We’ve previously covered inexpensive Kimax’ Ethernet & WiFi HDD enclosures for 2.5″ SATA drives, powered by MediaTek processor and running OpenWrt. If you need something more powerful and versatile yet still affordable, the easiest way is now likely to go with SBC based solutions such as ODROID-HC1/HC2 or dual SATA NAS enclosure for RockPro64.
There may be another interesting option, as I’ve just been informed about another model of those networked HDD enclosure called Blueendless X3 “HDD NAS case” with Ethernet only (no WiFi), and that is equipped with the same Marvel ARMADA 3720 dual core Cortex-A53 processor as found in Marvell ESPRESSOBin board.
Blueendless X3 specifications:
- SoC – Marvell ARMADA 3720 (88F3720) dual core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.1 GHz
- System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash for OS, SATA 3.0 interface for 2.5″ drives based on ASMedia ASM1092R port multiplier
- Networking – 1x Gigabit Ethernet
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
- Power Supply – 12V/2A
- Dimensions – 118 x 110 x 33 mm (Metal case)
The enclosure support Windows, MAC, Android and iOS via “Xcloud” app, and ships with an Ethernet cable, a power supply and cord, and a user manual. The company claims a transfer rate of 60-70 MB/s over Gigabit Ethernet.
That’s about all we know from the public information available, but Gábor who tipped me about the HDD enclosure and owns one, told me “it’s hacker friendly, it has got a Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS running on it with SSH access, and the root password is root”. This is promising since users should be able to leverage ESPRESSOBin documentation, and modify the OS to fit their needs, and not necessarily have to use Xcloud app. If you plan to keep on using the default firmware, you’ll want to change that root password through.
Blueendless is apparently a brand from Kimax who made the previous enclosure we covered, and X3 (aka BS-X3) enclosure is currently sold on Aliexpress for $65.51 shipped, but I was told it was going for just $48 last week-end, so maybe the promotion will come back.
You can watch an unboxing and short review of Blueendless BS-X3 in the video below (Russian language).