As solid state drives have rapidly taken over the internal storage of modern PCs, we have noted a shift in the market where using these solution as external storage has become viable as well. Over the last year, we have seen many vendors release a portable SSD solution - for instance, ADATA with the SE720, Transcend with the ESD200 and LaCie has the P9223 Slim.
Earlier this year, we had the chance to look at our second product from Angelbird when the SSD2go Pro made its way through the lab, and today, we finally get our hands-on the latest from Angelbird, the SSD2go Pocket.
For the longest time, Angelbird's products filled a niche market for enthusiasts wanting the highest possible performance, while cutting no corners on quality. This led to products that while offering great performance and reliability, priced many consumers out of the market. With the SSD2go Pocket, Angelbird is looking to change this bringing their first external solution to market that while keeping with the same high standards for quality, lowers the cost of ownership by quite a bit.
Specifications of the SSD2go Pocket have the drive offering 420 MB/s sustained read and 300 MB/s sustained write, while capable of delivering 36K random write IOPS. The SSD2go Pocket will be made available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, along with several color options including Silver, Blue, Red and Black. Along with the specifications mentioned above, the SSD2go Pocket is the first external SSD to support both TRIM and SMART in Windows and OS X.
MSRP of the Angelbird SSD2go Pocket is set at $179.99 for the 128GB model, $259.99 for the 256GB model and $439.99 for the 512GB model. Each carries a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the SSD2go Pocket is rather simple. We have the Angelbird white and blue covering the box with a window to the drive in the center.
The back of the packaging divulges a few specifications for the drive, along with a number of uses.
Here we have our first hands-on with the drive. The USB cable used is similar to the quality we found when we reviewed the SSD2go Pro, where each wire in the cable is independently shielded.
On the edge of the drive, we have the USB 3.0 port, with a small activity LED to the right.
Before we start running through benchmarks and test results, I wanted to show the software that is included with the drive, the first of which is Bitwig Studio, a high performance music creation solution for all platforms including Windows, OS X and Linux.
Next we have Parallels Desktop that allows OS X users to run Windows seamlessly on their Mac. Last, we have System Reflection, a professional backup software suite for Windows and OS X, utilizing this software you can clone your OS to the SSD2go Pocket and then boot from it.
On to testing, where we first ran the drive through sequential read with IOMeter. As you can see, the SSD2go Pocket did quite well here at 438 MB/s.
Moving over to sequential write, we found the drive offering 394 MB/s.
Price/Performance for the Angelbird was pretty good as well. With the drive's average performance hovering just over 400 MB/s and its excellent pricing at 0.85 cents per GB, the SSD2go Pocket took the top spot in our chart.
Moving over to OS X, the Pocket was able to maintain the same performance. Here we have Black Magic Design showing 427 MB/s read and 385 MB/s write.
In our 720p workload, the SSD2go Pocket was able to touch 450 MB/s read, while the write speed hovered around the 380-390 MB/s mark.
Moving on to 1080p, we found the drive again around 450 MB/s read quite consistently, while write speed jumped up slightly to 400 MB/s.
The 4K workload allowed the Pocket to touch over 450 MB/s for the first time in our testing. Write performance stuck around the 400 MB/s mark, as seen previously in the 1080p testing.
With this SSD2go Pocket being the third drive to come through the lab from Angelbird, you quickly realize when you get a drive like this how much attention to detail goes into the product. I often tell people it's kind of like the feeling you get when you purchase a Noctua CPU cooler, or your first high-end chassis - you can tell the amount of work that goes into a product the first time you hold it in your hands.
With the SSD2go Pocket, there are a few firsts for the external SSD market. The Pocket introduces both TRIM and SMART support over USB 3.0, and if that isn't enough for you, it also includes overload protection, EMS and ECC capabilities.
Performance of the SSD2go was quite good. We were able to achieve 438 MB/s read and 394 MB/s write on our Windows platform, while installing the drive on our MacBook Pro netted us 427 MB/s read and 385 MB/s write.
In our price/performance chart, the Angelbird SSD2go Pocket managed to take top honors where just a week ago the OWC Envoy Pro was sitting. This is due in part to the performance and also the aggressive pricing Angelbird has deployed with this new model.
|Performance (including Overclocking w/a)||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||90%|
The Bottom Line: The SSD2go Pocket is the next evolution of portable storage solutions from Angelbird. The drive encompasses great build quality, along with reliable components, and ample performance, giving the end user everything they want in a compact package.
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