Adata isn't the first name that comes to people's minds when considering an SSD but the Taiwanese company has quite a wide range spanning the SATA, PCIe, and external categories. The product that we have for review today is an entry-level portable SSD, the Adata SD600Q. This device has a few interesting features and an unusual design. Most importantly, it's one of the most affordable models available right now, with the 240GB version selling for around Rs. 3,300 online. Could this be the device that finally tempts people to ditch spinning hard drives? We're going to find out.
Most portable SSDs try to be slim and stylish, with discrete designs that are meant to highlight how small and portable they are. Adata has gone completely in the opposite direction with a fairly bulky square body. The device is available in blue, red, or black (except for the 960GB version which only comes in black). It has been designed to look tough with fake plastic rivets and a wraparound design that somewhat mimics the rubber external sheaths on some of Adata's own ruggedised external hard drives.
The plastic body of our review unit didn't feel very high-quality thanks to some rough and uneven finishing around the edges. The body also flexed a bit, and it was clear that the tough-looking touches are purely cosmetic. However, Adata does say that the SD600Q is encased in silicone to absorb shocks. It's rated to survive falls from 1.22m (4 feet) and meets the MIL-STD-810G standard for toughness.
We quite like the geometric pattern on the top and bottom of this portable SSD but we were unimpressed with its construction quality. We're also not sure that Adata has gone in the right direction because this device isn't exactly pocketable. It measures 80mm square and is 15.2mm thick, and that's even before factoring in the cable that you'll need to carry with you.
Speaking of cables, Adata has for some reason gone with an old-fashioned Micro-USB 3.0 port and cable, like you'd usually see on external hard drives. Nearly all other brands have defaulted to the USB Type-C connector which just makes sense, and we don't know why Adata chose otherwise for this model. Needless to say, you'll have to check the orientation of the cable each time you want to plug it in to the SSD. You do get a cable in the box, and you'll be able to reuse the cables from your hard drives, but this feels like a step backwards.
You can buy the Adata SD600Q in capacities of 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB. The company does say that it has used 3D NAND flash, and that you can expect speeds of up to 440MBps for reads and writes, but no performance-related specifications beyond that have been published. Adata also boasts of this device's silent operation, power efficiency, lack of moving parts, and speed relative to hard drives, which are benefits of all portable SSDs.
The warranty is fairly standard at three years. There's no hardware encryption and no included software – not even a simple backup utility or a diagnostics tool.
Note that while Adata refers to this drive as USB 3.2 Gen1 capable, this is no different to USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 – it's the same standard, renamed once again, and supports only 5Gbps transfers which is more than enough for this drive.
Our 240GB review unit arrived formatted to the NTFS file system which means a reformat will be necessary if you're using a Mac. The total usable capacity was reported as 223.57GB. We ran our tests using a standard set of components: an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, a Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, 2x8GB of G.skill DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung SSD 860 Evo boot drive, a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 graphics card, and a Corsair RM650 power supply.
First, we ran the CrystalDiskMark test which runs through sequential as well as random read and write operations at various settings. We got disappointingly low scores of 295MBps and 226.9MBps for sequential reads and writes respectively – far below Adata's advertised numbers. Random reads and writes, which are more representative of everyday workloads, came in at 75.16MBps and just 15.47MBps respectively.
Moving on, the Anvil disk benchmark gave us combined read and write scores of 1,068.01 and 498.15, for a total of 1,566.16. The Adata SD600Q seems to trade blows with another entry-level SSD we've tested recently, the WD My Passport Go. WD's offering has a unique design that's not without its own problems, but does offer more convenience.
We're a little disappointed by the performance as well as the overall look and feel of the Adata SD600Q. The choice of an inconvenient Micro-USB port is also just strange. However, pricing is on Adata's side – there are few, if any other branded portable 240GB SSDs that sell for so little. There's a lot more competition for the 480GB and 960GB models, such as the Samsung SSD T5 and Seagate Fast SSD, which both perform much better, and which we've just recently seen on sale prices that nearly match the Adata SD600Q.
If you don't have a lot of data to store and just want better performance than a hard drive offers, you could consider the 240GB version of this SSD. You'll be able to transfer files relatively quickly and you won't have to worry about physical resilience. You can toss this device around and it's also lighter and smaller than a hard drive. Despite the lack of useful software and the rough edges, the benefits of an SSD at such a low price make this a product worth buying – but do check the prices of our preferred models first.
Price (MOP): Rs. 3,289 (240GB); Rs. 5,359 (480GB); Rs. 9,850 (960GB)