Even with Thunderbolt being among the quickest external storage technologies, we have yet to see many vendors take advantage of the interface with solid-state solutions. While there are certainly external SSDs being built with Thunderbolt technology, the ThunderGo from Akitio takes things a bit further with tremendous 1TB capacity.
The ThunderGo is the latest portable solution from Akitio. Features of this solution include both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity, giving this solution the utmost in terms of flexibility. With this drive supporting USB 3.0 technology, we also have UAS support further increasing performance. Additional features include a tethered Thunderbolt cable eliminating lost cables, while at the same time being able to be bus powered in both Thunderbolt or USB mode. Adding to this drive Akitio has wrapped the ThunderGo in a rubber sleeve increasing durability, along with adding to the aesthetics of the solution.
Compatibility extends to both Windows and Mac based PCs with either a Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 connection available. Operating systems are recommended as Windows 7+ or OS X 10.7 and above. MSRP of the Akitio ThunderGo in the 1TB capacity is listed at $949.99 with a two-year warranty. You can also opt for a 1TB hard drive based version with an MSRP of $239.99.
Packaging for the ThunderGo includes marketing information across the bottom of the box with an image of the drive to the right. Capacity is listed at the top right with the Thunderbolt logo above.
Scope of delivery is quite slim, but plenty to get you going. Above, we have the drive itself along with reading materials and a USB 3.0 cable.
Internally, after opening the enclosure, we found an Akitio branded SSD. To the left, you can see the Thunderbolt cable connected directly to the PCB. At the bottom left is the USB 3.0 micro B cable.
The SSD as stated before is an OEM Akitio branded solution. Capacity is 1TB and features a SATA III connection.
Opening up the SSD, reveals a Phison controller and Toshiba NAND. Below the controller we have DRAM from Nanya.
Testing the ThunderGo, we used our MacBook Pro and the Thunderbolt connection. In testing, we were able to reach 512 MB/s read and 468 MB/s write. This puts the ThunderGo at the top as far as performance is concerned.
Akitio has only been around for years, but in that short time they have come on quickly as a leader in high performance storage solutions. In the past few years, we have seen many devices come through the lab, but the ThunderGo certainly tops that list with both an aesthetically pleasing durable solution.
Build quality is quite easily some of the best I have seen myself, the aluminium enclosure aids in both cooling the internal SSD while adding a elegant appeal to the drive. Added protection through the use of a rubber sleeve that wraps around the drive just adds to the overall value of the solution.
Performance, as seen in our testing, netted the drive the top spot in our charts, as it was the quickest drive we have tested with our MacBook Pro. We were able to reach full marketing specifications of 512 MB/s read and 468 MB/s write. With all of that said, pricing is a bit on the high-end, with an MSRP of $949.99 for the 1TB SSD model, but for those of you that want capacity and can sacrifice a bit of performance, a 1TB hard disk based solution is also available for $700 less.
|Quality including Design and Build||91%|
|Bundle and Packaging||89%|
|Value for Money||79%|
The Bottom Line: Akitio's ThunderGo is quite easily the quickest single drive solution we have tested, and while the price is sure to hit your wallet hard, it's well worth it if you want a top tier solution.
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