drop test consisted of me dragging a folder with some video files on it to the attached SSD and then timing how long the transfer took in real-time. I used the iPhone’s stopwatch as the timer. The folder I used was 3.1 GB in size (3,100 MB). It took approximately 3.97 seconds to transfer. That ended up being a transfer rate of 780.9 MB/s, which is remarkably fast.
The DockCase Smart SSD Enclosure lives up to its name. It’s easy to use, provides valuable resources for hard drive health and maintenance, and is easily portable. As of today, you can still back the item on Kickstarter and be able to try the enclosure for yourself. An SSD is not included, but the features the case provides are worth it.
For more information, visit dockcase.com, Facebook, and Twitter.