by Rob Williams on February 9, 2011 in Solid-State Drives
Often on the go and require a super-fast storage solution to take along? Portable SSDs are not exactly new, but they are constantly being improved. Though Kingston was a bit late to the party with its HyperX Max 3.0, we’ve found it to be the best portable SSD we’ve tested to date. It features huge speeds, and very good performance consistency.
While we were in Taiwan last summer for Computex, Kingston took us on a tour of its Hsinchu factory, and afterwards, gave us a preview of its HyperX portable SSD. After that point, it took the company nearly five months to bring the product to market, while others, namely OCZ, had similar products available for much longer.
If there’s one thing that’s ultra-clear about Kingston’s operation, though, it’s that the company doesn’t like to rush anything. Rather, it’s more than willing to miss the boat in the beginning in order to deliver a knock-out product void of design bugs when the time is right.
Can Kingston’s first true portable SSD knock out some of the other similar products we’ve taken a look at in the past? We’ll find that out by the time this article is through.
Like OCZ’s Enyo, what makes Kingston’s HyperX Max 3.0 so special is not only that it’s an SSD, but that it’s a portable SSD. When plugged into any USB 3.0 port, you can enjoy the super-fast speeds you’ve come to expect of SSDs, and afterwards, you can unhook it and bring it elsewhere. This kind of convenience is a boon to those who move around a lot and don’t want to wait forever for a large file or folder to copy over.
The three densities that Kingston offers for its HyperX Max 3.0 are 64GB (~$190), 128GB (~$300) and 256GB (~$650), and all three offer the same sequential speeds: 195MB/s read and 160MB/s write. Despite it’s fast speed, no external power is required; just the included USB 3.0 cable.
For some reason, Kingston formats the HyperX Max 3.0 as FAT32, but for improved capabilities and file system data structure, I’d recommend reformatting it to either exFAT or NTFS. For all of our testing, we used NTFS, as it’s a very common SSD file system, external or not.
As we’ve come to expect with most of Kingston’s HyperX line, the Max 3.0 comes in a dark blue color, and looks quite good overall. The device isn’t much larger than a typical SSD, and features a smooth, tough surface (though it’s not scratch-resistant).
The underbelly of the Max 3.0 doesn’t look much different than the top, but to prevent it from sliding off of a desk, four small feet grips are used.
Kingston’s HyperX Max 3.0 by all accounts looks simple, but under its hood is super-fast NAND flash that will help make any USB 2.0 drive you own look very unattractive. So, without further ado, let’s test this thing out and see how it compares to other recently-reviewed drives.