SSDs are getting more and more abundant these days, but there still remain a lot of smaller niche criteria that we consumers have when it comes to custom PCs. Take this SSD for example. The PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD is catered towards those who want a SATA III-based M.2 2280 SSD with larger capacities but on a tight budget.

Unboxing

The packaging itself is sealed, so if you’re trying to take out the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD from within, the packaging will have to be destroyed. The overall design language is dark in color with texts debossed in gold on the sealed packaging.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

My first complaint is the lack of a proper name for the series of product. This SSD is now called by what it has – M.2 2280 form factor, SATA III interface, and has 256GB of storage. A proper name to refer to PenDrive’s M.2 2280 SATA III SSDs would be better than how it’s referred to now.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

Anyway, at the back is where some of the other specs are listed. Comes with a 3-year limited warranty too, as per written behind the packaging itself.

One thing I find it rather odd is how the speeds are specified on the packaging of the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD. It’s also debossed in gold on the packaging itself, but instead of stating its theoretical maximum read and write speeds, it’s written as “less than or equal to” a number.
PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

Hmmm… interesting.

Specs

When it comes to specs, the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD is quite secretive, if you may. There isn’t much information disclosed other than what is listed below:

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

Specification

Model SSD-128GB SSD-256GB SSD-512GB
Capacity 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB

Performance

Read Speed (MB/s) Up to 560
Write Speed (MB/s) Up to 465

Environment and Reliability

Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C
Warranty 3 years

Form Factor and Connectors

Form Factor M.2 2280
Data Connector M.2 Connector

Dimension and Weight

Dimension (L/W/H) 80 x 22 x 2.3 mm
Weight (Max.) 10g / 0.35oz

Design

When it comes to the design of M.2 SSDs, it seems like there’s nothing to talk about – but there are a few points to highlight.

As stated, the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD has an M.2 2280 form factor – that is to say, it is 22x80mm in dimensions. As for thickness, it’s 2.3mm – though barebones PCB-only M.2 SSDs aren’t thick anyway, so it shouldn’t matter.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

In terms of PCB footprint utilization, PenDrive did a decent job by making use of the full length of the PCB with components and traces filling up many of the gaps on both the front and back side.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSDThis time around, PenDrive used a dark blue colored PCB. Looks decent, as it can blend along with the motherboard and other color schemes pretty well – especially when it’s hidden behind the dGPU.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

Testing Setup

Test hardware configuration

CPU Cooler Noctua NH-D15
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
GPU MSI GEFORCE GTX 1060 3GT OC
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 16GB
Primary Hard Drive Plextor M8SeGN
Power Supply SilverStone ET-650B 650W
Chassis BitFenix Aurora
Fans Noctua NF-F12
Others SilverStone LS02 RGB LED Strip

Benchmarks

For all we can say, the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD’s performance is a bit all over the place. We tried using CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD only to find out that its write speeds were higher than the read speeds… which do not happen, usually. We tried re-running the test a couple of times and the results were the same.

By looking at these results, I can say for sure that the scores through benchmark isn’t exactly within the range that’s stated on the packaging itself – and that’s somewhat of a good thing, at least in this context.

In terms of raw performance, the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD is a decent SATA III SSD. It’s not the slowest that we’ve tested, but definitely not the fastest too.

CrystalDiskMark

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD benchmarkPenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD benchmark

AS SSD

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD benchmarkATTO Disk Benchmark

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD benchmark

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD benchmark

Wrapping up the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD review

I want to say a few things about the SSD. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the naming scheme is an issue. I really hope that PenDrive gives this series of M.2 SATA III SSDs a proper name within the company’s product line – that makes things more elegant – at least in my opinion.

PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD

As for its performance, I have to say – it’s actually pretty good for an SSD. The main benefit of SSDs is the rapid fast access times compared to a hard disk anyway. As more and more laptops are using M.2 SSDs instead of SATA-based ones, the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD is a compelling option.

The price is right too, as the PenDrive M.2 SATA III SSD has a prices as listed below:

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The enthusiastic nanoelectronic engineer who found his way into simplifying the world of tech for everyone. Introverted, but noisy. Nice to meet you!