External Solid State Drives (SSD) can either be unreliably cheap or startlingly expensive, with little choice for those just looking to leave spinning disks in peace. So where does that leave Verbatim and their current Store ‘n’ Go SSD options? On one end you have the reputation of a respected brand that’s famous for reliability and build quality. On the other having said respected brand often demands a higher upfront cost.
Verbatim holds a lot of weight with many loyalists who swear by their quality, whether it’s in recordable disc media, flash, or hard drives. Even I relied on them for many of my storage needs before, but with every company after a piece of that pie it’s hard to ignore the alternatives. But let’s not mince words any longer.
Based on looks alone, the Store ‘n’ Go looks slick. The top sports a glossy black, albeit plastic shell that’s textured in a diamond-styled surface (a blue power light is also embedded in one of the diamonds), while the rear (along with the front logo-printed portion) is flat in the same black gloss. In contrast, the sides are wrapped in a silver band for a pseudo-premium appearance. All of this comes in a NAND-based size that’s a little bit smaller than a credit card and packing the depth of a standard USB flash drive.
Since Verbatim gave us the 256GB version of the Store ‘n’ Go, most of this review will focus on the larger variant, which goes the official product name of Vx450. It comes bundled with a USB 3.0 Micro-B connector and carrying pouch too.
There isn’t much in the way of extras when you first connect the SSD except for the pre-installed Nero Back-It-Up software. As a disclaimer, we understand the value of most people using of supplied backup utilities but for our testing we reformatted drive for a clean run. We suspect that immediate users will do the same thing, but it’s there if you want the extra security.
Most SSDs should be good performers, if you also have the proper hardware (USB 3.0) and software (Windows 8 with USB attached SCSI or UAS) to go along with it. The best advertised speeds that the Vx450 can do is for data reading is 450MBps and 350MBps for writing; however, with a selection of large files on hand our consistent results averaged 164MBps (read) and 41MBps (write). SiSoftware Sandra benchmarks were closer to what we hoped for with 315MBps (read) and 107MBps. Honestly, the Vx450 had to be deliberately pushed to its limits, which is a bit of a cheat.
For us, the latter figures were more theoretical and not a common indicator for everyday productivity, so it’s still a good SSD for most people. It’s also possible that hardware (Intel Z77 chipset, Core i7-3770 processor, and 16GB of DDR3 RAM) and/or software (Windows 8.1) could be factors.
How does it stack up in terms of value? Well, that’s where things get dicey. Realistic marketplace prices for the Verbatim Vx450 start at $139 for the 128GB and $265 for the larger 256GB model. The premium is expected but even the less sensible dollar per gigabyte ratio is somewhat steep compared to other external SSDs, and I won’t even bother mentioning their original MSRPs. It’s undeniably expensive but perhaps the benefits of having a drive in a compact form is worth the investment for a few.
Having any Solid State Drive should make sense as a external hard disk replacement and the Store ‘n’ Go SSD lineup of rotation-free hard disks are no exception…until you factor in the cost. And that’s pretty much the only thing holding me back from lauding it. Verbatim has presented a proper upgrade from the external storage of yore, they just have to meet or beat the competition’s bottom dollar too.