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Today we are going to review another interesting product from one of our favor brands; In Win. In Win AMMO is a 2.5" external SATA HDD enclosure but unlike other standard external HDD enclosures, AMMO is equipped with RFID encryption security which is absolutely rare and so far this is the first HDD enclosure that comes with such great feature. Let's us quickly go through this interesting device without any further delay.
IN-WIN Development Inc., an ISO 9001 manufacturer of professional computer chassis, power supplies and digital storage devices, is the leading provider of enclosure solutions to system integrators worldwide. Founded in 1986, IN-WIN provides high quality chassis that conform to all safety regulations, as well as unsurpassed customer service.
In Win was well trained to become a top-notch manufacturer of core technology to enhance internal core competence to meet what customer and market needs constantly. Top Management has been executed four major elements to reach our growing goal: Innovation, Service, Speed, Value, Safety, Warmth, Faithful, Diligence in order to remain our leading edge position and differentiate with other players.
Package & Contents
In Win AMMO is packed with a simple cardboard box which is good enough for such external HDD enclosure since it is neither a sensitive nor breakable device. However we found that the outer paper box is too tight where we have a hard time to remove it out. Most of the core features and specifications of In Win AMMO are written clearly at the back of the box.
Here is the cardboard box where the In Win AMMO is packed with another ESD bag and accessories are kept at the other end. External HDD enclosure is simple device so most of its accessories are quite similar and standard; USB cable, mini screwdriver and user's manual. However In Win AMMO comes with additional accessories which are RFID dog tags with military themed design.
We were shocked when the first time we opened up this yellownish user's manual because it is extremely HUGE! This is the biggest user's manual that we have ever seen. The other side of the user's manual is a shooting bar and we believe it is bundled just for fun.
So far we are quite satisfied with the bundled accessories but if a leather case or soft pouch is included then it will be much better although we understand In Win AMMO is a well designed external HDD enclosure which is able against shock and vibration but it is still no harm to have such additional good stuff right?
A Closer Look - In Win Ammo
NA is In Win first 3.5" external HDD enclosure with comes fantastic design and active cooling system and hence In Win NA is a bit bulky compares with other but this is acceptable since 3.5" external HDD enclosure is not meant for portable. However for 2.5" external HDD enclosure, portability is very important hence In Win AMMO is kept as small as possible but this time In Win chose security as the core function of AMMO to make it outshine the rest of its competitors.
The whole unit of In Win AMMO is having military themed design which is one of the favor designs that In Win always applies on their products besides those gaming, girl themes. The enclosure casing of AMMO is made by SECC (Steel, Electrogalvanized, ColdRolled, Coil) which is one of the most common material for external HDD enclosure as it helps to improve heat dissipation. The overall dimension of In Win AMMO is 145 x 85 x 20 which is quite similar with other external HDD enclosure.
Here is the RFID sensor location of In Win AMMO where the RFID dog tag needs to be placed here in order to activate the connected HDD. Besides this RFID security feature, In Win AMMO is featured with high quality shock and vibration absorbing padding which makes it becomes much stronger to overall these common issues for 2.5" external HDD enclosures.
The rear panel of In Win AMMO is having three portions but only the middle one is a live rubber lid where there are two connectors underneath it; power input jack and mini 5-pin USB port. If you pay a little bit attention then you will find that actually In Win AMMO is a waterproof device as the whole enclosure is really sealed and the connectors are protected with rubber lid. This is really amazing as we really can't imagine that such simple device can be enhanced with so many great features; In Win Marketing and R&D departments are really doing a good job here.
To open up the In Win AMMO, two screws needs to be unlocked which is nothing unique compare with other standard external HDD enclosures. Once the rear panel is removed, then the whole rubber padding can be pulled out from the SECC enclosure. At first we thought it is just a couple of rubber feet to enhance ability against shock and vibration but we were wrong as In Win AMMO provides more than that; the whole HDD is well protected by the rubber padding.
Here is the naked view of In Win AMMO RFID sensor and in order to allow the RFID dog tag to be detected easily, an opening is reserved to reduce the RFID blocking. Basically the bundled dog tags are not configured with that specific In Win AMMO at default so manual setup is required where we will talk about it later. The whole padding is not completed cover the whole HDD as some room should be given for heat dissipation else the HDD will be overheated.
INNMAX IM7206 is a single chip where it has integrated functions of a bridge between USB host & SATA device, RF decoder with advanced encryption standard (AES) 128 bits de/encryption. In short IM7206 is a Hi-Speed USB to SATA Bridge with RFID control. In Win AMMO is a USB2.0 HDD enclosure where the theoritical maximum speed is 480mbps (60MB/s) but in real life it is less than that. Anyway In Win AMMO comes with 3 years limited warranty where the PCB board and USB2.0 cable are covered under 1st year warranty.
Although a single RFID key is needed in order to decrypt the connected HDD of In Win AMMO but two dog tags are provided; one is the spare RFID key in case the first key is missing or damaged. Besides that a necklace chain is included for keeping these dog tags but if a key chain is provided as well then it will be much better as we strongly believe that not many people are going to hang these dog tags around their neck, are you?
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation for In Win AMMO isn't complicated as it is quite standard with the rest of the external HDD enclosures. First of all, the enclosure screws need to be removed before pulling out the anti-vibration rubber (PCB board is attached along). After that install the 2.5" SATA HDD carefully to the SATA connector and follow by inserting the HDD into the anti-vibration rubber completely. Final step will be slot back the rubber padding together with the HDD into the enclosure and fasten them back with screws.
Once the installation is completed then it's time to power it on. Bear in mind that if high power loading is required then the external DC power supply is needed besides the USB cable in order to keep the external HDD as stable as possible. Now let us proceed with RFID setup for In Win AMMO as it is not pre-configured by In Win as HDD is not included so manual setup is required.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
PSU: In Win Commander 750W
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: DVD RW
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2/Vista Home Premium
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
For the first time powering up the In Win AMMO with installed HDD, the RFID will be detected automatically where it will give three-short and one-long beep sound and the RFID LED indicator will be flashing in red. The first RFID key needs to be placed on the "RFID SECURITY" marking of the AMMO's enclosure and if the detection is successful then two-short beeps sound will be generated and the indicator will turn to flashing green.
Repeat the same thing again for the second RFID key and the LED indicator will become solid green after giving two more short beeps sound if the second RFID key is detected as well. In Win AMMO will be back in waiting mode if the second RFID key is not detected within three minutes. Both of these RFID keys are needed to be configured so that a spare RFID key will be created in case the first RFID key is not working or missing.
After the RFID setup is done, the connected HDD needs to be configured again. For the setup process, open up the "Administrative Tool" in control panel then double click the "Computer Management". A new drive will be shown up and right click the unknown/unallocated box and select "Initialize Disk" then follow by "New Partition". The remaining setup process will be same for configuring a new HDD so we will skip it here.
Once the HDD setup is completed then it is time to test out the encrypted In Win AMMO. When the encrypted AMMO is connected to a system, AMMO will give off one-short beep sound and the LED indicator will be turned to red which means the AMMO is waiting to be sensed. In order to decrypt the AMMO, just place one of the RFID keys on the AMMO's RF sensor area and if the decryption is successful then the LED indicator will be turned to green with two-short beeps sound. HDD Encryption will be same where just place the RFID key on the RF sensor and when the LED indicator is turned to red then the HDD is encrypted sucessfully.
After all the hardware and RFID setup, let us talk about In Win AMMO performance. We have tested In Win AMMO with Samsung 80GB 2.5" SATA HDD and the average read is 34.5MB/s which is quite similar with other standard 2.5" external SATA HDD enclosures. The result is expected since In Win AMMO is a just standard 2.5" external HDD enclosure but with additional RFID encryption and with better shock proof protection. Heat dissipation of In Win AMMO is quite good as the HDD temperature is kept at very low stage. Overall we are quite satisfied with In Win AMMO performance since there isn't much for us to complaint about it.
Once again In Win has proven as one of the market leaders for producing such innovative and useful device. No one will really come across that such simple product can be transformed into such high end product with additional RFID encryption since external HDD enclosure is just a cheap product without gaining much attention from most of the PC makers but In Win did it. If you are looking for a 2.5" external SATA HDD enclosure with advanced security protection, then In Win AMMO should be appeared on the top of your list. Besides that In Win AMMO also comes with better shock and vibration protection which is one of the important criteria when selecting an external HDD enclosure. Last but not least, the MSRP for In Win AMMO is around 45USD which is absolutely acceptable and a lower end version will be released soon for those are looking for such great device but RFID encryption is not necessary.
+ Extreme innovative design
+ Better shock & vibration protection
+ RFID high security encryption
+ Quality & solid metal enclosure
+ Decent performance & acceptable price
+ Waterproof enclosure
+ 3-year warranty
+ Spare RFID key
- eSATA is not available
*Updated on 7/8: Based on In Win feedback, the outer package will be modified so that it won't be that tight.
Thanks to In Win for providing this sample for us to review.
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