News on the storage front may mostly consist of new hard drives, solid state drives and flash drives, but there is a certain product category that, instead of offering storage by itself, allows other devices to do it. Such small gadgets usually go by the names of interface adapters and PhotoFast is quite eager to show off its most recent one. Going by the name of GBox mini, the new gadget seeks to allow regular SATA hard drives to be made use of externally, by means of the USB 3.0 connection.
The GBox mini, measuring 75 x 38 x 17 mm and weighing 23 grams, will plug into the SATA interface of any spare HDD or SSD that consumers may own and will allow the other end to be connected to a PC's USB port. Adapters of this type have been launched before, but not many, if any, were designed to allow SATA storage units to actually operate at the level of the SuperSpeed standard.
The GBox mini is compatible with both 3.5-inch as well as 2.5-inch hard disk drives or solid state drives and can reach transfer rates of up to 128MB/s when reading and 95MB/s when writing.
Granted, depending on how fast the actual drive itself is, higher speeds may very well be possible. The item is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports, as well as Mass Storage Class Bulk-Only Transport, Revision 1.0.
End-users may not be especially happy to find out that they can't, yet, get their hands on this product, but they need not be disheartened overmuch. PhotoFast intends to start shipping it, at least in Japan, by the end of July. The adapter itself will be bundled with the DriveClone Pro 7 software and will carry a price tag of roughly $22.