Portable SSDs are a great idea for those of us who want the speed and reliability of a solid flash storage but don’t have enough expansion slots for our laptops, or can’t be bothered to open up their PC cases to install one (you definitely should). But how about an SSD for your mobile phone?
Meet the ESD220C, Transcend’s portable SSD that promises speedy transfer rates not only for your PC, but it’s optimized for USB OTG as well, meaning you can “plug and play” on your Android mobile devices.
Storage type: TLC NAND flash memory Interface: USB 3.1 Gen 1 (backward compatible with USB 2.0)
Storage options: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Inside the box you’ll find a type-C to type-A USB connector (you’ll have to supply a separate OTG cable to use this on a mobile device) and the usual documentation.
Design and features
The ESD220C is as portable as it gets: it measures just 77mm tall, 55.7mm wide and 9.6mm thick: fairly credit-card sized and about as thick as your average Android smart phone. It’s also very light: weighing at just 52 grams it’s about as heavy as a spare battery pack.
Besides the standard USB type-C connector (3.1 Gen 1), there’s another button on the side that Transcend calls “One-Touch backup” button, which automatically backups designated folders on your PC or laptop into the portable drive. Pretty neat.
Here’s the ESD220C connected to an Android device. It’s instantly recognized and setup once plugged in. Pretty neat.
If there’s any sure way of testing an SSD’s speed, it’s through numerous benchmarks and speed tests. For this test, we’ll be using my laptop, as well as an Android device with USB OTG capability.
|Laptop Test Bench – quick specifications|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4720HQ|
|VGA||Nvidia GTX 960M|
|USB interface||USB 3.0 type-A|
Now before all of you hang me for using a USB 3.0 port to test a USB 3.1 device, let’s bear in mind that while the ESD220C does support USB 3.1, the max advertised read/write speeds are still within USB 3.0 specs, which can go up to 640MB/s.
HD Tune Pro
We test the ESD220C using a 1GB standard file benchmark test.
Anvil Storage Utilities
So far the results seem consistent: both benchmark software shows that the ESD220C can go beyond it’s advertised 410MB/s read speed, at least in sequential reads. What’s a bit disappointing here is that while it has an advertised write speed for 400MB/s, we only managed to get 180.03MB/s top sequential write speed from our review sample.
A quick explanation: since the ESD220C has three storage variants, and since we only have the 120GB variant, we get mediocre write speeds. To get the full 400MB/s, you’ll need to avail of the higher-end versions (240GB/480GB) since more storage chips inside = faster speed.
Pros: portability, good read speed, Android OTG support
Cons: unimpressive write speed on 120GB variant
While the Transcend ESD220C may have missed some marks, it’s still faster than your typical portable HDD and is very much suited for fast file transfers between your PC, laptop and even your mobile phone. In fact, I very much enjoyed using it on my phone since it provides a faster way of transferring large files (boo slow MTP!).
No pricing details available yet, but we do suggest to get a higher-capacity variant since you’re getting much lower than advertised write speeds on the 120GB variant.
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