Packaging and Contents
The ICY Dock ICYNano MB861U31-1M2B ships in a plain brown cardboard box with an image of the device on top and a list of specifications on the bottom. To ensure you will get your unit in pristine condition, the enclosure itself, which is a bit larger than others, has been placed inside a thick plastic bag and nicely set in a foam cutout.
Underneath of this is where you will find the accessories consisting of two cables: one for USB-C and another for USB Type-A equipped host systems. Additionally, you will find a thermal pad and a basic manual within the package.
A Closer Look
Next to the AA battery out of the box, it becomes quite apparent that the ICYNano naming may be a little bit of a stretch. After all, this enclosure is one of just a few capable of holding up to a 22110 NVMe drive. In terms of weight, the unit clocks in at exactly 100 grams, which is pretty much right in the norm for a metal enclosure like this.
You do not need any tools to take it apart—just pull the top cover off the chassis to reveal the sled in which any NVMe drive will sit. The top is made out of aluminium and also acts as the drive's heatsink. It alone makes up more than two-thirds of the entire unit's weight at 68 grams. Plenty of cooling potential there. It is built in a way that covers your entire SSD no matter how long.
The bottom tray is clearly marked with the various SSD lengths and features a tool-less installation mechanism we have seen in other ICY DOCK products in the past. The end of the tray with the USB-C connector sports a surprisingly busy PCB with JMicron's JMS583 controller at the heart of it. This IC was one of the first that could handle full-speed USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps. It supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the USB side and PCI-Express x2 3.0 for attached devices.
While we tend to disassemble drives at this stage, with the ICYNano being an empty enclosure, now is a good time to go through the assembly instead. Teamgroup provided us with a 1 TB drive of the Phison E12S based MP34. If you want to find out more about the drive, check out our review of the 512 GB model here.
Adding the drive is pretty straightforward. First, simply insert it at a 45 degree angle and push it down. With that done, secure it by sliding the plastic locking mechanism down until it snaps into place. This whole tool-less approach could prove useful for when you need to take a drive from within a downed host system for data access through a notebook, for example.
I actually peeled off the Teamgroup sticker so that the thermal pad would make direct contact with the drive ICs, but remember that taking the sticker off will most likely void the warranty. That said, I doubt it would make a huge difference in our scenario, and I should mention that some SSD brands actually place a copper heatspreader underneath their sticker, which you don't want to remove. Once connected, there is a visible blue activity LED that lights up to let you know data is being moved around.