Brinell Drive SSD review: Impressive performance from a drive as expensive as it feels

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 5.0
Review Date:

The Good The sleek Brinell Drive SSD is made of premium materials and delivers very fast performance. The drive is thin, light, easy to use, and bundled with helpful software.

The Bad The drive's write performance, though fast, is slower than other SSD-based portable drives. It's very expensive and comes with a short two-year warranty.

The Bottom Line If style is as important as performance to you, the Drive SSD is the portable drive you've been saving for.

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Don't laugh, but looks alone are enough reason to buy the Brinell Drive SSD.

Hailing from Germany, the drive brings style and, dare I say, sex appeal to a product line that normally doesn't rely on its looks for success. It is expensive, but its build is as premium as its price. It also packs a punch by housing a Samsung 840 Evo solid-state drive, one of the best SSDs on the market.

Performance is impressive, as well, even it it falls a little short in write performance, where it's slower than some other SSD-based portable drives I've reviewed. But all things considered, at some €500 (about $682, £406, or AU$730) for 500GB (you can also find 120GB, 250GB, and 1TB capacities) the drive is still a good choice for those wanting a fast and reliable portable drive that can also wow onlookers. It would also make a great gift.

For a more down-to-earth and budget-friendlier external drive, check out this list of top portable drives on the market.

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The Brinell Drive SSD comes with a leather carrying case, a wiping cloth and a package of jewelry polising tissue. Dong Ngo/CNET

Made to impress

The Drive SSD comes in a special box that include a leather carrying case, a wiping piece of cloth, and a small package of jewelry polishing tissue. The chassis of the drive is made of expensive materials. The reviewed unit has a stainless steel frame running around the sides, and black carbon on top and bottom. You can find different versions of varying but equally exquisite materials, such as premium-quality leather or brushed stainless steel. The drive feels very nice on the hand and is very sturdy.

Brinell Drive SSD specs

Drive type 2.5-inch SSD-based portable drive
Connector options USB 3.0, USB 2.0
Available capacities 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB
Product dimensions 4.5 x 3.4 x 0.4 inches (114.3 x 86.36 x 10.16 mm)
Weight 4.2 ounces (119g)
Capacity of test unit 500GB
Software included PureSync (backup) and TrueCrypt (encryption)
OSes supported Windows (XP or later), Mac OS X (10.6 or later)
Warranty 2 years

The included cleaning accessories are a little unnecessary because the drive's surface doesn't attract fingerprints, even though it's shiny. It can also be cleaned very easily. If there's dust on it, you can just blow it away.

Simple to use, helpful software bundle

The Drive SSD has one Micro-USB 3.0 port on its side, it also comes included with one standard USB cable which is the only thing you need to make it work. The drive is bus-powered and preformatted in NTFS (for Windows) and works immediately when plugged in. You can also reformat it in HFS+ if you want to use it with a Mac.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Brinell Drive SSD (500GB, Black Carbon)

Part Number: 4260223891496
MSRP: $545.13 Low Price: $489.62 See all prices