External Storage Guide
Design & Features + Test Setup
Design & Features
The Transcend ESD200 portable SSD is extremely compact and will fit into pockets easily. In practical terms, it is about the size of a name-card holder and is considerably smaller than 2.5-inch portable external hard drives. It achieves its small size thanks to the use of a 1.8-inch form factor drive within.
In terms of design, the ESD200 drive has a black glossy plastic front panel with diamond motifs and a plain plastic casing on all sides. On the front panel there’s also an LED indicator that lights up blue if connected to a USB 3.0 port and green if connected to a USB 2.0 port. This is a useful indicator to show users if they are fully maximizing the capabilities of the drive. Considering it has an SSD inside instead of a typical mechanical hard disk, using USB 3.0 whenever possible is highly recommended.
The Transcend ESD200 also has a special button that enables what Transcend calls "One Touch Auto-Backup" using their own Transcend Elite backup software. Press it, and the drive will automatically perform backup tasks. Speaking of which, the Transcend Elite backup software is a powerful one with lots of features and offers a high level of customization. It can schedule backups and users can even specify which folders and files that they want backed up. The utility can also encrypt data and create restore points. Unfortunately, the software is cumbersome to use and not the most user-friendly. In addition, the button that enables "One Touch Auto-Backup" will work only if the Transcend Elite software is running, that's not a problem if the application runs in the background, but it does not and this can be annoying to users who often use Alt-Tab to switch between applications.
To evaluate the Transcend ESD200 portable SSD, we will be using the same benchmarks as we did in our Great 1TB USB 3.0 Portable HDD Shootout. However, the tests will be conducted on our new storage testbed which has the following specifications:
- Intel Core i5-2500K (3.3GHz)
- ASUS P8Z77-V Thunderbolt (Intel Z77 chipset)
- 2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 memory
- MSI GeForce 8600 GTS
- Windows 7 64-bit
The list of drives tested:
- Transcend ESD200 Portable SSD
- Kingston HyperX Max 3.0
- Seagate Backup Plus
- Imation Apollo Expert M300
We will be pitting the Transcend ESD200 portable SSD against two of the quickest 2.5-inch portable hard drives that we have tested so far - the Seagate Backup Plus and Imation Apollo Expert M300. We have also included results from the Kingston HyperMax 3.0 portable external drive. Like the Transcend ESD200, the Kingston HyperMax 3.0 is a portable external hard drive with a SSD inside. This is a pretty old model and therefore only has 64GB of storage, however it too uses an USB 3.0 interface so it would be a good point of reference for the Transcend ESD200.
List of benchmarks tested:
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
- PCMark 7 (Secondary Storage Suite)
- HD Tune Pro 5.0
- File Transfer Timing Test