Transcend ESD400 256GB portable SSD review — when you just can’t wait
+ Usable with smartphones via USB OTG
+ Extremely compact size
+ Comes with a protective pouch
- Pricey for the amount of storage
- top panel too easy to damage
External storage drives come in all sizes and designs, but they are generally limited in terms of speed. While back in the USB 2.0 era, external drives were limited by the paltry 480Mbps bandwidth, newer drives supporting USB 3.0 and the much higher 5Gbps speeds were limited by the speed of the hard disk themselves. Well, generally few complain since most external drives are for bulk storage of media and other stuff that usually don’t need any faster transfer speeds than the current crop can offer. If you do find a usage scenario where a faster external storage will be helpful, there is the Transcend ESD400 256GB portable SSD.
The packaging is simple, with a window to view the product within.
The back of the box features the specifications, like the expected transfer rates and more.
Inside the box, the SSD protected by a hard plastic shell, the USB 3.0 A-to-mini cable, documentation and even comes with a pouch.
The Transcend ESD400 256GB is really tiny when compared to other external drives. The top plastic panel features a diamond pattern. One tiny complaint about this panel is that it is quite easily scratched. I guess that is why Transcend included a protective pouch for it.
On the underside, The Transcend ESD400 256GB is made of much tougher plastic. Given that it is based on solid state memory, it doesn’t need any form of shock protection.
The top edge features a One Touch backup button and the mini-USB 3.0 port.
The thin silicon and the lack of shock protection gives it a marked advantage in terms of size, especially when compared with the large Transcend StoreJet 25H3 3TB.
We benchmark external drives at Pokde.net with CrystalDiskMark, and the Transcend ESD400 256GB will be tested the same way too.
The speeds of the Transcend ES400 256GB leave all external hard disk drives in the dust. The sequential read and write figures are what you want to look at to judge an external drive’s real world performance. Here, the speeds are 4 times and 3 times faster than the average external hard disk drives for read and write, respectively. It is, however, slower than their own internal SSD, like the Transcend SSD370S 512GB that we have just recently reviewed.
The Transcend ESD400 256GB features a blue LED that glows steadily at idle and blinks when utilized.
One amazing way that I managed to use the portable solid state drive is when I connected it the Huawei Mate 8 I am currently using. The Huawei Mate 8 recognizes the drive and I was able to use it like any other OTG storage drive! The lower power requirements of the Transcend ESD400 256GB allowed the low power output of an OTG connection to power it, unlike conventional external hard disk drives that are impossible to access via OTG unless you have a Y-cable to provide additional power.
All Transcend external drives come with the Transcend Elite software, and the Transcend ESD400 256GB is no different. It offers One Touch Backup, pretty decent backup schedules, bookmark backup and even drive encryption.
The Transcend ESD400 256GB can be found for RM459. While it may seem ridiculously priced for only 256GB, it really is fast. If you are the kind that needs to transfer large files frequently, fast, then this is the external drive for you. You may also find the compatibility with OTG standards useful. Do use the pouch if you get it though, or you risk scratching the top.