Andy Shaw tests an external SSD drive that you can use with your PC, tablet and phone
It’s difficult to predict how much storage space you need on a mobile device – too little and you’re constantly having to shuffle apps and data around to make room for new things. But not everyone can justify spending hundreds of extra pounds to get their devices with the maximum amount of memory installed.
Some Android devices are built with memory-card slots that make adding extra storage much simpler but if your device doesn’t have this, the Freecom Tablet Mini SSD provides a convenient solution.
It’s a small, light, and extremely portable external SSD (solid-state drive) that has two built-in connectors: one is a standard USB plug for transferring files to and from a PC; the other is a USB Micro B plug. Both connectors are securely attached with a short, flexible rubber cable that stows away into the casing when not in use.
The Micro B plug is USB OTG (On The Go) compatible, so you can connect it to any suitable Android device. There’s a list of devices that have been tested with the drive on the Freecom website at bit.ly/compat391 (scroll down and select the Technical Specs tab), although any model with a Micro B shaped USB OTG port should be compatible.
Freecom quotes the drive as having a maximum speed of 430MB/s (megabytes per second). We tested this with a number of different file types and managed an impressive 440MB/s when transferring a 4.2GB ISO file from the SSD to a PC via a USB 3 port.
Transferring large groups of smaller files slowed the process down somewhat, with a folder of photos transferring at 120MB/s. However, there’s no arguing that the device is fast, so you won’t be left waiting too long, even if you’re planning to entirely fill its 128GB of storage space (a 256GB version is due later in the year).
Plugging the Tablet Mini SSD into a compatible Android device is as simple as plugging it into a PC. The drive pops up as a selectable storage device and you can move or copy files back and forth between the two.
We found the SSD on sale at Kikatek. There are cheaper ways to get 128GB of fast storage – for example, USB memory sticks are available for half the price, which can plug into OTG cables that cost around a fiver. However, this device has everything built in so you’ll never misplace or damage the cable. It’s also a very pocketable shape and size, and it performed well in our tests.
This small, pocketable external SSD drive has been designed to provide convenient connection to your phone, tablet or a standard PC without the need for any extra cables. It’s an excellent device for storing music and movies, because you can refresh them easily from your PC and don’t have to transfer them to your device.
It’s not the cheapest way to buy 128GB of storage but it partly makes up for this by being so convenient to use.
SPECIFICATIONS– Integrated USB 3 and USB 2 OTG cables– Shock resistant to 4m drop– Supports USB recording from some televisions– Bundled Nero Backup software– 2-years warranty– 92 x 58 x 15mm– 58g.