For a simple device like a HDD docking station the MB981U3-1SA is an attractive looking unit. Its entire structure is plastic matt on the sides and bottom and glossy on the top. The ICY DOCK logo can be seen at the very front of the MB981U3-1SA discreet but highly visible.
A sleek looking unit simple and understated
Taking a better look at the topside of MB981U3-1SA we can see that there is a power button in the very centre this will illuminate orange when powered up and will flicker during activity. Above this there is the HDD flap. Marked out there is accommodation for 2.5 and 3.5 drives. They simply slot into this section with the top of the drive facing the front. To the left there is a section marked out with 9 circular imprints this is the eject button. More on this below.
The top of MB981U3-1SA
At the back of MB981U3-1SA there is an adapter that unclips (and locks). On the back of this little adapter is the USB 3.0 port and DC power slot. Also seen in the picture below are 4x rubberised feet that will prevent the unit from sliding off smooth or shiny surfaces.
The back of MB981U3-1SA with USB 3.0 and power ports
Unclipping this adapter we can take a closer look at what functionality it offers. Though by default we can use 2.5 and 3.5 SATA drives the MB981U3-1SA will also cater for older drives like IDE in both 2.5 and 3.5 variants. There is even a Molex slot due to the older IDE drives requiring this for power and next to this we have the power button to get the drive running.
Adapter at bottom of MB981U3-1SA with IDE functionality
The MB981U3-1SA will not only accommodate SATA 2 (3 Gbps) 2.5 and 3.5 drives but also take full use of SATA 3 (6Gbps). For the purpose of testing we will be using a Seagate Barracuda 12 SATA 3 (6Gbps) 3.5 drive. Getting this drive in and out of the MB981U3-1SA couldnt be easier, and thanks to the eject button a simple press results in being able to take the drive out without having to struggle and pull or touch any of the components on the back of the HDD where the PCB is.
The MB981U3-1SA is capable of using SATA 3 (6Gbps) drives
The eject button makes things easy and omits the need to pull at the HDD
Over the page we will take a brief look at the performance that you can expect from the ICY DOCK MB981U3-1SA.