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Review: AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini 4-Bay Thunderbolt 3 Storage Enclosure

The AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini is a solidly built 4-drive enclosure capable of delivering lightning-fast read and write speeds for video editors via its state-of-the-art Thunderbolt 3 connection.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to review my first AKiTiO product, the AKiTio Thunder2 Duo Pro RAID Storage drive. My impressions were solid quality, inside and out. I had never heard of AKiTiO before that review but I was very impressed. The drive was a Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 drive. Since I didn’t have a computer with a Thunderbolt 2 port I could only test via USB 3.0. Of course, my read/write speeds were below what was possible, but I have been using it daily as my main data drive for my laptop and it has never even once blinked.

When I got the opportunity to review the new AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini (Figure 1, below), I was very excited to try it out, since I now have a 2016 generation Macbook with Thunderbolt 3 ports. Finally, I can fully test a Thunderbolt 3 storage device and see if it’s really worth the hype.

Figure 1. The AKiTiO Thunder3 Quad Mini

Unpacking

The drive arrived and when I unpacked it, one of the first things I saw was this card in the box with their company statement. The last sentence struck me. “It’s the little things that make us better.” I guess you could say the little things with this drive are kind of like big things. In the box, you get the drive enclosure, which is made from aircraft-grade aluminum so you know it’s sturdy. Also included was a Thunderbolt 3 cable, power cable, Velcro cable ties, and a bag of screws to install the drives (Figure 2, below).

Figure 2. Accessories included

It even came with a small bag similar to a shopping bag to carry it in if you wanted to take it somewhere (Figure 3, below). Because of its size it could easily be part of a robust portable editing solution.

Figure 3. Travel bag for portable editing use

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I found the Thunder2 Duo Pro unit solid and fast. It looks like it will take a beating if you work in a tough environment. If you add in a few Solid State Drives (SSDs), it will be very rugged and lightning-fast. Set it up in a RAID 0 and you'll enjoy fast data throughput for your more demanding edits.