September 3rd, 2010 by Brian Beeler
Icy Dock SATA 2.5" Rack For 3.5" Drive Bay Review
The Icy Dock MB991IK-B is a tray load rack that supports 2.5" drives and fits in a standard 3.5" drive bay. The principle is pretty simple, to give users an easy way to swap out 2.5" drives in a convenient tray system, rather than having to open up the PC case to trade them out.
The rack unit is built of black painted steel. It's very sturdy; excessive pressure on the top and bottom have no impact on the rigidity of the frame. The sides feature screw holes for mounting. The back of the unit houses the SATA interface connections, along with an SAS connector.
The front of the unit has a lock to secure the drive in the dock, two keys come in the package. When the drive tray is removed, a plastic door flops down to keep debris out.
The tray itself (EZ-Slide Mini) will hold 2.5" drives up to 15mm via four screw holes in the bottom. The tray slides easily into the dock and with a small amount of pressure, seats well. It's held in place by a spring loaded door and clasp that secures the drive firmly. This locking solution isn't as elegant as we've seen elsewhere, but the system works, and after trying to stress the springs with a few hundred open/close cycles, they held up well. The front of the tray also features an LED that indicates power and drive access.
The process of mounting the Icy Dock unit in a case and housing a drive only takes a few minutes and is entirely intuitive. That said, Icy Dock provides a step by step instruction book for those who need it.
In terms of performance, we tried a variety of drives and saw no material speed changes when compared to native SATA connections, as we would expect.
The final analysis is actually pretty simple - The drive bay is well-built, easy to install and works just as you'd expect. The street price of $29.99 put this dock inline with competing products, making it a very good value.