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Our USB storage data set is too small for us to produce overall rankings and scatter plots for now, but we can still speak in more general terms about the SD700's performance and price proposition.

The SD700 packs mighty file-transfer capabilities into an impressively trauma-resistant package. It's a bit less compact than Samsung's Portable SSD T3 and Portable SSD T5, but is nonetheless small enough to be pocketable. The Samsung drives' metal finishes are more attractive to me than the SD700's rubber and textured-plastic treatment, but the competition boasts no protection against the elements. Sacrificing eye candy is a sensible compromise for the practical benefits one might gain from Adata's ruggedizing, especially for a device that will likely spend most of its time in a pouch, pocket, or backpack.

About the only feature missing from the SD700 is support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 and its 10 Gbps peak transfer rates. Now that we've tasted the speed of Samsung's Portable SSD T5 and its Gen 2 interface, we'd prefer that next-generation connection come standard on any external SSD worth its salt. Given Adata's plethora of external SSD offerings, we'd expect the company will ultimately release updated versions of its products with the next-gen interface in tow. That future is already heralded by the USB 3.1 Gen 2 SE730, but that drive is only available in a 250GB model for now. 

At $190 on Amazon, the 512GB SD700 is barely more expensive than similar-capacity internal drives. For instance, the SU800 512GB and 850 EVO 500GB are each going for $180 on Newegg right now. As we've discussed, inflated SSD prices mean that the typical premium placed on externals is at a relative low. When life gives you lemons, buy a portable SSD.

If you're in need of a durable, lightweight external SSD without the speed or durability handicap of spinning rust, the SD700 is worth a look. Its fast transfer speeds and accident-proof shell make a compelling combination. Next time you need storage to take with you while you windsurf or mountain climb or take field samples, the SD700 will readily meet your needs. If any of you actually do those kinds of activities with SSDs in tow, let us know how it goes—we're interested to hear how your data fares.TR

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