This portable SSD doesn’t take the honor of the smallest and lightest drive of its kind from Freecom’s mSSD, yet at just under two ounces, it’s still perfectly pocketable. Transcend has opted for a plastic enclosure with rounded edges and, like the mSSD, you need to carry the cable to connect it up.
A USB 3.0 port gives you the best performance from this drive, which Transcend says can read data at up to 410MB/s (we actually measured a peak rate of 435.9MB/s). The drive peaked at 366.9MB/s when writing, rather than the 380MB/s stated. Averages when reading and writing sequentially were 363.3MB/s and 309.4MB/s — similar to Freecom’s drive.
In the toughest test — randomly transferring small amounts of data — the ESD400 is slightly slower than the mSSD. Its mean averages of 138.1MB/s when reading and 196.8MB/s when writing, respectively, are still fast. But the ESD400 comes in larger capacities than the mSSD without the larger price tag (Amazon sells the 512GB ESD400 for less than $250, while the 256GB mSSD costs over $400). This also compares well to buying a 500GB mSATA drive and an enclosure to put it in.
The bottom line. The ESD400 is compact and speedy, and packs in plenty of capacity at a great price.