Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB
Unlock the potential of that unused ExpressCard slot on your laptop by adding up to 64GB of SSD storage, courtesy of the Verbatim SSD ExpressCard
- Quick read speeds, convenient
- Requires drivers, slow write speeds
Despite the disappointment of lower than hoped performance (even Verbatim says up to 120MB/s read, but 30MB/s write) and reduced functionality as a possible boot drive, this ExpressCard SSD remains a handy and painless way to add storage to a suitably equipped laptop. And don’t forget its read speed at least exceeds that found from most internal SATA 2.5in hard disks. For up to 64GB extra storage that takes up no extra physical space whatsoever, consider this useful if expensive SSD card.
Price$ 449.96 (AUD)
Many laptops keep a secret that doesn't get attention as much as it deserves. We're talking about the under-utilised ExpressCard slot, a multi-purpose expansion bay that has fantastic potential for expanding connectivity, storage and more.
It's the spiritual successor to the PC Card slot - aka PCMIA - popular in a bygone age for adding ports, modems and assorted interfaces to notebooks. That is, until USB edged in as the de-facto standard for connecting widgets to your computer.
But the PCMCIA card now lives on as the ExpressCard, in 34 or 54 variants, so called after their width in millimetres. Where they improve on the original PC cards - and seriously trump USB 2.0 - is in their capability to tap into a seriously fast data bus. Because they can link straight into the computer's PCI Express bus, there's a theoretical 2.5Gb/s (gigabit per second) throughput.
That's key for some of the latest adaptors we're seeing which demand fast access. Look out for our forthcoming reviews of eSATA and USB 3.0 ExpressCard interfaces.
Storage works best with a fast link, especially if you want to make the most of the incredibly fleet potential of a solid-state drive (SSD). The Verbatim SSD ExpressCard does just that, an ExpressCard/34 storage stick available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities. Prices start around $149. Pop it in the slot, and it sits flush so you'd barely know it was there.
We alighted upon the 64GB version of the Verbatim SSD ExpressCard, seeing the possibilities of shoehorning the complete and corpulent Windows 7 operating system into a separate bootdrive, with space for our benchmark suites to operate too, in order to really get the measure of the card in real-world use.
With fast flash memory on tap, and a fat pipe to wire into the CPU, RAM and controllers, it boded well for not just a versatile extra boot OS - but one that ought to far outstrip the performance of an incumbent 2.5in hard disk.
Unfortunately we hit a couple of snags.
The first was in making this Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB bootable. Unlike devices such as the Wintec Filemate SolidGO, a similarly specified ExpressCard SSD - see an informative Macworld feature here on the practical benefits - this Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB seems to requires extra drivers in order to be recognised by any OS.
Which means it wasn't recognised by Windows or Mac OS X until system drivers had loaded - effectively preventing it from serving as a boot drive.
And while this Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB proved relatively quick in our benchmark read tests, its write performance was well below what you'd find on a typical hard drive.
Benchmarking the Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB in Windows 7, we used HD Tach 3.0 to log speeds. Reading was quick, at an average of 83.5MB/s, with a 116.8MB/s burst capability. But write speed lagged severely at 17.1MB/s - slower than you'd get via even USB 2.0. We'd guess Verbatim is not using the fastest flash memory here, as poor write speeds are symptomatic of low-cost multi-layer cell (MLC) silicon.
Turning to HD Tune 4.01 to crosscheck, we saw comparable average read speeds of 82.5MB/s; only this time write speed fell to an even lower 12.3MB/s. Random access was a typical SSD-quick 0.8ms, while CPU usage was pegged a little high at around 19%.
Whenever the Verbatim SSD ExpressCard 64GB volume was mounted by the filesystem, even when not in use, we did notice the laptop's chassis around the slot got conspicuously warmer too.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Wanawiki is the WannaCry fix that might save affected PCs—if you work fast
- The WannaCry ransomware might have a link to North Korea
- Paying the WannaCry ransom will probably get you nothing. Here's why.
- WannaCry attacks are only the beginning
- Vulnerability hits Intel enterprise PCs going back 10 years
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTIT Security ConsultantNSW
- FTJunior - Mid Level Technical Customer SupportQLD
- TPICT Customer Support OfficerNSW
- FTSenior SQL Database SpecialistACT
- FTDevelopment and Delivery Manager - CloudACT
- CCSharepoint DeveloperVIC
- FTData Analyst/ Reporting AnalystQLD
- FTDesktop EngineerNSW
- FTOperations Manager - NV1 Cleared - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerSA
- FTLevel 2 Desktop SupportACT
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractVIC
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- FTCustomer Account Officers x3NSW
- FTDealing Room Support Analyst - IPC voiceNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTSQL BI Report DeveloperQLD
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior PMO AnalystNSW
- FTDatabase Engineer (Oracle)ACT
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- CCUX DeveloperQLD