The ClouZen Tainer is a new portable all-in-one backup storage solution. It allows you to copy and verify CFexpress Type B cards or any type of SD card on location without the need for a computer.
The ClouZen Tainer is the successor to the Nexto DI NPS-10 which was released back in 2020 but has since been discontinued.
The ClouZen Tainer builds upon the success of its predecessor by adding more advanced features, enhanced performance, and seamless integration for individuals and professionals seeking reliable, secure, and easily accessible backup options for their digital assets.
So what can it do?
The Tainer supports a range of storage media including SD cards, CFexpress Type B, XQD cards, and USB-connected drives as well as other forms of media.
You can add your own M.2 SATA SSD (up to 32TB) to the ClouZen Tainer for onboard storage. Now, you do need to be aware that it only supports M.2 2280 form factor SSDs.
WD Blue SA510 SATA SSD M.2 2280
- WD Red SA500 NAS SATA SSD M.2 2280
- WDS200T2B0B (2TB)
- WDS100T2B0B (2TB)
- SAMSUNG : 860 EVO Series
Above you can see the drives that the company recommends.
They also sell the Tainer with a 2TB Internal SSD if you prefer that option.
The Tainer utilizes patented X-Copy Technology to ensure transfer speeds of up to 400MB/s with 100% data integrity. Tainer checks the original and backup files bit by bit to ensure their integrity.
If you are someone who works with multiple cameras and both SD and CFexpress Type B cards, you can use Tainer’s Sequential Backup Technology to automatically back up your SD card, XQD/CFexpress card, and USB memory card in sequence when they are all connected at the same time.
Not only can you back up internally to an optional SSD or to a connected drive, but you can also back to the Cloud. Tainer supports OneDrive, Google Drive and DropBox. When uploading data to the cloud, Tainer extracts the checksum value from the original file and compares it with the checksum value of the uploaded file to verify its accuracy.
If that wasn’t enough, you can also use the CLOUDER smartphone app that lets you manage and transfer data between your phone and Tainer’s internal SSD or externally connected USB drive.
Finally, there is also a video/photo preview feature that lets you check your videos and photos using the built-in LCD.
Who makes the ClouZen Tainer?
If you weren’t aware Nexto DI was actually acquired by TV-Logic way back in 2018. The ClouZen Tainer is essentially being made and marketed by TV-Logic.
I am not a stranger to these types of devices. I reviewed Nexto’s NSB-25 Storage Bridge way back in 2014. The NSB-25 memory card backup system could copy pretty much any common media on the market – SxS, XQD, REDMAG, AJA PACK, CFast, 2.5″ SSD, 2.5″ HDD, AXSM, Express P2, SD or CF cards. It also featured a 5-inch 800×400 touchscreen on which you could monitor backups and playback HD and 2K material in a variety of formats. Although it couldn’t handle 4K playback it can still preview some 4K clips at reduced framerates. The Storage Bridge accepted two internal HDD or SSD drives and a third drive could be added via USB 3.0, which allowed you to make up to 3 copies simultaneously.
I really liked this device and it was a pity that Nexto DI never made follow-up options.
Ok, so let’s get back to the ClouZen Tainer.
Size & Weight
The ClouZen Tainer is really small and it weighs in at just 196g / 6.91 oz. It has physical dimensions of 106×74.3×24mm / 4.17×2.92×0.94″.
Essentially it is a similar size to a lot of bus-powered SSD drives.
The build quality of the ClouZen Tainer is really nice. It is solidly made and it comes with a protective rubber sleeve that gives it added protection in case it gets dropped.
There is only a single scroll wheel/button on the Tainer and it is nice and tactile.
There are plastic covers that go over the ethernet and memory card/USB 3 ports. These fit snuggly and are easy to remove and put back on.
Battery & Power
The Tainer features an internal 3.8V 3500mAh battery. This allows it to do backups even in outdoor environments where external power sources are not available. It can back up more than 1TB of data on a single charge and can be easily recharged using a portable battery when the internal battery is depleted.
The internal battery run time is up to 2 hours when copy and verifying a card to the internal SSD, and up to 3 hours when copying and verifying a card to the Cloud.
You can also run it from a USB-C 5V (min.1.8A) power source or battery etc. if you want to.
Charging the internal battery takes around 3 hours if you use the USC-C cable.
User Interface & Screen
The ClouZen Tainer has a large screen that lets you clearly see what is going on.
The main window when you first turn the device on has a nice easy to see graphical interface that shows you the capacity of the internal SSD and how much space is being used on it.
It uses a very simple interface where you scroll between menu options using the wheel on the side of the device. When you want to access something you just click on that wheel. You also use either a short or long click on the wheel to access certain options to get out of various menus.
Here are the choices on the main menu page:
- USB WiFi
- External SSD
- Cloud Service
It is relatively easy to use and navigate the UI. While having a touchscreen interface would be great, I can certainly see the dangers of doing that on a device that is primarily designed to copy and verify your media.
Inputs & Outputs
The Tainer has a CFexpress Type B/XQD card slot, an SD card slot and a USB 3.0 host port for connecting up a card reader or SSD/HDD.
It also has an Ethernet port, USB 2.0 Cloud port, a USB-C port, and a control wheel which you press down on to turn the tainer on.
How to copy & verify
As this is the main function of the ClouZen Tainer let’s see how it works.
First, let’s look at how you do a basic copy & verify to the internal SSD. Please remember that the ClouZen Tainer may or may not come with an SSD depending on the version you choose. Currently, the internal SSD needs to be formatted as ExFat to work, however, the company told me that HSF+ and NTFS support will be coming in a future firmware update.
If you insert a media card, in this particular case I will use a Nextorage 330GB B1 Pro CFexpress Type B card, it will then check that card.
You will then see a screen where it shows you and gives you options of where you want to copy that card. In this case, we will choose the internal SSD drive.
We will now be given an option to copy & verify or just copy. We will go ahead and choose copy & verify.
Now, the ClouZen Tainer isn’t going to do simultaneous copy and verify. First, it will copy the data.
Once the data is copied it will then verify it.
Once everything has been completed you will get a message on the screen that it succeeded.
If there was any issue you will get a warning message saying that it failed. The only problem with these messages is that you have no idea what actually the issue is because it just gives you an Error Code.
Now, the speed certainly isn’t fast if you compare it to modern NVMe drives. If you are copying CFexpress Type B cards that have substantially higher read speeds than 400MB/s then it will take some time to copy and verify the card to the internal drive.
In our example, I was copying & verifying 137.41GB of data from a CFexpress Type B card to the internal drive. It took 25 minutes and 38 seconds. The average speed of the copy & verify was only 182MB/s.
This is certainly not nearly as quick as using your computer with a fast SSD drive and copy & verification software. This is the caveat of using a stand-alone device.
I did a speed test to see how fast the internal SSD drive that came with the Tainer Plus kit was. Above you can see that the average write speed was 392 MB/s and the read was 412 MB/s.
There is probably a reason for these speeds, but this device would be killer if it used a fast internal NVMe and had a Thunderbolt port.
The Tainer will create a Log text file that you can access. This gets copied to the internal SSD drive.
Even if you have an internal SSD in the Tainer, you can select to just copy or copy & verify to an external SSD. Before we start there is currently a caveat with external drive support. The Tainer will only recognize drives that have been formatted as ExFat. Support for UDF and HFS+ is apparently coming.
I wanted to see if it was faster to copy & verify the exact same 137.41GB of data from the CFexpress Type B card to an external drive which is a lot faster than the internal drive.
Copy and verifying to an external SSD was slightly quicker, but not by a huge margin. It took 23 minutes 18 seconds to copy & verify 137.41GB of data from the CFexpress Type B card to an external drive. This was only around 5 min faster than copying to the internal drive.
You also need to be aware that with most drives there won’t be enough power to be able to bus-power them so you would need to attach the Tainer to a USB-C power bank or a battery, etc.
Internal SSD & External SSD
Ok, so now let’s copy and verify that same card to both the internal SSD and the externally connected SSD drive simultaneously.
As soon as we connect up an external SSD drive the Tainer will recognize it as long as it has the right format as I just mentioned. If the drive isn’t formatted correctly the Tainer will let you know that it won’t work.
You don’t need to choose any options to copy to both an external drive and the internal drive simultaneously. The Tainer will automatically be ready to copy to both drives.
Making a Secondary Copy
This option allows you to copy media that is on the internal SSD to an external drive.
This is pretty easy to do. You short-click on the SSD icon and then you will get a sub-menu.
Here you can select Make Secondary Backup Data.
When you click on that option it will take you back to the screen where it allows you to choose where you want that backup data copy to go. You can choose from the externally connected SSD or the Cloud.
As I mentioned earlier, the Tainer supports OneDrive, Google Drive and DropBox.
So how do you back up to the cloud? To connect to a network you have three options:
- Wired LAN cable
- USB WiFi
- USB Cable (hotspot/USB tethering from your mobile phone)
For this example, we will connect to WiFi. I simply choose the WiFi network I want to use and then enter the password.
Once you have established how you want to use a network you then need to select the cloud service you want to use. You do this by selecting the option you want on the Tainer.
When you select what option you want to use a QR code will come up. You can then use your phone to log into that cloud service.
Now, when I first tried this I couldn’t log in on the phone because I was getting error messages. With Google, I think I was having issues because of the security I was running on my iPhone. I couldn’t get the Cloud to work with Dropbox.
When I tried with a different phone I was able to log into a Google Drive account and upload the files directly from the Tainer.
Once the copy and verify process was completed I could see the files in the Google Drive account. The speed of the transfer will entirely depend on the speed of your connection.
When I tried the same transfer again using Ethernet instead of a WiFi connection it was considerably faster. It took 44 seconds to copy & verify a 363.6MB file from an SD card to Google Drive.
The nice thing is, once you have logged in once and also chosen the connection you want to use, it remembers it for next time so you don’t need to log in again.
I would like to see ClouZen team up with someone like MASV to do cloud transfers. That could create a very fast way to send footage without needing access to a computer.
The Tainer’s incremental backup feature saves time and storage space by detecting and copying only newly added data, preventing duplicate backups.
If I insert a card, etc. that has previously been copied and I have added more files to it, once I put that card back in the Trainer will recognize that.
Copy & Verify from an attached card reader
You can actually back up any form of media as long as you have a card reader that can be connected up.
For this test, I used a CFast 2.0 card reader attached to the Tainer.
Above you can see that the 22.02GB I copied and verified from the CFast 2.0 reader to the Tainer took 4 minutes and 3 seconds. The average speed was 185 MB/s.
Copy & verify three different cards
As I mentioned earlier in the review, if you are someone who works with multiple cameras and different forms of media, you can use Tainer’s Sequential Backup Technology to automatically back up your SD card, XQD/CFexpress card, and another USB-connected memory card in sequence when they are all connected at the same time.
The Trainer will also ask you independently whether you would like to copy & verify or just copy all three connected sources.
It will then proceed to copy those cards in sequential order, one at a time.
Once they are all done you can get an individual summary of all three backups.
This is a nice way of backing up media without having to wait around and change over the media or card readers separately.
SSD Menu Page
On the SSD menu option on the main page if you don’t have a card inserted and you short-click on the control wheel. It will then take you to a page where you will see the following options:
- Preview photo/video
- Make secondary backup data
- Copy selected folder
- Delete TMP folder
- Drive diagnose
- Drive format
In Preview photo/video you can look at video and still images on the LCD display. It supports a wide range of camera-captured video formats, excluding H.265, RED, and SONY RAW, as well as most camera-captured photo formats, including RAW. Please note that some videos and photos captured by smartphones may not be supported.
Below you can see what formats are supported:
- XAVC 4K
- XAVC 2K
- AVC Ultra 4K
- AVC Ultra 2K
- XF-AVC 4K
- XF-AVC 2K, H.264 (.mov)
- AVCHD 2K
- PRORES 4K
- PRORES 2K
- DNXHD 2K
- MPEG 444/422/420
- DVCPRO HD
This is still a decent array of options, although it won’t suit everyone or cover all formats that cameras can shoot in.
When you click on the internal drive you will see the various folders that are on that drive.
When you click on a folder it will tell you how many video files or photo files are in that folder.
If you have material that isn’t compatible for playback you will just see a thumbail with the codec written on it.
If you click on one of those thumbnails it will tell you that the file is unsupported for playback.
You can see still images without any issues.
I must warn you though that most of the video files I tried playing back wouldn’t play back in real time.
Make secondary backup data
I already talked about this earlier in the review.
Copy selected folder
Copy selected folder allows you to select an individual folder from the internal SSD that you can copy to an attached external drive or the Cloud.
Delete TMP folder
Delete TMP folder lets you delete the TMP folder if there is one.
Drive diagnose lets you run a full diagnostic check on the internal drive.
Drive format allows you to re-format the internal SSD drive. I like that this hasn’t been made easy to do. You get numerous warnings before anything gets re-formated.
Above you can see what other settings are available on the Tainer.
Clouzen Clouder App
The Clouzen Clouder App wasn’t available at the time of this review so I wasn’t able to test it. The app will be available for iOS and Android devices.
Use it as a normal SSD drive
You can simply hook the Tainer up to a computer and it will act like any other SSD drive.
How to put in your own SSD
Above you can see all of the steps you need to do to put in your own SSD.
Real World Thoughts
I like the concept of the product, but I personally would have preferred to have seen faster copy & verification speeds. I feel like the product makes more sense if you use SD cards, but for CFexpress Type B cards, it is a little slow. Copying and verifying 137.41GB of data from a CFexpress Type B card to the internal drive took 25 minutes and 38 seconds.
Look, if you don’t need super fast copying speeds, and are after a device that is small, convenient, and able to do copy & verification without the need for a computer, then the Tainer makes a lot of sense.
If you don’t use the internal drive and instead use an external drive it is slightly faster, but not by a lot.
The ability to make multiple copies simultaneously and to attach a multitude of card readers etc. does make this a very versatile system. I also like how you can load it up with three different forms of media and it will sequentially copy and verify all of them without you needing to do anything.
The upload directly to the cloud is a nice feature, but I would like to see it integrated with faster solutions than Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Depending on what type of work you do and what your requirements are, the Tainer can certainly be a very useful product.
Price & availability
The ClouZen Tainer is a very versatile and small device that features a lot of functionality.
The ability to copy & verify media out in the field without the need for a computer makes it a fantastic solution for shooters, although it does really depend on your needs.
The Tainer is easy to use and operate and it doesn’t take up much space. Yes, I do wish that it was faster, but it is nice that you can use multiple forms of media at once and have them back up sequentially without you needing to do anything. The incremental backup feature is also extremely handy.
The biggest issue the Tainer faces is that a lot of people carry around their computers these days and with very affordable and super fast NVMe drives available, you could argue that a device such as the Tainer has limited appeal due to its slower speeds.
While that is certainly true, I still found this a great device to have in my kit as I could use it to backup material in the field to multiple drives without needing to carry around a computer. No, it isn’t something I would use all of the time, but it gives you another added backup even if you are copying to a computer or other hard drive. There is no reason why you couldn’t also make another copy to the Tainer as a safety.