The AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini serves as a compact and highly portable 4-bay Thunderbolt 3 storage device which supports both Windows and Mac OS. With Software RAID, it can reach data transfer speeds of up to 1480 MB/s while supporting additional 4K video signal streams simultaneously. And can also daisy-chain external graphic cards or multiple Thunder3 Quad Mini's to further expand storage capacity.
As most of the AKiTiO's product packaging does, the Thunder3 Quad Mini's box looks great and highlights the key product features.
Once you open the outer box, you'll see an inner box which houses the actual Thunder3 Quad Mini.
Opening the inner box, you'll see a cardboard with the AKiTiO logo and quick setup guide, warranty terms, and a reminder to update to the latest drivers / firmware for the host PC.
The AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini itself is contained inside a handy carrying case and comes with various accessories including an external power adapter, a 0.5m Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 3 cable (capable of 40 Gb/s data transfer), screws to secure SSD/HDD, and two cable ties. All of these accessories can conveniently fit into the same handy case together with the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini to bring along easily while on the road.
Like other Thunderbolt products, the Thunder3 Quad Mini looks good housed in its aluminum casing.
At the front, it has one power button in the middle showing the power connecting status (orange lighting if connected) and the data connecting status (blue lighting if connected). There are also four different lights to indicate the status of each tray.
The back of the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini is equipped with a fan, has two thunderbolt 3 ports, and can support DisplayPort 1.2 (supporting 4K@60hz) over a standard DisplayPort connector. When installed with SSDs, the Thunder3 Quad Mini can run fanless to achieve a noiseless 0 dB operation, making it a good choice for audio recording. The Thunderbolt 3 ports not only can provide up to 15 watts (5 volts @ 3 amps) power using USB Power Delivery technology, but also make it possible to daisy-chain a total of five Thunderbolt 3 devices and one USB 3.1 Gen 2 or DisplayPort device. Although 15W is too low power for charging most of the notebook PC's, it is sufficient enough to let you work with the external drive without the battery levels of your notebook dropping even though the notebook is not plugged into any other power source.
At the bottom of the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini, there is a switch to remove the front panel so you can install the SSD/HDD's you need.
You could easily install up to four 2.5" SSD/HDD's, with a height ranging from 7-15 mm each. There are also four foam squares that work to absorb the vibration and prevent damages when using the HDD's.
The Thunder3 Quad Mini does not come equipped with hardware RAID IC but can be set with software RAID. If you refer to the AKiTiO's website, the Thunder3 Quad Mini is claimed to support four striped SSD's and the RAID 0 mode in order to achieve data transfer speeds of up to 1480 MB/s while supporting additional 4K video signal streams simultaneously.
Overall the AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini looks and works great, and showcases the possibilities enabled with Thunderbolt 3 for creative professionals and consumers seeking the portable and less space-taking storage with high performance.