Portable SSDs are becoming quite popular, and there has been a shift to custom form factor designs with the introduction of the m.2 or NGFF format a few years back. This new, small, and more compact SSD size has enabled vendors to create very small high-performance devices, and Apacer introduces their offering with the ASMini.
The ASMini is what Apacer is calling a pocket-sized SSD. This solution is capable of 450 MB/s read and 400 MB/s write over its USB-C connection. It comes in a single capacity (240GB) and offers both shock and vibration resistance. MTBF is listed at one million hours with weight and dimensions listed at 54g and 54x81x6mm respectively. Compatibility includes Linux kernel 2.6+, OS X 10.4+, and Windows XP through 10.
During my research for this review, I was unable to find any listing for this device online. However, being a portable SSD with a 240GB capacity, I would expect to see the price fall in line with devices like the SanDisk Extreme 500 or Samsung T3 at around $115. Apacer does warranty this solution for three-years from the factory.
Packaging is simple with capacity at the top right. A small window gives a look at the SSD, in its rose gold color.
The back of the packaging has a specifications list towards the middle.
The scope of delivery gives us a USB cable and the drive itself.
Looking at the drive, we have a full plastic enclosure with branding at the bottom right.
On the end, we have the USB-C connection.
Opening the drive up, we find the PCB with the USB-C connection and m.2 slot to the left. This design uses a JMicron bridge controller.
The SSD used in this device is a 2260 form factor Apacer AS2260.
Usable capacity for the Apacer ASMini comes in at 223GB after formatting.
I was able to bring in 427 MB/s read and 308 MB/s write with our sample of the 240GB ASMini.
FBM showed similar performance, 415 MB/s read and 332 MB/s write from 16M to 2M.
I have seen my fair share of portable SSDs over the last two years, and apart from the T3, the ASMini is likely the smallest form factor yet. I believe WD will have something to say about that once we get our sample of the My Passport SSD, but as it stands, Apacer has done quite well here.
Build quality isn't the highest we have seen, the plastics tend to give this device a hollow feel; the m.2 form factor SSD doesn't add much regarding weight either, so we are looking at 54g fully loaded. With that it does have its perks, being a pocket SSD, it's not going to rip the pocket off your expensive button down shirt.
Performance expectations were set from marketing at 450/400. In my testing, I was able to get pretty close on read but stayed back on the write performance. CDM showed 427 MB/s read while FBM gave us 415 MB/s. Write performance in both benchmarks was about 100 MB/s behind marketing at 308 MB/s in CDM and 315 in FBM.
With all of that, the ASMini isn't a terrible drive by any means. It would help me if I knew where Apacer was going to price this solution and by that token, it would help greatly if there were market availability. As it stands, I enjoyed my time with the ASMini, the capacity is ample for most of us taking our data on the go and the lightweight design does have its perks.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Hero (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Memory: G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Hybrid (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Secondary Storage: MyDigitalSSD BP5 512GB SSD (buy from Amazon)
- Case: EVGA DG-86 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS ROG 10G Express
- Networking: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Assuming the price is going to rival top vendors, the Apacer ASMini could benefit from higher grade components as the onboard controller really holds it back.
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