Adata SE730 250GB review

Adata’s SE730 is a brand new portable SSD which combines the best of all worlds: it’s one of the smallest we’ve seen, it’s waterproof and it has blistering speed with which few of its rivals can compete. Also see: Best portable hard drives

Also see: Best Black Friday Deals

Adata SE730 250GB review: Price

The one snag is price. But while it’s more expensive than a lot of portable SSDs, the extra cost is worth it. As it’s so new, it’s not widely available and we expect the price to drop below £100 soon. At the time of writing, it cost 46p per GB, making it more expensive than the SanDisk Extreme 500 and Samsung T3. You can buy it from CCL Online for £106.44.

Adata SE730 250GB review: Features and design 

Don’t confuse the new SE730 with the older drive of the same name: the new one has a completely different design. It’s available in only one capacity – 250GB – but you do get a choice of gold or red. Behind one of the plastic end caps is a USB-C connector which supports USB 3.1 Gen 2. This is the latest USB standard, capable of up to 10Gb/s (1250MB/s). That’s the theoretical speed, of course, and Adata claims up to 550MB/s from the SE730, which employs MLC NAND flash – higher quality than many drives which use TLC.

Adata SE730 250GB - Windows 10

It has a three-year warranty (many drives come with only two years) and is IP68 certified. Unless you happen to know the IP ratings off by heart, this means it’s water-resistant up to 1.5m for 60mins and is also dust proof. Adata says it’s shock proof to military standards, so it will shrug off the odd drop onto concrete. 

You can use the SE730 with an Android phone that supports OTG, but you’ll need a separate USB-C to microUSB (or USB-C) cable though as only a short full-size USB cable is provided.

There’s no encryption, so if you need to store and carry sensitive data, the SE730 isn’t the best choice. Also see: Best NAS drives.

Adata SE730 250GB review: Performance

Adata SE730 250GB - CrystalDiskMark

We initially tested the drive over USB 3.0 and saw a sequential read speed of 381MB/s and a write speed which almost kept up at 278.5MB/s. Random 4KB reads weren’t much better than certain rivals at 20MB/s but it’s when writing them that the Adata shines: it managed 38.9MB/s, which is by far the fastest we’ve seen from a portable drive. Most languish around 1-4MB/s, including the SanDisk and Samsung SSDs.

We then ran the same benchmarks with a PCIe to USB 3.1 card on our test rig. We saw an increase in read/write speeds, coming very close to Adata's speed claims. Also see: How to build a PC.

Therefore, if you truly want to benefit from Adata's increased speeds, you'll want to run it through a USB 3.1 port, where you'll be able to benefit from the 10GB/s speeds over the maximum 5GB/s USB 3.0 threshold.

Adata SE730 250GB - CrystalDiskMark 10GB/s

With the increased USB 3.1 bandwidth, we saw a healthy boost in both the sequential and 4K read/write speeds. However, we did see an inexplicable drop in its 4K Q32T1 read speeds.

Obviously, this is of little consequence if you’ll mainly use the SE730 for storing large files, but nevertheless it’s still a great drive if you want to back up lots of little ones.

Adata SE730: Specs

  • Price per GB (at tested capacity): 46p
  • Capacity tested: 250GB
  • Capacity range: 250GB
  • Storage Type: MLC NAND Flash
  • Sequential performance: 380.8/278.5MB/s
  • 4K performance: 19.8/38.9MB/s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: None
  • Dimensions: 44x73x12mm
  • Weight: 33g
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Price per GB (at tested capacity): 46p
  • Capacity tested: 250GB
  • Capacity range: 250GB
  • Storage Type: MLC NAND Flash
  • Sequential performance: 380.8/278.5MB/s
  • 4K performance: 19.8/38.9MB/s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
  • Encryption: None
  • Software: None
  • Dimensions: 44x73x12mm
  • Weight: 33g
  • Warranty: 3 years

SHOULD I BUY ADATA SE730?

Typically if you want a tiny, high-capacity drive you have to sacrifice performance, but not with the SE730. It really is a pocket rocket, and well worth the price if you need speedy portable storage.