Seagate has officially moved past internal SSDs for consumers with the introduction of the company's first portable SSD. This drive joins a crowded field of products from companies flush with flash memory and looking for new outlets to gain market share.
Seagate didn't leave anything off the table when naming the new Fast SSD. Everything they wanted shoppers to know is right into the name. This is supposed to be a fast SSD, but there is a bit more to the story.
The Fast SSD is a portable model that uses the new Type-C connector to keep the design very thin. Inside it uses a Phison PS5010-S10 SATA controller paired with Toshiba 3D flash memory. The S10 controller is a powerhouse when it comes to writing data. In our previous reviews of internal PC products, the controller frequently wrote data at 560 MB/s making it faster than any other SATA SSDs at this task.
Due to the flash shortage we've finally recovered from, very few companies offered the S10 in portable devices. This is an 8-channel enthusiast controller, but an older design. Many shoppers have shifted focus to new NVMe SSDs for desktop and notebook use, but there is still life for the S10 and Seagate may have found the best use for it at this time.
The Fast SSD comes to market in four capacities that range from 250GB to 2TB. The series uses a healthy dose of overprovisioning to keep performance consistent and the drive operating at a high level.
The drives use a USB-to-SATA bridge to deliver up to 540 MB/s sequential read and 500 MB/s sequential write speeds. On the host side, the Fast SSD features a USB 3.1 Gen 2 that allows Seagate to get the last 40 MB/s out of the USB bus (USB 3.1 Gen 1 is only 5Gbps or around 500 MB/s). On the other side of the bridge where the SSD connects, is where the Phison S10 SATA 6Gbps controller fits in.
The Fast SSD isn't a full ruggedized design but being flash-based, it automatically crosses over into the rugged space as far as drops are concerned.
The drive design features equal parts performance and style. It's a drive you can use every day either in the office or on the go. The Fast SSD ships with two cables for maximum compatibility with older USB Type-A and newer Type-C systems.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
With four capacities in this product series, the prices range quite a bit. The 250GB Fast SSD starts at just $87.99 at Amazon. The 500GB model is a better value at $109.99. Pricing starts to scale a bit faster with the 1TB drove that sells for $227.99 and the 2TB, the largest in the series, sells for $419.99. We recorded pricing at the time of writing but expect some changes, as we get closer to the holiday shopping season.
Seagate covers the Fast SSD series with a standard 3-year warranty. We didn't find any endurance limitations in the warranty fine print or on Seagate's website.
A Closer Look
Seagate put together a nice retail-friendly package for the Fast SSD. The front package shows an image of the drive and talks about the two-month Adobe Creative Cloud Photography membership included with the drive. On the back, two messages dominate the space, the performance and the USB 3.0 with Type-C connector.
Inside we found the two cables that maximize compatibility with legacy USB and the Type-C connectors shipping on new systems. There is also a pamphlet on how to activate your two-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography.
The drive itself is a stylish design. The Type-C connector on the drive allowed Seagate to design the Fast SSD thinner than several other products on the market today. It's small enough to travel comfortably in your pocket.
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