It is nice to see some variety coming from Apacer. After reviewing around 20 or so SandForce SF-1200 drives, we are finally starting to see companies take advantage of the tools offered by SandForce to squeeze out performance in other areas. Of course, adding to one means taking from another usually, and that is the case here today. Apacer sacrificed a bit of 4K and real world daily task speed to prop up the file transfer speeds. This is similar to what Corsair has done with their Performance 3; take a little away where you have some to spare and add some where it could be used more effectively.
Even though some of the tests were slower than the main competition, the differences were not that great when looking at the overall picture. Users who download a lot of content or constantly move large files around will find the Apacer TurboII Series AS602 a better fit than someone just using their system for work purposes. The file transfer tests have always been the lowest point for SF-1200 controlled drives, but Apacer has managed to bring that performance up quite a bit.
When it comes to the bundle, I'd have to say that the Notebook Upgrade Kit is one of the best we've seen. The only other company to come close so far has been Kingston and they never made a first generation SandForce drive. The included accessories really go above and beyond what we expected.
The construction of the actual drive is also note worthy. Apacer has made the best looking and highest detailed aluminum case. It's too bad the drive is going to be tucked away in your notebook or desktop out of sight. At least you will know there is a piece of geek art inside.
Pricing and Availability are the only real issues we had with the AS602. I combed all over Europe and Australia looking for an e-tail shop listing the drive in stock, but came away empty handed. The drive was just announced at the very end of January, so we are in that odd time frame when an announcement has been made but product has yet to hit store shelves or warehouse floors. They should be showing up any day now, though.