The niche market for portable SSDs has obviously grown since the last time we ever saw any external USB-based SSD here at Nasi Lemak Tech. I mean, why else other manufacturers like Apacer join the bandwagon? Transcend returns with another portable SSD – this time it’s called the Transcend ESD220C, and oh boy, it’s vastly different from the ESD400 that they had last time.

Here’s our full review of the Transcend ESD220C. Keep in mind that the unit we have here is the 128GB variant with the codename TS120GESD220C.

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED


Transcend ESD220C box

In terms of its packaging, Transcend maintained the same design language and layout throughout the entire box. There’s nothing out of Transcend’s ordinary here. It still has the same high-quality printing outside and has a two-part shell that holds the Transcend ESD220C in place.

This time around, Transcend has an interesting change on its product info that’s presented on the box itself. See this.

Transcend ESD220C USB 3.1

It’s explicitly highlighted as a USB 3.1 Gen 1 portable SSD – but what does it mean? Well – quite simple, actually. USB 3.1 Gen 1 is actually USB 3.0 SuperSpeed with a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 5Gb/s. I have no idea why it’s renamed to such a way, so don’t ask me. 😛

Transcend ESD220C unboxing

Digging everything out reveals the basic accessories expected to come along with an external storage device – some paperwork, product catalog, brochures, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and the Transcend ESD220C itself.

Transcend ESD220C contents


Firstly, I thought the unit I got was a dud – merely because of its weightlessness. I thought it’ll be a little bit more heavy since the I am comparing its mass to an internal SSD’s weight. I was caught by surprise, and quickly searched for my electronic scale and have it weighed. My jaws dropped when I saw the scale.

33g only! And only 55g with the included cable! That’s impressive! No wonder I thought it was a dud – I have locked myself with this prejudice that an external storage should have a certain amount of heft to it. The Transcend ESD220C defied it!

Moving on to the textured plastic body of the Transcend ESD220C. It’s quite rough and has this scale-like structure all around the body except for the top and bottom. This definitely helps to prevent slippage from someone’s hands, but not from a table.

Transcend ESD220C body

Aesthetically, it’s okay. Tiny, functional, and definitely doesn’t make itself eye-catching enough to be distracting.

Performance & Features

Since the Transcend ESD220C is essentially an SSD after all, we’re going to test it like one.  Just a quick recap here – the Transcend ESD220C is using USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, which is essentially USB 3.0 Type-C with a theoretical limit of 5Gb/s. Starting off with the usual test here with Crystal Disk Mark.

Transcend ESD220C benchmark (1)

Remarkable sequential read and write speeds indeed! Referring to the sequential read and write speeds, it’s not far off from SATA III-based SSDs, which hovers somewhere about 500~550MB/s.

Transcend ESD220C benchmark (1)

Now for the ATTO Disk Benchmark. Again, the Transcend ESD220C is showing commendable SSD performance, even through USB 3.1 Gen 1. So I thought – why not copy some files and try out what the Transcend ESD220C can really handle. I threw in Windows 7 ISO file and saw the speeds soar through the charts.

Transcend ESD220C benchmark (1)

Having about 340MB/s in real-world performance for a portable storage device? That’s just fantastic!


Here comes the “external hard disk” part. Transcend again includes their signature software for the Transcend ESD220C, notably the Elite Data Management software and RecoverRX. They work the same as the 25C3N that we’ve reviewed here. Pretty neat.

Of course, the Transcend ESD220C has another added functionality too – the little backup button at the top. This button can instantly backup and sync your data when used with Transcend Elite Data Management software. Again – pretty neat. I wouldn’t want to manually copy my files to and fro constantly – so having a little button that I can easily press and have everything done for me? That sounds perfect!

Transcend ESD220C button

Oh – these two softwares are free too.

Wrapping up the Transcend ESD220C review

I have to highlight one thing before giving you my closing thoughts. From what I can find, the price of the 128GB variant of the Transcend ESD220C costs a whooping RM 360. Certainly, the Transcend ESD220C is not for everyone – but if you really need the speediest portable external storage device, then the Transcend ESD220C can really fit into your workflow perfectly.

Transcend ESD220C body

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