£106 inc VAT (46p per GB) • adata.com
Adata’s SE730 is a brand-new portable solid-state drive (SSD), which combines the best of all worlds: it’s one of the smallest we’ve seen, it’s waterproof and it has a blistering speed that few of its rivals can compete.
The one snag is the price. However, while it’s more expensive than a lot of portable SSDs, the extra cost is worth it. As it’s so new, it’s not widely available and we expect the price to drop below £100 soon. At the time of writing, it cost 46p per GB, making it more expensive than the SanDisk Extreme 500 and Samsung T3.
Features and design
Don’t confuse the new SE730 with the older drive of the same name: the new one has a completely different design. It’s available in only one capacity – 250GB – but you do get a choice of gold or red. Behind one of the plastic end caps is a USB-C connector, which supports USB 3.1 Gen 2. This is the latest USB standard, capable of up to 10Gb/s (1250MB/s). That’s the theoretical speed, of course, and Adata claims up to 550MB/s from the SE730, which employs MLC NAND flash – higher quality than many drives which use TLC.
It has a three-year warranty (many drives come with only two years) and is IP68 certified. Unless you happen to know the IP ratings off by heart, this means it’s water-resistant up to 1.5m for one hour and is also dust proof. Adata says it’s shock proof to military standards, so it will shrug off the odd drop onto concrete.
You can use it with an Android phone that supports OTG, though you’ll need a separate USB-C to Micro-USB cable as only a short full-size USB cable is provided. There’s no encryption, so if you need to store and carry sensitive data, this isn’t the best choice.
All of these ingredients add up to great performance, even if the figures from CrystalDiskMark were quite a bit short of Adata’s claims. We saw a sequential read speed of 381MB/s and a write speed, which almost kept up at 278.5MB/s.
Random 4KB reads weren’t much better than certain rivals at 20MB/s, but it’s when writing them that the Adata shines: it managed 38.9MB/s, which is by far the fastest we’ve seen from a portable drive. Most languish around 1- to 4MB/s, including the SanDisk and Samsung SSDs. Obviously, this is of little consequence if you’ll mainly use the SE730 for storing large files, but it’s great if you want to back up lots of little ones.
Typically if you want a tiny, high-capacity drive you have to sacrifice performance, but not with the SE730. It really is a pocket rocket, and well worth the price if you need speedy portable storage. Jim Martin