[REVIEW] Transcend ESD350C Portable SSD with USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)

[REVIEW] Transcend ESD350C Portable SSD with USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)

Files and data are getting bigger thus the offline storage solutions have evolved from standard 2.5mm disk drive to M.2 NVMe by taking full advantage of the new USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 1,250 MB/s). With the new NAND Flash technology, it can be in smaller form factor and higher durability in term of shock-resistance.

Transcend, one of the storage market leaders announced their latest portable SSD, ESD350C in late May 2019. It equipped with USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface with the support of UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) which can deliver up-to 1,050MB/s reads and 950MB/s writes. It offers three storage size; 240GB, 480GB and 960GB.

Packaging

Very similar with it others Transcend storage packaging that has the red and white colours theme. Behind are some descriptions of the technical specs of the drive on different languages.

Inside the box, it has the drive, some documentation and two USB Type-C cables (Type C to C and Type C to A)

Top USB-C to USB-A, Bottom USB-C to USB-C

Built

The drive is an enclosure of an M.2 NVMe drive that uses silicone rubber case and ruggedized for a better shock-resistant and sportiness in design. The palm-sized portable SSD drive only measured at 96.5mm x 53.6mm x 12.5mm and weight at 87gram only.

According to Transcend, the ESD350C meets US military drop-test standards which give you peace of mind with the data your stored in the drive.

Performance

The Transcend ESD350C drive comes preformatted in the exFAT file system so it will work with both Windows and macOS. Here are some benchmark tests of the drive by using USB Type-A, Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2) and Samsung Galaxy S10e (USB 3.0)

USB Type-A

USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)

Based on the result of the tests, the Transcend ESD350C only able to hit close to 800MB/s on reading and writing speeds which consider very fast for an external portable drive. The 1,050MB/s and 950MB/s probably reserved for the 960GB model.

On more layman copying speeds test on the USB 3.1 Gen 2, I would able to get a consist 650MB/s to 700MB/s with a single block of file (29GB) and dropped drastically to 200MB/s to 300MB/s on small multi-block files.

Android Files Export

Most of the new flagship smartphones are able to record 4K/UHD video recording thus the sizes of would be bumped up to a few hundred Megabyte to even Gigabyte for a clip video. To export out normally we would use USB OTG connector where it connects to USB drive/microSD/HDD which has bottleneck speeds. The game totally changed with portable SSD file exports

Left: Transcend ESD350C, Right: USB 3.0 OTG Transcend 128GB microSD

Although the writing speeds of the Transcend ESD350C only up to 217MB/s, it’s actually almost thrice faster than USB 3.0 OTG. That’s significant time saving if you want to export footages from your phone to your PC.

Software

Transcend pre-included few useful software for the drives; Transcend Elite, RecoveR and SSD Scope.

Transcend Elite: Keep Important Files Organized, Protected and Up-to-Date

This software is developed exclusively for JetFlash, StoreJet and Portable SSD. It’s a powerful data management software that compatible with Windows, macOS and Android as well. It also provides data security with 256-bit AES encryption, PC-lock password protection, file synchronization and cloud backup via Google Drive or Dropbox.

RecoveRx: Restore Accidentally Deleted Files

RecoveRx is a data recovery and storage device management software that allows users to easily recover important documents, photos, music, videos, and other files with it.

SSD Scope: Maintain a Healthy and Efficient SSD

It is an advanced software that maintaining and optimizing the performance of an SSD. It monitoring the SSD’s S.M.A.R.T. health status and provides a number of useful features including View Drive Information, Diagnostic scan, Secure Erase, TRIM Detect & Enable, Health Indicator, System Clone and Firmware Update.

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Transcend ESD350C Portable SSD
  • Design
  • Built
  • Performance
  • Value
4.5

Verdict

Portable SSD drive is nothing new in the market and in order to get the blazing speed of USB 3.1 Gen 2, it’s important to know the enclosed drive is PCIe/NVMe SSD. This would eliminate the bottle-neck limitation of 6Gbps SATA speeds.

The pocket-sized Transcend ESD350C is delightfully fast with high-performance NVMe flash NAND storage. The only drawback is you need to have a 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2/Thunderbolt 3 port to take advantage of it.

The ESD350C Portable SSD is available in Malaysia through Lazada Malaysia and it comes with 3 years worldwide warranty. As for pricing wise;

  • 240GB – RM 419
  • 480GB – RM 599
  • 960GB – RM 879

You may find the price is on a high side but do take note, this is a military-grade high-speed performance portable SSD storage. There are some cheap portable SSD in the market which not PCIe/NVMe based storage thus it has SATA bottle-neck limitation.

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