Adata SE730H External SSD review

Adata SE730H External SSD Review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2022 by Daniel

Adata SE730H External SSD. The first and only external SSD from Adata, the SE730H is the company’s second foray into the world of external storage. This model is the older, larger sibling to the SE731H, which we reviewed in May 2012.

As with the SE731H, the SE730H uses a SATA interface and has a maximum transfer rate of 540MB/s. In addition, it comes with an internal battery and claims to be rated for five years of continuous operation.

The drive itself is very similar to the SE731H. It’s made of plastic and measures 4.8 x 3.9 x 1.1 inches (119 x 99 x 27mm). It weighs about 1.2 pounds (0.55kg) and has a single LED that blinks when the drive is active.

Like its sibling, the SE730H has a single USB 2.0 port for attaching to a PC. However, unlike the SE731H, the SE730H has a power connector as well as a data cable. The data cable is used for data transfer between the drive and your PC.

Adata SE730H External SSD: Design

Adata SE730H External SSD

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Impact resistance

According to Adata, this is the world’s most compact external SSD. Having 72.7 x 44 x 12.2mm dimensions and weighing only 37g, it has a smaller footprint than Samsung’s T3 and T5, as well as is lighter. However, it is slightly thicker, probably because it needs to earn its IP68 certification.

One of the few drives on the market that has achieved IP68 certification is this aluminum and rubber drive. When the USB Type-C connector cap is securely attached, the drive is completely dust resistant and can stay underwater (at 1.5m depth) for more than an hour.

Additionally, the SE730H also meets the MIL-STD-810G 516.6 impact resistance test, which means it should survive accidental drops and shocks without much damage. Additionally to the connector, the cap hides an activity light that blinks when data is written or accessed.

Adata opted for gold and red brushed metallic colors for the drive; we prefer the more subtle, less flashy anthracite color of the Samsung T5, mainly because scratches will be less obvious. Due to its unusual shape – looking like a pinched oval cylinder from the side – the drive is easier to grip thanks to its improved levels of grip.

Additionally, both sides of the device are covered with logos and writing.

Adata SE730H External SSD: Hardware

Adata SE730H External ssd

  • Uses 3D TLC technology
  • Available in different storage capacity

As with most of the Adata drives we have reviewed recently (Adata SSD Ultimate SU800, Adata SD700 External SSD, and the Adata SV620H), this drive uses 3D TLC technology, which is likely the same as the SU800.

The device was opened to reveal one chip covered with what appeared to be a Blutag, a large Adata 121104747533A03 chip, a Nanya 1711 nt5cc128M-161pd1 128MB buffer capacity, and a VLI VL714-Q4  USB 3.1 to SATA 6Gb/s bridge module for the Type-C jack.

The SSD is likely IMFT’s 384 gigabit TLC 3D NAND (the same as the SU800), a technology Adata claims is more durable and power-efficient than 2D NAND.

The SE730H is available in 256GB and 512GB versions, and its operating temperature ranges from 5°C to 50°C (122°F). In addition to the standard three-year warranty, it is worth noting that this SSD uses up to 4.5W (5V, 0.9A).

Performance

Adata external ssd

  • USB 3.1 connector
  • 443MBps transfer speed

There are two applications bundled together – OStoGO and HDDtoGo. Installing an operating system without an optical drive is the goal of the first app. Another one is more of a toolkit that provides no-trace browsing, file synchronization, compression, encryption, and more.

In combination with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps connector, Adata claims the drive can achieve read/write speeds of 500MBps. CrystalDiskMark achieved 432MBps and 413MBps (read and write, respectively) and Atto achieved 443MBps (read and write); Teracopy took 43 seconds to copy a 10GB file.

Results were obtained on a laptop with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector, which is limited to 5Gbps. Therefore, the numbers obtained in the test are close to the theoretical limits (once overheads and other factors are considered).

According to CrystalDiskMark, the Samsung T5 reached 432MBps and 323MBps (read/write) and 323MBps and 462MBps (read/write) on Atto, so the SE730H does not lag behind.

Competitors

It is worth mentioning that the Adata drive is one of the few competitors with an IP68 rating. Interestingly, two of them are Adata products: the SD700 and the SE730, the predecessor to the SE730H.

No other mainstream vendor (Samsung, SanDisk, Freecom, Transcend or OWC) has released a ruggedized SSD device. It’s possible there’s a gap in the market that could prove lucrative for some.

SD700 offers the most affordable IP68 certified storage at only £0.30 per GB (for the 1TB model) while the 256GB model sells for just £92 ($120), almost 50% less than the SE730H.

According to Amazon, G-Tech G-Drive Slim SSD USB Type-C is the cheapest external SSD (per GB), which sells for £245 ($320), around 20% less per GB than the competition. The drive is not waterproof, but given that it is a solid-state drive, it is likely to be shockproof; and who knows, it might be cheaper still on Black Friday.

Adata SE730H External SSD: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Portable and Lightweight Expensive
Great performance

The verdict

Although Adata’s highlight is the use of a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector, this point is without any merit as the SE730H still uses SATA technology. By switching to NVMe, this problem could be solved, but the cost of the drive would likely increase significantly.

This is not to say that the Adata SE730H is a bad external SSD. Even though its performance is lower than that promised by the manufacturer, it is still competitive with the likes of the Samsung T5 and even the SD700.

However, we still prefer the latter. It may not come with a Type-C connector and is a bit heavier, but it is much cheaper and looks more durable.