Visiontek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD review: Convenient form factor, fast reads, slow writes

This USB 3.0 thumb drive rivals Samsung's T1 in read speed, but writes barely faster than a hard drive.

visiontek pocketssd all
Credit: Visiontek

USB flash drives have become the almost universal method of sneakernetting small amounts of data. Small by today’s standards, anyway. However, it’s getting to the point where these thumb drives can take on the larger data sets that had, until now, been the province of portable hard drives. Witness Visiontek’s USB 3.0 Pocket SSD. Little larger physically than the average flash drive, it starts at 128GB capacity and maxes out at a substantial 512GB.

There's also no surtax for the higher capacities, as there has often been in the USB thumb drive market. The Visiontek Pocket SSD is actually a bit pricier per gigabyte in its lower capacities, though all can be had for between 30 and 40 cents per GB if you shop around.

Performance

The 512GB Pocket SSD is a very fast reader for a USB 3.0 mass storage device, topping out at about 420MBps in AS SSD—nearly as fast as Samsung’s T1 USB 3.0 SSD. Alas, it’s only half the writer the T1 is, managing a hard drive-like 140MBps compared to the Samsung drive’s 310MBps. Random access times are quite quick, as they should be with anything NAND-based. According to VisionTek, the NAND is MLC in this case, and shouldn't suffer any write drop-offs like TLC. Then again, TLC generally performs at about 140MBps when writing. Just saying.

visiontek 20gb copies

While a very good reader, the Pocket SSD was actually outperformed in sustained writes by a Seagate Backup Plus Fast USB 3.0 hard drive (using RAID 0). 

visiontek as ssd

While the VisionTek Pocket SSD matched up well with the Samsung T1 reading, and even when writing our 20GB set of small files and folders, it was distinctly overmatched when it came to writing our single 20GB archive.

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