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Davey B. "Gadget Geek" (USA)

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Inateck PCI-E to USB 3.0 2-Port PCI Express Card and 15-Pin Power Connector, Mini PCI-E USB 3.0 Hub Controller Adapter, with Internal USB 3.0 20-PIN Connector - Expand Another Two USB 3.0 Ports - [ Include with A 4pin to 2x15pin Cable + A 15pin to 2x 15pin SATA Y-Cable ]
Inateck PCI-E to USB 3.0 2-Port PCI Express Card and 15-Pin Power Connector, Mini PCI-E USB 3.0 Hub Controller Adapter, with Internal USB 3.0 20-PIN Connector - Expand Another Two USB 3.0 Ports - [ Include with A 4pin to 2x15pin Cable + A 15pin to 2x 15pin SATA Y-Cable ]
Offered by Inateck
Price: £28.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Installation Video for Inateck's USB 3.0 PCI-E Expansion Card - a great performer in a well-rounded package, 6 Mar 2014
Length:: 9:52 Mins

The physical installation of this card was an extremely simple affair. Inateck included accessories in the box to accommodate several different system configurations. For providing power directly to the card instead of letting it draw through the motherboard, there is a SATA power splitter along with a 4-pin Molex to SATA y-adapter harness, which allows you to connect to both old and current generation power supplies. A standard mounting bracket comes pre-installed on the card, but a short bracket is also included in the box for small form factor cases. The card also has a 20-pin USB 3.0 header on its rear for connecting other USB expansion ports to it (such as a front panel device).

Being a PCI-E 1x card, you can install this into any available PCI-E slot in your system regardless of size, from 1x to 16x. Installing the card into a larger slot won't provide any additional speed, but it will still work just fine.

Speaking of speed, I performed both synthetic and real-world benchmarks to compare this expansion card to the built-in USB2.0 ports in my system. My test system was a Dell XPS9100 tower (i7-930 processor with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) in conjuction with a Western Digital My Passport 500GB USB 3.0 portal hard drive.

Using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3a, I obtained the following results:

Dell USB2.0 Sequential Read, 1000MB: 33.94 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Sequential Write, 1000MB: 26.41 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Random Read, 512KB: 20.25 MB/s
Dell USB2.0 Random Write, 512KB: 12.87 MB/s

Inateck USB3.0 Sequential Read, 1000MB: 49.34 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Sequential Write, 1000MB: 48.75 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Random Read, 512KB: 25.05 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 Random Write, 512KB: 12.88 MB/s

The synthetic benchmarks show an increase in speed using the Inateck USB3.0 expansion card, especially for sequential reads and writes, but it's not as large of a margin as I was expecting. Of course, synthetic benchmarks are just that; they don't necessarily indicate real-world performance. As they say, that's why we run the races. For a more realistic test, I transferred some 10GB and 15GB files back and forth to the drive. The below figures are from each test after the transfer speeds leveled out. For the write tests going from the Desktop to the Portable Drive, I've also listed the initial speeds from the first few seconds of the transfer in parentheses after the leveled out speeds.

Dell USB2.0 10GB file, Read: 31.9 MB/s
Inateck USB3.0 10GB file, Read: 86.4 MB/s

Dell USB2.0 15GB file, Write: 42.7 MB/s (initial speed: 86.4 MB/s)
Inateck USB3.0 15GB file, Write: 73.3 MB/s (initial speed: 170 MB/s)

As you can see, there is a much greater difference between the USB3.0 and USB2.0 speeds in the real world file transfer tests. The Inateck USB3.0 expansion card has been a breath of fresh air for moving large files between my portable drive and my desktop computer. More and more external hard drives on the market these days are using USB3.0, so making the small investment to upgrade your computer with USB3.0 connections will help you make the most of your hard drive purchase by enabling it to use the maximum transfer speeds possible.

My only minor issue with this package at all was with the instructions - specifically, the support page link. A driver disc is included in the package, but I always recommend visiting a manufacturer's website to get the most up-to-date drivers for your system when installing new hardware. In the instructions, it tells you to visit a website to obtain the current drivers, but the website address has a typo in it ("dirvers" instead of "drivers"), and the link given is also for the German version of the website. I instead went to the "Inateck.com" English website, which I found much easier to navigate. I also found newer versions of the drivers listed there than on their German page.

I used the drivers on the included disc during my initial installation of this card, but I had problems with my USB drive disconnecting and reconnecting during my tests. Uninstalling those drivers and installing the newest drivers from the website (listed in the comments section of this review) solved my problem. At the time of this review, the newest Windows 7 driver is Version 3.5.106.0.

All in all, I was very impressed with the performance increase I saw after installing this card and using it with my USB3.0 portable hard drive. Inateck's package is well thought out and easy to install; I would highly recommend this card to anyone looking to upgrade their computer with USB3.0 support.

Review disclosure: I was provided a sample of this product for the purposes of examination and review. No review or particular rating was promised in return, and the opinions expressed here are my own following my first-hand experiences with this product.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2014 5:44 PM BST


Inateck 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure Case with usb 3.0 Cable for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5" SATA HDD and SSD, Tool-free HDD Installation, Compatible With Windows 2000/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4
Inateck 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure Case with usb 3.0 Cable for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5" SATA HDD and SSD, Tool-free HDD Installation, Compatible With Windows 2000/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4
Offered by Inateck
Price: £21.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portable enclosure for 2.5" drives; can also function as a drive docking station, 6 Mar 2014
Length:: 5:40 Mins

This review is for the the Inateck FEU3NS-1, USB 3.0 portable 2.5" drive enclosure. A solid choice for anyone looking to turn a 2.5" laptop hard drive or SSD into a portable USB drive, this particular enclosure has a few features that make it really stand out compared to others I have used in the past:

1) Tool-less installation. You can install or swap a hard drive in less than 5 seconds, and that's if you're moving slow. It's the easiest installation I've ever had with an external enclosure. To top it all off, the cover snaps into place firmly with a very positive action that requires a deliberate attempt to re-open the enclosure - this isn't going to just slip back open during your travels.

2) A dedicated on-off switch. My other OEM portable drives (such as the Western Digital Passport shown in the video) don't have this feature. As soon as you plug them in, the hard drive powers on and connects to the computer. With the Inatek, you can leave the drive plugged if you prefer and power it on and off via the switch on the front.

3) The tool-less installation and the dedicated power switch also mean that you can use this enclosure as a 2.5" drive dock. Keeping the enclosure plugged into your computer and the top off the enclosure off, you simply need to power it off with the switch on the front. You can then quickly insert/remove drives you want to work on, and then flip the enclosure's power switch back to the "on" to connect it back to the computer again. For anyone who needs to clone or backup 2.5" drives on the go, this is a very handy feature to speed up your work flow.

4) The standard Type A male to Type A male USB3.0 cable that is also interoperable with all USB2.0 Type A connections/cables. That means you can use any standard Type A to Type A cable for this drive should you lose or forget the one that came with it.

Using this enclosure with a Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD and connecting it to the USB3.0 port on my Windows 8.1 HP Envy 17.3" laptop (model# m7-j010dx), it maintained between 32MB/s to 40MB/s fairly consistently for both read and write speeds on various ZIP and RAR archives ranging between 200MB to 500MB in size. When transferring a larger folder from the drive to my laptop containing approximately 2GB worth of files of various types and sizes (including many files under 10MB in size), speeds ranged from 15MB/s up to 80MB/s.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with this enclosure. It performed well and installing a hard drive into it couldn't have been any easier. While aesthetics probably aren't a top priority when considering a device like this, I still have to say that I really liked the matte finish that doesn't show fingerprints and the minimalistic styling. The power/status light glows a solid bright blue when powered on and blinks while the drive is reading/writing. The manufacturer's packaging looks top notch, too, with the enclosure coming in a good looking box that has the included accessories packaged neatly inside and separated from the main enclosure itself. Inatek also includes an in-depth illustrated instruction manual, which seems to be a rarity these days. An extra piece of adhesive padding can be found in the bottom of the box that should be used when mounting 7mm thick drives in the enclosure to keep them more snugly in place, as well.

Highly recommended for anyone wanting to turn a 2.5" SATA drive into a portable USB3.0 drive or who needs a portable 2.5" hard drive docking station.

Review disclosure: I was provided a sample of this product for the purposes of examination and review. No review or particular rating was promised in return, and the opinions expressed here are my own following my first-hand experiences with this product.


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent scanner loaded with features, but user manual needs reworking to make setup and use easier, 6 Mar 2014
Length:: 9:58 Mins

The BCST-10 Bluetooth Laser Scanner from Inateck is a solid performer, operating well in both Bluetooth and wired modes and lasting longer on a single battery charge than I cared to keep scanning barcodes. I was able to perform scans from 25 to 30 feet away consistently while connected via Bluetooth to my Galaxy SII smartphone, even with a closed door in between. Scanning in "offline mode" also works very well, storing scans for later uploading which persist in the scanner's internal memory even after the unit is powered off (or until the memory buffer is cleared by scanning one of the appropriate codes in the user manual).

Speaking of the user manual, it's the one sore spot in this package. Thankfully, the scanner performs superbly in spite of it, but the manual is vague, poorly translated, confusing, and contradictory in several places. It's also very essential; the manual is filled with codes you have to scan for connecting to different devices and changing internal settings, so you'll probably want to pack it with your scanner wherever you go. If you lose it, Inateck has a printable copy of it in the support section of their English website, "Inateck.com."

The instructions for pairing the scanner via Bluetooth are pretty straightforward, at least - find the section in the user manual for the operating system you want to connect with (Windows XP/7/8, Mac OS, Android, iOS), then scan its barcodes in order and follow the instructions for entering any necessary pairing PIN codes. Connecting it via USB to a computer is even easier; just plug it in, and the system should recognize it as an input device and allow you to start scanning codes without any further setup required.

The user manual's other sections aren't quite so straightforward, unfortunately. Let me preface the following information by saying that none of the below should dissuade you from actually purchasing this scanner. The scanner itself is a very solid performer, and that's where it really counts. These are merely annoyances that can be overcome with trial and error, the help of other users (including this review, hopefully), a little intuition, and if all else fails, Inateck's Facebook page, where they are active in answering questions and do so in well-written English. So, let's rip off the bandage and get right to it:

➣ Vague instructions. The user manual tells you to "Restart the scanner" in certain areas, but nowhere does it tell you how to actually turn the scanner on and off. Since the scanner has only one button, it didn't take long to figure out that you hold in the button to turn the scanner on and then hold it in again for a couple of seconds to turn it back off, but it would have saved some head-scratching if that was explicitly mentioned in the manual. Since the scanner has an auto-power off feature, I initially and mistakenly assumed there was no way to manually turn it off.

➣ The manual's translation. Inateck appears to be a German company, judging from its "Inateck.de" domain name, and poor translations aren't anything new for non-English companies selling in the U.S. market. Given the quality of the scanner itself, though, you would think Inateck could have sprung for a decent translation of the manual into English.

➣ Using the "Common Function Barcodes" in Section 9. Unlike other code sections that have "Enter Setup" or "Start Setting" barcodes that you initially scan, and then "Exit with Save" and "Save and Quit" barcodes you scan once finished, Section 9 simply has codes for several more in-depth settings. It took me a few times scanning these codes before I realized you must first to scan the "Enter Setup" code in Section 10 before scanning the function code in Section 9 you want to apply, and then scan the "Exit with Save" code in Section 10 once you are finished. The functions in Section 9 will persist in the unit even after you power it off. This was confusing because I'd already tested the "Offline Mode" functions in Section 7, which also doesn't have the "Enter Setup" or "Exit with Save" barcodes. In that section, however, those setup and save codes are NOT needed.

➣ There are function settings in Section 9 that allow you to set the scanner to "Do not Apply Enter for suffix" and "Apply Tab for suffix." These do just what you'd expect - the first removes the carriage return/enter command off the end of each scan, meaning all of your scanned codes will show up in one connected line with no spaces or breaks. The second adds a tab command after each scan, just like if you were hitting the Tab key on your keyboard between each entry. The problem is that there are no commands included in the manual to revert these two settings to their previous state. That means if you want to use Tab as your scanning suffix for a few scans and then revert back to using Enter, you have to perform a factory reset of the scanner and then re-pair the scanner to with your Bluetooth device. Very annoying. Thankfully, there is an easy fix - Inateck may not have included the barcodes for these functions in the user manual, but if you know the proper setting codes, you can create your own barcodes for these functions yourself and print them out to use (do an internet search for "barcode creator" to find a website that allows you to create barcodes from numbers).

For "Apply Enter with suffix," create a barcode for the following setting code: 1340590061
For "Do not Apply Tab for suffix," create a barcode for the following setting code: 1340590064

I wouldn't be surprised if there are some other setting codes available that are also not in the manual. I wrote Inateck asking if there are codes for using (and subsequently removing) a Comma for the suffix, for instance, but as of this review I haven't received an answer back.

➣ The scanner's SPP (serial port profile) functionality. While most users will only need to use the scanner in its default HID mode (human interface device), it does provide SPP connectivity, as well. However, the manual doesn't make any mention of when you might find this useful. When I wrote Inateck and asked them what hardware, apps/programs, or situations SPP mode would be best suited for, they responded only with "it allows you to upload multiple scans at one time." I asked how that differed from the "Offline Mode" functionality, but I did not receive an answer back. If you need SPP functionality, you probably already know what it is and how to best make use of it. And if you don't know what SPP is, you likely don't need it anyway. That said, it still would have been nice to get a little more explanation of its usefulness in the user manual itself.

➣ "Offline Mode" in Section 7 could be more appropriately named "Internal Memory Storage Mode," as the scanner doesn't actually disconnect from its connected device while in this mode; it just stores your scans internally instead of instantly transmitting them to the connected device without saving them in its memory. You can scan the "Summarizing of uploaded data entry quantity" function barcode to transmit a line of text to your connected device that shows how many barcode scans you currently have saved in the scanner's internal memory. It's also worth noting that if you scan something by accident, there is no way to remove it from the memory without completely clearing all the codes (a "Remove last scanned entry" function would be very handy, if Inateck is listening).

The instructions for this section start off well enough, but they get fairly confusing after the first few sentences. Offline Mode simply stores any barcodes scanned into the scanner's internal memory until one of two things happens: you scan the "Manual data upload" barcode, or you scan the "Quit offline mode" barcode. Manual data upload does exactly what you would think - it sends the scans you've stored all at once to whatever device you're connected to, be it via USB or Bluetooth (if connected via both methods at once, the device connected via USB will take precedence). The "Quit offline mode" code does three things; it automatically sends all the scanned data to your connected device just like the "Manual data upload" function, but it also clears the internal memory and puts the scanner back into its default mode where it immediately sends scanned codes to your connected device.

Due to how it automatically sends all the saved barcodes and then immediately clears the memory when you scan the "Quit offline mode" code, I recommend using Offline Mode in one of two ways:

1) Enter offline mode, scan your items, and scan the "Manual data upload" function code when finished. Then scan "Buffer data purge" to clear the memory before scanning "Quit offline mode." This clears the scanner's internal memory before quitting so that you don't get double entries of all your scans upon exiting.

2) Scan "Enter setup" in Section 10 of the manual, scan "Disable Auto Upload" in Section 9, and then scan "Exit with Save" in Section 10. This will keep the scanner from automatically sending all the scanned barcodes when you scan the "Quit offline mode" code in Section 7. You could then enter Offline Mode, scan your barcodes you want to save, scan "Manual Data Upload" once you are reading to send them to your connected device, and finally scan "Quit offline mode" to clear the memory buffer and return to default instant-send scanning mode. This accomplishes the same thing as the other method I listed above, except that the "Disable Auto Upload" setting will persist in the device until you scan the "Factory Reset" code and re-pair the device (it would be nice if Inateck would provide a code to re-enable the Auto Upload feature without performing a factory reset, as well).

The reason for using the Offline Mode in this manner is to prevent possible data loss. You COULD use Offline Mode by simply entering the mode, scanning your items, and then scanning the "Quit offline mode" code to transmit your data and clear the memory. However, if you experience any sort of transmission problem (your Bluetooth connection drops, your USB cord unplugs, etc.), you are going to lose all of your stored barcodes since the "Quit offline mode" function clears out the internal memory by default once scanned. There's really no reason to risk that, and I personally use Method 2 listed above when doing scans in Offline Mode.

➣ The ambiguity and conflicting information in the user manual versus the specs listed on the box. The box states the scanner has a 1500mah battery and can store up to 2600 entries in its internal memory, whereas the manual states the scanner has a 1400mah battery and can store 1350 entries internally. It also states "Please use the matched power adapter offered by the supplier" in a small "Warning" area just below Section 9 in the manual. No power adapter is supplied with the scanner, and all that's required for charging the device is to plug it into your computer's USB port with its included cable, or plug it into a standard 5-volt USB power adapter like you'd use for AC outlets in your house or the DC power port in your car.

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I realize that is a LOT of information about the included user manual and areas I found problematic with it. The good news is that, armed with the information above, you hopefully won't have to sort those issues for yourself, so they won't be problematic for YOU. Once you know how the setup codes and different modes work, using the scanner is a real joy. If I was rating this scanner based on its user manual, I would give it at 3 out of 5 stars. But I'm not. I'm rating the actual scanner itself, and taking into account all its features and how great it works once it's set up the way you want it, I wholeheartedly rate it a 5 out of 5 stars. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone needing a wired or Bluetooth laser scanner; I would just make sure they took all of the above information into account on the front end to insure that their setup process was a fairly painless affair.

Review disclosure: I was provided a sample of this product for the purposes of examination and review. No review or particular rating was promised in return, and the opinions expressed here are my own following my fairly extension first-hand experiences with this product.


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