Plugable USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA 2.5″ Portable Drive Enclosure

How To: Set up a New Hard Drive or SSD
How To: Recover Existing Hard Drive or SSD Data

Product Description

The Plugable USBC-SATA-E USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA 2.5″ Portable Drive Enclosure turns 2.5″ internal SSDs and HDDs into a portable external drive with a rugged black airbrushed aluminum case.

It offers the same USB-C connectivity and USB 3.1 Gen 2 performance as our USBC-SATA-V vertical dock and USBC-SATA24 USB-C to SATA adapter cable which are all built on the powerful ASMedia 1351 chipset. Thanks to USB 3.1 Gen 2 performance up to 10Gbps (1,250MB/s), we are now able to break USB 3.0 5Gbps (625MB/s) speed limitations and fully utilize SATA III 6Gbps (750MB/s) of available bandwidth.

The USBC-SATA-E USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA 2.5″ Portable Drive Enclosure is powered by your USB or Thunderbolt 3 port – that means no additional power adapter is required! The enclosure is plug-and-play ready for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The enclosure is an airbrushed black aluminum case to keep your drives safe with a toolless sliding plastic door for easy access. The case includes a recessed LED that shows drive activity and an optional adhesive foam spacer to make sure your drives are snugly seated.

The enclosure comes with two premium shielded 12″ (30cm) USB cables for both USB-C and USB 3.0 ports. Both cables support the USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard.

Note that this enclosure does not support drives that require more than 5V power draw or that are thicker than 11mm – instead we recommend the USBC-SATA-V for those drives.



Technical Specifications and Compatibility

Operating Systems Supported Windows, Mac, Linux
Chipset ASMedia 1351

Click Here to Expand Table for Full Details
Hardware Interface Male SATA to female USB-C
Supported Hard Drives 2.5” SATA drives up to 11mm thickness and 5V power draw
Supported Largest Drive Capacity 10TB+ for 64-bit OS

2TB max for 32-bit OS

Number of Hard Drive Bays 1
Hard Drive Orientation Lay-flat 2.5″ enclosure
USB Cables Provided x1 12″ (10cm) USB-C male to USB-C male
x1 12″ (10cm) USB-C male to USB-A male
Supported USB Standards USB 3.1 Gen 2

USB 3.1 Gen 1

USB 3.0

USB 2.0

USB 1.1

Auto Drive Sleep Yes After 10 Minutes Inactivity
Hot Swappable Yes
Plug-and-Play Yes
UASP Support Yes
GPT Partition Table Support Yes
SMART Support Yes
OS Power State Support Yes
LBA48 Addressing Mode Support Yes
512e and 4K Sector Advanced Format Support Yes
Physical Power On/Off Toggle Switch No
Power Adapter
USB Bus Powered (5V)



Feel free to contact us directly at if you have any questions. Whether you’ve purchased the USBC-SATA-E and need support or you’re considering a purchase and would like help understanding this disk dock’s features, we’re here to help.

In The Box

  • 1x Plugable USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA 2.5″ Portable Drive Enclosure USBC-SATA-E
  • x1 12″ (30cm) USB-C to USB-C cable
  • x1 12″ (30cm) USB-C to USB-A cable
  • x1 adhesive foam spacer
  • x1 quick start guide
  • Note: Hard drive(s) not included




Q: The dock comes with two USB cables. Which USB cable is best for me?
A: Use the USB-C to USB-C cable if your computer has a USB-C port, or use the USB-C to USB-A cable for legacy USB 3.0/2.0/1.0 ports. Both cables support the latest USB 3.1 Gen 2 performance when connected to a Gen 2 compatible host system.

Q: What hard drives are compatible?
A: SATA I, II, and III 2.5” SSD and HDD hard drives are supported up to 5V power draw and 11mm thickness. This product is ideal for high performance SSDs like Samsung 850 Pro. Note: some 2.5″ enterprise drives and all 3.5″ desktop drives are NOT supported as they require 12V power draw or are too thick to fit in the case. PATA, IDE, and SAS hard drives are not compatible. 

Q: Does a 6Gbps SATA III interface and 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 bandwidth make my drive faster than it was with USB 3.0 enclosures?
A: It depends. For some high-end SSDs, yes, and for most other drives, no. If the drive wasn’t able to operate at its full potential because of a previous USB 3.0 bandwidth limitations, then the extra bandwidth of USB 3.1 Gen 2 may help increase throughput. But if your drive wasn’t hitting a performance bottleneck because of USB 3.0, then it won’t benefit from better performance with USB 3.1 Gen 2.

So while some high-performance SSDs will perform better with the additional USB 3.1 Gen 2 bandwidth, lower-throughput disks such as mechanical hard drives won’t be any faster since their performance wasn’t limited by USB 3.0’s 5Gbps bandwidth.

Q: How should I insert and remove drives?
A: To insert, slide open the enclosure’s plastic door, align the hard drive’s SATA port with the SATA connector inside of the enclosure, then gently slide the drive in until it is firmly seated. There is no locking mechanism, so the drive can be removed by gently sliding it out of the dock. Replace the sliding plastic door when finished.

Q: What does the LED mean?
A: There is a recessed LED on the SATA connector that displays power and data transfer activity. When the light is blinking, the drive is being accessed.

Q: How do I power down the hard drive?
A: The Plugable USBC-SATA-E will turn off automatically upon sleep or shutdown of your computer and will respect any OS Power State settings for drive sleep under 10 minutes. The adapter’s firmware will also intelligently spin down any inserted hard drive after 10 minutes of disk inactivity, even if your computer is in use. You can also physically disconnect the adapter cable from your computer when you are finished transferring data. Be sure that any data transfer tasks are completed before removing the cable – interrupting a data transfer can cause file loss or disk failure!


Q: My hard drive is not detected!
A: Make sure the hard drive’s SATA connector is firmly seated on the enclosure’s SATA port. Some drives must be manually mounted or formatted for first time use – see this blog post for instructions to mount or format a hard drive disk for first time use.

Q: My drive is detected in Disk Management/Disk Utility, however I get an error about needing to initialize the volume even though there is already data on my drive.
A: Your hard drive’s file format may be incompatible with your operating system. We suggest backing up existing data on the drive first. See this blog post on how to recover existing data.

Once your data is backed up, you can proceed to reformat your hard drive (see link in previous question) and migrate the data back onto your hard drive.

Q: Do I need to update my firmware?
A: This enclosure already comes with the latest firmware updates available. There are no other firmware versions at this time.

Q: My hard drive and/or cable gets very hot to the touch during use.
A: Don’t worry, this is normal! Many customers are not aware that hard drives will run very warm, especially during heavy usage tasks like system backups or cloning a disk.

Internal hard drive temperatures can reach up to 35-55C (95-130F) under heavy usage, but should not exceed 60C (140 F). If excessive temperatures occur, some hard drives may trip an over temperature alert or shut off automatically for safety.

For further technical details, Google has published a detailed white paper that concludes “Failures do not increase when the average temperature increases. In fact, there is a clear trend showing that lower temperatures are associated with higher failure rates. Only at very high temperatures is there a slight reversal of this trend…”

The USBC-SATA-E is passively cooled through heat dissipation. It is normal for the SATA connector end to feel warm to the touch during use. The enclosure features air ventilation holes on the other end for mechanical 2.5″ drives.


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