We recently looked at HP's high-performance Thunderbolt 3 portable SSD, the P800. With it, we learned the company like attaching the cable to the drive, so you never have to look for a cable to transfer your data. It's a great idea that we support, but sometimes you find that one connector doesn't work with a host system, or the overall size increase of an embedded cable becomes a burden. HP has a solution for that too.
The HP Portable SSD P600 (P600 from here on out) is the USB drive for those looking for high-speed storage on the go. The drive costs less than the P800 and uses a different design that's fresh and innovative.
Most portable SSDs using the USB interface utilize SATA drives that limit the performance to the native speed of 6Gbps. SSD performance has long reached the interface limits of SATA so most products in this category perform about the same. Without performance as a big selling feature to distinguish one product from the next, companies like HP have searched for new avenues to stand out. We think HP found a way to do that without detracting from the core functions of the product.
HP brought the Portable SSD P600 to market in three capacities - 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB. The series features progressive performance that scales with the density. The 250GB model delivers up to 560 MB/s sequential read, a rating shared through the entire series. The sequential write for the smallest model is 490 MB/s. That increases to 490 MB/s for the 500GB model and increases another 10 MB/s to 500 MB/s sequential write for the 1TB model we're testing today.
HP is one of the few companies to release random performance data for portable storage. The series ranges from 80,000 to 90,000 read IOPS and 60,000 to 70,000 write IOPS. The performance comes from a MaxIO Technology controller paired with the 3D flash to deliver a long-lasting device.
Pricing, Warranty, And Endurance
HP priced the P600 series aggressively with the 250GB model starting at just $84.99. The 500GB model is a better value at $135.99 but if you want to travel with a lot of data the 1TB model is also a strong value at $219.99.
HP supports this series with a 3-year warranty. We were not able to find any published endurance limits. This is common across the portable SSD industry since most data transferred to these products is sequential in nature and very easy on the flash as opposed to random data.
A Closer Look
As we mentioned, the Portable SSD P600 features a unique design. There are two pieces to the kit. The first is the SSD with a USB Type-C connector. This part is thinner than the tray that holds the cable and Type-A to Type-C adapter. The two pieces come together with magnetic force and stay locked well. The ridge on the SSD helps to align the pieces, and the hidden magnets do the rest.
In our opinion, the weak link for this product is the short cable that will often leave you dangling the drive from the USB port on a desktop or notebook sitting on your lap. There really isn't much HP can do about the short cable since it has to fit in the case and be strong enough to support the weight of the drive.
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