I will start with the licensing. There is the temporary license (currently 30 days), and that license requires internet access every time the program is started. Then there is the full long term license, which is good for the lifetime of the major program version (and I honestly don’t see a new major program version any time in the near future, if at all ever). It requires online access to activate when you install the license. It then does not require internet access again on that computer. The only reason it would need internet access again is if you are running it from a live CD which can’t save the activation between reboots. But this can be overcome by running from persistent live USB instead. So for the long term license, it only needs internet access for the initial activation. And if you read the EULA, you would see that it allows for installing on up to 3 computers.
As for HDDSuperClone and your setup, I can’t see where the pro version would be of much use with a laptop and the USB dock. The direct modes that can do the soft and hard resets require the drive to be connected directly to the computer, not through USB. The ability to power cycle a drive using a relay also gets complicated with the USB dock. Considering you have the DFL, it would win over HDDSuperClone in this case. The only thing it could possibly do better at is USB only drives, as I don’t see USB ability on the DFL. I just put instructions on the website for power cycling USB drives. And using the virtual driver and R-Studio (Linux license) could allow for better data extraction.
If you had a regular computer with accessible SATA ports and power cables, then the pro version of HDDSuperClone could start to compete a bit with the DFL. I would like to think that with a relay setup it could compete with the older DeepSpar DDI3. The computer does not need to be high end, although I would think that it would benefit from SATA 3 and USB 3 ports. But the only way it would work with a laptop is if you managed to somehow get a direct external SATA port. If you do get or have a system it would work well on, I may be willing to give you a free temporary trial license, although it would require active internet as described above.