Portable SSDs have evolved from using standard 2.5" and mSATA solutions to taking full advantage of m.2 SATA and NVMe solutions with the introduction of USB 3.1 Gen 2. Along with this change, we have seen a number of devices move towards the small form factor pocket-sized market; the ESD350C is Transcends latest.
With a rich history in the NAND Flash and memory market, Transcend has enjoyed a solid range of portable SSDs. The ESD lineup goes way back to the beginning with the ESD400, a drive that I reviewed nearly five years ago. The 350C is their latest solution, offering three capacities; 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The enclosure has been revamped with a blue silicon sleeve that protects the drive and offers increased durability. Performance is rated at 1050 MB/s read, and 950 MB/s write thanks to the inclusion of USB-C in its proper gen 2 form.
Compatibility includes Windows and macOS 10.5+. MSRP of the 480GB ESD350C comes in at $129.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the ESC350C follows the red and white colorway of Transcend solutions. We have a window to the drive centered with model and capacity information below.
The back goes into more detail in several languages and warranty information at the top.
Included in the box we have; a USB-C cable along with a C to A cable. The drive sits at the top next to reading materials.
The drive itself is enclosed in a plastic shell, the silicon sleeve offering both aesthetics and protection.
At the end, we have the end-cap with USB-c connection and LED.
I tested the ESD350C with the USB-C and Type-A cables separately. Starting with Type-C, we see 436 MB/s read, and 406 MB/s write.
Moving over to USB-C, the drive opens up a little more offering 940 MB/s read, and 785 MB/s write.
With the latest shift in the portable SSD market over to proper USB 3.1 Gen 2 and the USB-C connection, these solutions are moving data quicker than ever. For those that don't have a spare drive to throw into any of the NVMe enclosure we have reviewed this year, a turn-key solution like the ESD350C is where it's at.
Build quality is tight, but you do need to take note that this is a plastic enclosure and it's not rated for crushing forces. That said the silicon sleeve does add both aesthetics and a certain amount of added resistance to water and dust.
Performance of the ESD350C didn't quite hit the advertised marks of 1050/950, but that is likely reserved for the 960 GB capacity. In my testing of the 480GB solution, I was able to hit 940 MB/s read, and 785 MB/s write.
Closing this out, pricing information and availability in the states seems to be limited. I was able to find a listing on Amazon for $132.99. Putting that up against the SL100 Pro from Lexar and SanDisk Extreme 900 the ESD350C is a clear winner on price and performance.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
The ESD350c is a solid value when it comes to plug and play portable solutions.
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