ACASIS is a new product we found on Kickstarter that promises to be a jack of all trades: it’s an SSD enclosure for fast M.2 SSDs, but it also acts as a 10-in-1 USB-C hub with Ethernet, HDMI, SD card reader, USB ports, and audio I/O.
The company behind ACASIS has been founded in 2010 but this is their first ever Kickstarter project. It’s basically a two-in-one device: An milled aluminium M.2 SSD enclosure for connecting these fast drives to your computer via USB-C (no Thunderbolt to be found here). But it also is a complete USB-C hub for connecting all kinds of devices to your laptop or recent (USB-C) Apple iPad. That way you have one pocketable device which does it all.
These tiny M.2 SSDs are usually found as internal drives in laptops, as modern laptops tend to get slimmer and slimmer. These drives are quite fast, but since they are meant to be used inside computers, they usually come as barebone units, so you need some sort of enclosure with some sort of data transfer interface.
Taking the stage is the ACASIS. It offers an M.2 NVMe/SATA tray that holds anything from 22×30, 22×42, 22×60, all the way up to full-sized 22×80 M.2s. These can be sourced with a capacity of up to 8TB, if you require.
The ACASIS connects to the host laptop/computer/tablet via USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, so you get transfer rates of up to 1000 MB/s. That’s a theoretical value, of course, but even slightly less than that is still really fast for such a pocket-sized device. Especially when you consider that the ACASIS also offers the following ports for connecting accessories:
- USB 3.0 (5 Gbps)
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
- USB-C 3.1 (10 Gbps)
- Audio in/out combo (3.5mm)
- SD/TF (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, microSD, SDHC, SHXC, 5Gbps)
- Gigabit Ethernet
- HDMI (4K*2k @ 60Hz)
- USB C PD (power delivery up to 100W to host)
- USB-C (for connecting a wall charger)
The entire device is made of aluminum, which not only looks very elegant, but also helps keep the device reasonably cool.
While this is by no means a Thunderbolt dock – then it would be much more expensive, I think this could be a very useful and handy product for working on the go. Modern laptops often lack connectivity and the ACASIS can help with that. Plus, it can’t hurt to have a bit of fast spare SSD storage, am I right?
I think USB-C 3.1 is fast enough for this task, beefier Thunderbolt devices are better suited for desktop use. Keep in mind, power bricks for these versatile Thunderbolt docks and hubs are often twice the size of the device itself.
Pricing and Availability
The Kickstarter campaign is in full swing as we speak and the $5,000 goal is already well in the rearview mirror. At the time of writing, funding was at nearly $315,000 with 12 days still to go.
A single unit is $99, $219 when bundeled with a 1TB M.2 SSD and $349 with a 2TB one. Your choice of silver or black.
According to ACASIS’ schedule, delivery should start in July this year, and since this is not just a theoretical product with some renderings, but a real, existing one, this goal seems at least possible.
Please be aware that this is a crowdfunding project and not a retail shop, so do your research accordingly. CineD does its best to only share projects that look legitimate, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.
What do you think? Would this be useful for you? Share your experiences in the comments below!