Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Review

Waco - 2012-11-26 09:09:06 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Waco   
Reviewed on: February 10, 2013
Price: $92.88

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Introduction:

We've all been there: that terrible feeling deep in your chest that accompanies the dreaded "click of death" when booting up your computer. It only takes being burned by data loss a single time to realize that a real backup strategy is needed because no matter how reliable your hard drives or SSDs are you will eventually experience a failure. Thankfully there are a multitude of solutions on the market that are just dying to take that moment of dread and transform it into a moment of serenity through the knowledge that you have a backup solution in place and that it will be no hassle to get back up and running.

Transcend is no newcomer to the storage market and it is looking to fill that little void in your heart with the warm fuzzy feeling of a good backup strategy. The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB USB 3.0 external HDD is designed to make backing up your data as simple as possible. Armed with the Transcend Elite data management software with OneTouch backup and a speedy USB 3.0 bus, this external drive aims to tackle everything related to your data backup needs in one handy little package. Does it hit the target? Keep reading to find out!

 

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Closer Look:

There's no ambiguity here: this is an external USB 3.0 drive with 1 TB of storage. Thankfully Transcend kept the packaging both simple and easy to understand so if you do end up shopping for a new backup solution at a brick and mortar store there won't be any confusion about what you're buying or what its capabilities are. The front of the box plainly states the basic information you are likely to care about and shows off the drive enclosure itself through a large window. The backside of the box details the numerous specifications and features that are detailed more thoroughly on the Specifications & Features page. Popping open the box reveals a few manuals, the three-year warranty information, the HDD enclosure itself, and the USB 3.0 cable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sexy isn't it? The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 comes clad in black and green and definitely looks like a high-performance piece of computing hardware. The bulk of the drive is covered by a rubber sleeve to dampen vibration and protect the drive itself from shock and impact. At the top edge of the drive there is a small button that powers the OneTouch backup feature (it also doubles as a blue activity light). The overall feel of the enclosure is extremely solid and it does feel strong enough that I wouldn't worry about throwing it into a laptop bag without any further protection.

 

 

 

The USB 3.0 cable included with the drive does have an extra USB 2.0 plug on the PC side to allow for higher power draw. This drive doesn't need more than a single USB port worth of power (500 mW at 5 volts) when running but it does need slightly more than that to spin up from idle reliably. Because reliability is the key feature of this drive since it is intended for use as backup storage I commend Transcend for actually sticking to the USB specification here.

 

 

Warranty? What warranty? Breaking the enclosure open this much requires breaking the warranty seals – so if you're planning on replacing the included drive with a larger model or something down the road do keep in mind that you'll be on your own if it ends up failing. That said, this enclosure is extremely well designed and conforms to the military drop-test standard MIL-STD-810F, Method 516.5, Procedure IV. This procedure in particular requires that the product survive a total 26 drops on each face, side, and edge from a height of at least 48 inches. The internal drive is protected by a rubber carrier, which is then protected by a plastic housing. That plastic housing is then further protected by the rubber sleeve. After performing all of the OCC benchmarks I did put this MIL-spec drop rating to the test and dropped the drive from arm's height (for me, over five feet) onto the concrete floor in my garage. For most drives this would have been an instant death – the StoreJet 25M3 was a trooper and survived with nary a scratch. The drive included on the 1 TB model is a Samsung Spinpoint Momentus ST1000LM024 SATA drive holding 1000 GB, spinning at 5400 RPM, and sporting 8 MB of cache.

 

 

Now that you've seen the naked drive, keep reading to find out how it performs!

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Closer Look: Software

The main highlight of the software suite included with the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 drive is the Transcend Elite data management software. Designed to be a one-stop solution for your backup needs, it features OneTouch backup, drive encryption, simple restore, bookmark sync, and backup management. The overall look of the software is clean but functional and leaves nothing to ambiguity for the most part. Backup tasks are easily created and give the option of compressing backups, password protecting backups, and even enabling real-time backups. The intriguing part of the real-time backup is that you can target a folder (or a whole drive) and the software will automatically keep a rolling backup of that folder on the external drive (provided you keep it plugged in and the software running). Backups can be run on a schedule as well to keep you from forgetting to manually backup your data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also included on the StoreJet 25M3 is a copy of Transcend RecoveRx. This software is simple but useful – it automatically discovers all photos (deleted or not) on any drive on your machine. I did a quick test by adding a few photos to the StoreJet 25M3 and then deleting them. RecoveRx was able to find all of them and restore them quite quickly. The only catch here is that if you delete the files you want and then write large amounts of data to the disk you may not be able to recover all of your photos (though this is true of any deleted files). This easy solution to recovering deleted files is surely useful for those of us who tend to over-zealously delete unused files.

 

While most of my experiences with the Transcend Elite software were pleasant, I did have a few hiccups. The first bump in the road happened when I tried to use the non-compressed backup task on my main boot drive. While the backup started as normal; it stopped whenever there was a permissions change on the files included in the backup. Because I ran this on a live file system there wasn't much I could do to avoid that issue (and I also managed to crash the program by trying to move the "please wait" window). The standard non-compressed backup did run properly on all non-system drives (and on individual folders on my boot drive). I also crashed the backup application when again trying to move the "please wait" window after completing a full compressed backup of my entire system. The last little annoyance was that if you modify your backup tasks the Restore option does not recognize any previous backups. While annoying, this isn't a show-stopper since you can manually find the backups on the drive and restore them quite easily.

 

 

Overall the Transcend Elite software as well as the RecoveRx software performed quite well. While not quite as robust as the automated backup software included with Windows 7 and 8 it was much easier to set up and allowed for simple one-touch backups to sync your most important files. Speed-wise the software was comparable to Windows Backup when performing non-compressed backups and it was quite a bit slower when performing compressed backups. Internally it uses 7zip compression, which, although very efficient, is not incredibly fast. Expect backup speeds in the 7-12 MB/s range when performing compressed backups depending on the actual data you're compressing.

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Specifications:

Size:
129.5 x 82.4 x 20.4 mm
Operating Voltage:
USB DC 5 Volts
Operating Temperature:
5° C to 55° C
Storage Media:
2.5" SATA HDD
Weight:
216 grams
Certificates:
CE, FCC, BSMI
Connection Interface:
USB 2.0/3.0
Power Saving Mode:
10 Minutes
OneTouch Backup:
Yes

 

 

 

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Features:

 

 

 

All information is courtesy of: http://www.transcend-info.com/products/Catlist.asp?modno=284

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

To test the Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD, I will run a series of benchmarks to provide as accurate a representation of its performance as possible. Starting out with HD Tune Pro and moving on through Crystal Disk Mark I will run the StoreJet 25M3 through a series of benchmarks designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this particular drive. In addition to the synthetic tests, to gauge real-world performance, I will also use a set of compressed files of various sizes to measure write speeds under typical usage. These compressed files correspond to those that are used in our product reviews that use the WinRAR benchmark. Let's begin!

 

Test Setup:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

Benchmarks:

  1. HD Tune 4.60 Pro
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2012
  3. ATTO Disk Benchmark
  4. Crystal Disk Mark 3.0
  5. Real World File Copy Tests

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

HD Tune Pro 4.6 HD Tune Pro measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers. In the Pro 4.6 version, the user can measure not only drive performance as a whole but test the access speed and CPU usage as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USB 3.0 clearly helps the StoreJet 25M3 here as it performs quite well for being a 5400 RPM laptop drive. The full 7200 RPM drive it is compared to here is faster but not so much that it would be very noticeable when used as a backup drive.

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3: SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. It allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not quite sure why the File System score is so much lower on the Transcend drive (and I repeated the test three times to verify it). I can only surmise that the laptop drive just can't keep up with the full 7200 RPM 3.5" drive in the Thermaltake dock. Overall the performance is still very reasonable!

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

ATTO Disk Benchmark v2.47: ATTO Disk Benchmark is another aged, but good hard drive benchmark utility designed to test read and write speeds for different file sizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Transcend StoreJet 25M3 really keeps up with the smaller block sizes in ATTO but once the block sizes rise up the 7200 RPM Barracuda takes the cake. Still, 80 MB/s is nothing to sneeze at in an external backup drive.

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

Crystal Disk Mark 3.0: Crystal Disk Mark is a hard drive benchmark designed to measure the read and write speeds of drives by using 4k blocks, 512k blocks, and sequential data. For the test, we chose the 1000MB option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again we see the bigger and faster spinning Barracuda taking the speed crown. The StoreJet is no slouch though and delivers quite respectable speeds even with its RPM disadvantage.

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Testing:

Real World File Transfer: Nothing reveals true performance more than actually using the hardware as it was meant to be used. That's why this last benchmark is very simple and something anyone can do. Files of varying sizes, small and large, are transferred to the memory cards and the time taken is recorded. Time measurements are taken using a stopwatch. The stopwatch is started as soon as the Windows file transfer window appears and stopped after it closes. After an individual file is tested, it is then deleted before the next file, and the preceding steps are taken again until testing is complete. Average transfer speeds are then calculated by dividing the real file size by the recorded transfer time. Lower transfer times and higher speeds are better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the real proof in the pudding: the Transcend StoreJet, even with all of its "disadvantages" in the other benchmarks, is essentially just as fast as the big bad Seagate Barracuda. In real use you'd never know the difference between these two drives when dumping files to them.

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 Conclusion:

Overall I was quite impressed with this little drive. The small form factor and the durable MIL-spec enclosure combined to form an external drive that will serve you for years. While not always incredibly speedy in the synthetic benchmarks, the real-world performance when copying files to the disk revealed that it can easily hang with the big dogs. You might not win any benchmark wars with this little guy but you will definitely have your files backed up in a very reasonable amount of time!

In the end, aside from the slight issues I had with the included software, there really isn't anything here to complain about. The roughly $93 asking price is on-par with many other drives that don't offer the reliability, warranty, or speed that this Transcend StoreJet 25M3 offers. With 1 TB of storage on tap and a built-in compression tool you probably won't need another backup drive for years to come.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: