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

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The included PureSync backup software is very effective and easy to use. Dong Ngo/CNET

The Drive SSD is preloaded with PureSync Personal Edition backup software (Windows only) and TrueCrypt (for Windows and Mac) for drive encryption. PureSync worked very well in my trial and allows for general file/folder backup as well as automatic syncing of a folder. The software automatically detects when the Drive SSD is connected and begins the sync/backup.

The included version of TrueCrypt, however, is in German and so I couldn't try it out. Supposedly you can change the interface to other languages but the installer itself, as well as the included PDF manual, are in German.

Fast, though not the fastest

The Drive SSD is one of the fastest portable drives on the market. However, for a drive that houses an SSD on the inside, it wasn't as fast as I expected. In my testing with USB 3.0, it scored sustained real-world copy speeds of 220MBps for reading, which was the second-fastest SSD.

In writing, it registered only 156MBps, but was still in the top three. It's worth noting that it was decidedly slower than the other SSD-based drive, the Elgato Thunderbolt Drive +. Over USB 3.0, the Elgato scored 243MBps and 290MBps for writing and reading, respectively.

CNET Labs' USB 3.0 external drive performance

Elgato Thunderbolt Drive+
242.9
289.53
Seagate Backup Plus Fast
222.5
232.74
Brinell Drive SSD
156.4
220.2
Toshiba Canvio Slim II
118.8
118.49
WD My Passport Ultra
118.5
117.87
Silicon Power Armor A15
113.0
112.09
Seagate Slim
110.4
111.49
WD My Password Slim
107.7
107.89
LaCie Christofle Sphere
105.5
111.43
Canvio Connect
97.4
97.1
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
92.29
112.23
Seagate Backup Plus
90.94
110.1

Legend:

Write
Read

Note:

Measured in megabytes per second

Nonetheless, the Drive SSD is still very fast for a portable drive and you have multiple reasons to be happy with its performance. The drive also works with USB 2.0 at around 30MBps.

The drive worked well in my testing and remained cool even during heavy operation, and made no noise at all.

Conclusion

The Brinell Drive SSD costs almost twice the price of the Samsung 840 Evo SSD it houses inside. This means, as far as a portable drive is concerned, you're be better off financially getting a Samsung SSD and a USB 3.0 enclosure. However, you won't have the exquisite look and feel the Brinell has to offer.

If you value style as much as you do performance, the Brinell will make it worth your while. That said, the most disappointing thing about the drive is actually the short two-year warranty. For a drive of this premium, I'd expect a full five-year, if not more.

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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