The AIC MiniBOD isn't going to be for everyone, but its feature set and performance would be coveted by all power users and enthusiasts. For less than half of the cost of the MiniBOD you could add two internal 5.25", four 2.5" form factor drive bays to your computer, one option that has been used many times with SAS drives in workstations. Moving that workstation then becomes the issue and since most of these powerful systems weigh fifty pounds or more, it is not a very attractive option. The AIC MiniBOD solves the problem of moving your data in a convent way, but you will need a controller card at each of your locations. Adding to that, you need matching controller cards that are setup identically. The good thing about the LSI card we used for testing is that it can import the settings from the array leaving little chance of making a mistake while getting setup at a second location.
In the past we have looked at other MiniSAS connected products and some of them even used 2.5" form factor drives, but none were designed for portability. The good thing about the AIC MiniBOD is that portability wasn't just an afterthought; it was designed from the ground up to be a portable solution. To my knowledge and after looking extensively online the AIC MiniBOD is the only product available in this portable, high performance category. There might not be too many people looking for such a solution, but if the need to move your array between a pair of locations is a problem AIC does have the MiniBOD to solve the issue.
The build quality of the AIC MiniBOD is very good and you can see in it that AIC has taken knowledge from their enterprise products and used it when designing the MiniBOD. AIC is part of T Win, a company that has been making high quality enterprise storage components for many years. Most of those products were sold under other brand names, but the company is now looking to bring many of their own designs to market under the AIC label.
The AIC MiniBOD has an MSRP of 640.00 USD, but we were able to find it online through Provantage for 462.39. While searching I was able to find the MiniBOD at several e-tail outlets with prices ranging from the Provantage price of 462 and going all the way up to 636 USD.
For a user looking for a portable solution the price is nearly irrelevant since the MiniBOD is the only product to offer these unique features. Even though that is the case, at under 500 USD for an enclosure built to such high specifications the MiniBOD is quite a bargain.