Freecom Tablet Mini SSD
£89 inc VAT (75p per GB) • freecom.com
As the name suggests, this is a mini SSD for tablets. It’s primarily designed to connect to an Android or Windows tablet’s Micro-USB port for transferring data between the tablet and another device, such as a PC or laptop. However, it should work with any phone or tablet with a Micro-USB and OTG (on-the-go) support.
There’s just one capacity: 128GB. It’s expensive at 75p per gigabyte, although that’s the price you’ll pay if you buy the drive direct from Freecom’s website. If you hunt around, you can find it under £70, which takes the price per GB down to 54p. That’s still pricey, though.
Features and design
Measuring 58x92x15mm and weighing just 60g, the Tablet Mini SSD is a drive you can carry everywhere without even noticing it. It’s unassuming, finished in demure grey plastic, but it has built-in Micro-USB and full-size USB 3.0 cables, which is very convenient.
The cables slot into the side of the drive, so are extremely short, which can make it a little awkward at times, especially as it can end up dangling off the side of a tablet, depending on the location of its USB port. You can’t connect two devices at once: the idea of the two cables is to make the drive compatible with just about every device, so you can quickly transfer photos, videos and other media to and from your phone and tablet. Whether you use it for backing up your camera roll or as additional storage for films and music is up to you.
Inside is 128GB of NAND flash, although Freecom doesn’t specify which type. It’s most likely to be TLC.
Bundled with it is Nero BackItUp, Hard Drive Eraser and Formatter. This means you can erase the drive if you ever give it away or sell it on. Nero is a somewhat odd choice as it allows you to make a full system backup (of a Windows PC), but you’re unlikely to do that on a pricey mobile SSD.
It may not be the cheapest solid-state drive, but performance is very good. Over USB 3.0, we saw 410MB/s in the CrystalDiskMark sequential read test. Writing wasn’t as impressive at 178MB/s, but it’s still one of the faster drives you can buy.
For 4KB files – the sort of sizes you find when you’re dealing with anything other than media files – performance was also sterling. The Tablet Mini SSD read them at almost 17MB/s and wrote them almost as quick – 16.1MB/s. Virtually every other portable drive we’ve tested struggles here, managing only a few MB/s.
If you’re specifically after a portable drive that can connect to your phone or tablet to provide extra storage or act as a backup for its photos and videos, then the Freecom is a decent choice. It isn’t stylish, nor is it the cheapest, but it performs well and is convenient thanks to the built-in USB cables.