Transcend StoreJet 100 2TB full review

Transcend is a Taiwan-based supplier of memory and storage products, with SSD, CompactFlash and SD cards and computer memory in its extensive portfolio.

New to the brand are a selection of external storage drives aimed squarely at Mac users. One is based on fast flash memory, but the other two see a return of the slower but cheaper and larger hard-disk technology.

The StoreJet 100 reviewed here is a portable hard drive built to be more resistant to shock than most fragile disks, with the help of a tough rubberised jacket and internal damper frame. It comes in just one capacity, a very generous 2 TB.

This model has a pale-grey silicone finish that handily matches a MacBook’s natural aluminium, with a white plastic end cap that includes the drive’s Micro-USB 3.0 port. A short white USB 3.0 cable is in the box but there is no carry case included.

An unusual addition to this drive is the One Touch Auto-Backup Button, a blue-ringed push button on the end cap that is designed to simplify the backing up of data to the drive. To work, it requires you to first install the included Transcend Elite software, which can undertake various tasks such as on-demand and scheduled backups.

To use the One-Touch feature, after first installing the software on your Mac you must create your own backup task, such as duplicate all the contents of your home directory to a folder you’ve created on the drive.

The next step is not at all clear, especially since there are no full instructions included with the unit nor available to download. You must enable the One Touch Button feature on the task you created, by clicking a near-invisible circular grey icon under a column headed OTB, when this symbol will turn orange.

Next time you need to make a backup you connect the drive to your Mac first, then launch the software, then press the button and it takes care of the rest. Note that you cannot run the Transcend software without a StoreJet drive connected.

Other features available from the Transcend Elite software include Bookmark Sync, which will copy your Safari bookmarks to the drive; Cloud, which enables copying to a Google Drive online server; and Crypto, to encrypt and decrypt chosen files and folders. The type and quality of the latter feature is not published.

The unit has been given a ruggedness rating by its maker of MIL-STD-810F 516.5-Transit Drop Test. This means that it should withstand being dropped 26 times onto a hard floor, once on to each face, edge and corner, from a height of 1.22 m. The drive does not need to be switched on to pass this test – we don’t believe any hard disk would survive this – and nor does it require independent verification before a manufacturer can promote this milspec designation.

Transcend StoreJet 100: Performance

Despite its spinning-disk storage technology, the hard disk inside the StoreJet proved to be a relatively fast performer with its 2.5-inch SATA disk.

In headline sequential speed tests of the near-empty disk, it could read and write at 124 MB/s, which exceeds the 100-110 MB/s we used to find with 2.5-inch 5400 rpm drives.

Note that our QuickBench benchmark software measures only the empty drive. By the time the drive hits maximum capacity, we’d expect speed to fall to around half that figure of 124 MB/s.

Small-file transfer performance is also important, and here the StoreJet 100 averaged 102 MB/s reads and 105 MB/s writes, testing with files sized from 4 kB to 1024 kB.

Random read/write performance was much lower, as is normal from inertia-bound physical disks, with averages over the same file span of just 23 MB/s reads and 60 MB/s writes.

The smallest 4 kB transfers were the slowest as is normal, and curiously 4 kB random reads proved unusually slow at just 0.5 kB/s. Random writes were reported with better speed, 18 times faster in fact at 9 kB/s.

In use, the drive remained blissfully near-silent, benefiting perhaps from its SilentSeek and NoiseGuard technologies employed by joint makers Samsung/Seagate. Any remaining ticks and whirrs were in all probability muted by the damping frame and silicone rubber outer jacket.

Macworld Verdict

At around £100 the Transcend StoreJet 100 is very good value for money, equalling just 5p per gigabyte for a usefully resilient pocket hard drive. It’s well made and should serve splendidly as a highly capacious data store you can still pop in your pocket.


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