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Adata SC660H review

Lighter than its rivals and a fraction of the price of other 3D-NAND equipped drives, Adata offers incredible value for money

Price
£80
  • Extremely light
  • Feels a bit cheap; USB-B s/f interface

Adata has been around since the turn of the millennium, but in the last couple of years has begun making in-roads to the UK market. What's quite noticeable about this offering is that it's incredibly lightweight.

With 3D-NAND, the conventions of traditional form factors cease to apply and whilst many manufacturers weigh down their devices in order to give some sense of continuity, this one, clocking in at just over 70g (about the weight of two bags of crisps) can disappear into an overnight bag without a second thought, and yet the build quality is very high. It's about half the weight of rivals.

The plastic base feels a little cheaper, but it is certainly strong enough to support its own weight, and dropping it from a height leaves no impact mark. The sandblasted metal top looks great.

But all of this is incidental without performance. Thankfully, 3D-NAND is far better at creating performance with lower power consumption. This device is capable of supporting USB 3.1, but uses a USB-B Superfast interface, which means you won't get the same benefits as a USB-C connection. It calls this "USB 3.1 Ready" but in reality, it's an almost meaningless option.

What we actually get is a very impressive 409.1MB/sec sequential write speed. The read speed is much slower at 158.5MB/sec, far slower than the manufacturer's 430MB/sec claim, but we've tested the disk and it passed all the diagnostics, so we can only assume its our testing environment it doesn't like.

Random reads and writes are far more in the range we'd expect - 151.8MB/sec read using the Q8T8 test, down to 143.9MB/sec read using Q32T1.

The more exhausting but revealing Q1T1 shows 18.3MB/sec Read and 37.04MB/sec Write.All of which tells us what we really need to know - this is a great drive for your travel bag. Light, cool (it didn't get above 38 degrees during our tests, and that's way lower than we're used to) and though not super rugged, it will cope.

The speeds aren't designed for transferring massive chunks of data on a regular basis, but for everyday use it's more than adequate and it'll play a 4K video without flinching.

As with most manufacturers, Adata offers its own software for back-up, but unusually, it also offers a facility to clone Windows to the drive and boot from there. While this is more suited to memory sticks, it's certainly a unique selling point.

It's essentially an "entry level travel solid state drive". Far faster and more robust than a spindle disk drive, but we can't help feeling that there are already 256GB flash drives that will do the same job for similar money and a fraction of the size, so this category will likely be obsolete soon.

Verdict

One of the lightest drives we’ve seen in this form factor, but with so many memory sticks of the same capacity now, the performance offered doesn’t justify carrying a full sized device. That said, if you want to, you can do far worse than this one.

256GB, 512GB
Weight: 73g
Thickness:9.6mm
Size: 2.5in form factor
Materials: Metal top, plastic Base
Interface: USB 3.1 gen 1
Warranty: 3 years.

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