AKiTiO has a great portfolio for all sorts of products which help you get the most out of your Thunderbolt 3 enabled PC's and Mac's. Thunderbolt 3 storage offers the best in class for read/write performance but if you need something that is faster than your average USB drive and can't afford Thunderbolt storage solutions, AKiTiO offers the USB 3.1 Gen 2 based AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1.
The AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 is designed to support two 2.5’ SATA drives. With two SSDs and the USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/s) interface, SK-2520 can deliver speed up to 800-900 MB/s. AKiTiO also has a Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s) based dual-bay storage drive, but the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 is almost half the price.
Most of the features and functions are clearly specified on the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1's packaging, including USB 3.1 interface, USB-C reversible connector, USB bus power, USB Power Delivery, and the configurable hardware RAID controller. If you have a Windows computer, just make sure its OS is Win 7 or above. As for Mac, the OS X needs to be at least 10.12.4.
The AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1's package content includes a SK-2520 U3.1, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 capable USB-C to USB-C cable (1m), a power adapter, a setup guide, screws, and two straps with the red strap promoting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and the blue strap promoting Thunderbolt 3.
The AC power adapter is 36 watts and has an adjustable AC plug that can be changed depending on your region.
The AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 has portability in mind, and has a compact design that minimizes its size and weight.
The mesh design on the back helps to regulate temperature without having to employ a noisy fan.
There are three LED lights on the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 where the one in the middle represents the power; while the ones on left and right represent the hardware RAID controller status.
Since there are no specific buttons for switching the RAID modes, you'll have to use the jumper settings inside the chassis to change what RAID mode you want to use.
The design of AKiTiO's products has been noted for a style that is very appealing for Mac users and the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 is no exception.
There is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB-C port with USB Power Delivery support, as well as an AC power port on the back of the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1. If your computer doesn't have a USB Type-C port, simply getting a USB 3.1 Gen 2 capable Type-C to A adapter will solve this problem.
The USB-C interface can either consume or supply power through the USB Power Delivery protocol.
When the AC power adapter is connected to the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1, the USB-C port acts as power source, and provides 15W of charging to your computer, tablet, or phone. Note 15W isn't much for a notebook PC but does provide some trickle charging capability.
When the AC power adapter is not connected, the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 can directly draw power from your computer, tablet, or phone as long as each SATA drive you put inside the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 consumes less than 7W and the computer, tablet, or phone is able to provide 15 watts of power through the USB Power Delivery protocol.
In addition, the USB-C port also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) for data delivery compared to the previous USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps). The data transfer speed is definitely enough for supporting two drives in the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1, even under Raid 0 mode.
The bottom of the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 is where you would use the screws to close the enclosure after you have inserted the SATA drives.
The AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 can be used on any Thunderbolt 3 PC or Mac since Thunderbolt 3 also supports a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Host controller. It can also be used with PC's that have USB 3.1 Gen 2 support without Thunderbolt. We will be testing the AKiTiO SK-2520 U3.1 with some of these Mac's and PC's in later reviews.