Transcend JetDrive Go 300 For iOS

There are a few long standing complaints about iOS devices and they are somewhat related. First is the high price of flash storage when buying larger capacity models and the second is the lack of expandable storage via secure digital cards or other digital media cards. The Android platform offers this pretty widely but Apple sees its absence as a way to mitigate risk of hacking/infection. Basically, this has pushed consumers with financial limitations to get the more affordable low storage capacity models. Those that have one know that 16GB gets used up in no time all. Add in apps and all the pictures and videos taken and even 32GB is not nearly enough. In fact, I have nearly 16GB of music alone on my phone and even with a 64GB overall capacity, I only have 3GB free. It's true enough you can offload some of those pictures and videos, but not when you are out and about and find out you're short on available space in the middle of a selfie session with the celebrity you just ran into. Also true, you can stream your music rather than store it locally on the device but that adds potential expense for expanded data plans and you're at the mercy of a quality cell/Wi-Fi signal. Good news though! Transcend has just the solution for the iOS device storage blues with their JetDrive Go devices. [embed][/embed] Notice I refer to them as iOS devices and not specifically iPhone or iPad as it can used interchangeably on both as long as they are one of the newer models with a Lightning connector (or you have the adapter to convert to the older 30-pin connector models). Generally though, this will probably be most used by iPhone users but owners of both devices can switch back and forth as it's not locked into one device. Transcend offer two iOS compatible drives - the JetDrive Go 300 and Go 500. Both are very similar in use but a little different in form. The Go 500 drive lacks 128GB capacity option but includes a leather lanyard and a key ring slot. Nearly all of the remaining of the specifications from the 2-year warranty to the read/write performance are the same. We'll be specifically looking the 64GB Transcend JetDrive Go 300 they sent us to see what we think. It currently retails for around $65.00 but you can probably catch it on sale here or there. There are also 32GB and 128GB versions that sell for $44.99 and $80.99 respectively. Considering the leap in storage cost from a 16GB to a 64GB iOS device is around $100, this is a much more affordable and scalable option since you can use it on the next device if you should upgrade. JetDrive Go 300 Box Front

Transcend JetDrive Go 300 Features and Specifications

JetDrive Go 300 At first glance it appears to be a run of the mill thumb drive but note the semi-opaque caps on each end rather than just one. The overall dimensions are 2.22" x 0.79" x 0.31" and comes in just under 0.03 ounces in weight. JetDrive Go 300 A very compact device and is very easy to carry around in a pocket or bag. No place to hook a lanyard or attach to a keyring though so keep track of it! JetDrive Go 300 Taking the caps off reveals that one end of the drive has a Lightning connector and the other is a USB 3.1 connector. Sadly, the caps are not connected in any way and therefore are easy prey to loss which isn't a huge deal but the Lightning connectors can be a bit fragile so without the cap the risk of damage increases. Note that you cannot connect both ends to their respective devices at the same time, i.e it's not a conduit from one to the other. One at a time please.

Transcend JetDrive Go 300 Drive/App Use

JetDrive Go 300 Inserted It's quite simple to use and for seasoned tech savvy users, a read of the manual may be a bit superfluous. Those less technically inclined will want to review the PDF documentation (found on the drive and Transcend's site) to get the most out of using the app. Of course, the companion app in the Apple app store called "JetDrive Go" is needed to access the full functionality of the drive and once it's installed, everything is ready to go. JetDrive Go 300 Allow Upon every connection of the JetDrive G0 300 to the Apple device using the Lightning port will bring up a prompt to let the user to choose to allow communication between the drive and the app. It's a little bit of an annoyance to answer this every time but that's an iOS security feature and is similar to the prompt you get when connecting any iOS device to a Mac or PC. JetDrive Go 300 Firmware When I first connected, I was informed that there was new firmware available so I did the upgrade without incident. I had read that the last few minor updates to iOS was causing issues with some users in terms of the device recognizing the JetDrive Go. I don't know what the firmware upgrade was comprised of but I wouldn't be surprised if there was an update in there to address this. At no time did I have connection problems with my iPhone or iPad Pro - both running iOS 9.3.4 during testing. JetDrive Go 300 File Types Before we get deep into the actual use, it's a good time to see what file types are actually supported by the drive. It's a pretty broad array and covers nearly all of the mainstream formats - especially for iOS/Mac OS users. I copied several video files of various formats into a new folder on the JetDrive Go and was able to play them back without a hitch from the drive itself. No stuttering or long load times which means the data transfer rate is up to snuff. This is great if you want to take a bunch of movies to watch on a trip but don't have room on the Apple device to put them. That said, due to copyright restrictions, JetDrive Go can’t store any music, videos or audio books purchased from iTunes so be mindful of that. Another note on media files - the drive comes formatted in FAT32 which limits file sizes to 4GB. For larger files, you can format as exFAT (NTFS is not supported). For more information about formatting the drive, check Transcend's site here. Before doing so, make sure you back up the drive as this will erase any data you have stored on there as drive formats always do. JetDrive Go 300 App Once inserted and the app is running, you get the screen on the above left showing the four areas of use. You can click on the camera icon in the top right hand corner to access the camera to store images directly to the JetDrive. You can also click on the cog icon in the top left hand corner to pull up the settings screen which is shown on the right side of the image above. Here you can set a password for the drive, get support, give feedback, and read the various legal mumbo-jumbo that we all love to ignore and skip over though admittedly it's a bad practice in general to not be aware of what you are agreeing to. I didn't find anything nefarious in the disclosures so you're safe for now. JetDrive Go 300 FoldersThe aforementioned four areas of use are also outlined above with a brief description on what they are though most are self-explanatory from the naming alone.  As indicated in the table, the 'My Storage' folder and 'Camera Roll' are accessible without the JetDrive plugged in as data will be temporarily stored locally on your Apple device.   JetDrive Go 300 App Settings Backing up the data is very customizable as you can choose between which files you want to back up, the destination and even include iCloud photos. It's straightforward and easy to do and really saves the time of going to a computer, logging in, pulling up iTunes (or similiar) and going through the process. If you are traveling or just on the go in general, it's really JetDrive Go 300 Backup Jumping the gun a on performance observations here a bit but the Lightning connection for the JetDrive Go 300 is supposed to yield data rates of up to 20MB/s. There's really no application that can be easily used to measure this between the phone and the drive. However, I did clock some data transfers to get a feel for the speed and backed up a mix of 324 photo/videos representing 2.07GB of data and it took only a hair under 4:30 minutes. I really expected it to take a lot longer so definitely a plus. It's important to note that all slo-mo and time-lapse videos as well as "live" photos remained intact when backed up so when played on my Macbook, they still performed the way they did on the phone. This does not happen when I plug it into a PC and copy the files over from the internal iPhone folder so that's great! More performance metrics on the next page...

Transcend JetDrive Go 300 Performance

Legit Reviews Z97 Test Bench

All tests were performed on a fresh and up-to-date install of Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with no other applications running. Synthetic Benchmarks were run with the OS loaded on a Seagate 600 240GB SSD. Power saving modes, sleep and hibernation are all disabled and all components were set to their default/optimized speeds in the BIOS (1304) and are listed below.
Intel LGA 1150 Test Platform
Component Brand/Model Live Pricing


Intel Pentium G3258


ASUS Z97-A (BIOS v.1304)


Kingston HyperX KHX16C9B1RK28 8GB

OS Drive

Seagate 600 240GB SSD

Power Supply

Antec Basiq BP550W Plus-EC

Operating System

Windows 8.1 Pro 64-Bit

Transcend Jet Drive Go 300 64GB Windows Capacity

JetDrive Go 300 Properties As usual, the capacity reflected in Windows is slightly lower than that of the advertised capacity largely due the Windows expressing the capacity in Gibibytes (GiB) where 1,073,741,824 bytes = 1 Gib which is the computer binary measure. What's always used in "real world" speak is almost always expressed in Gigabytes (GB ) where 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) as it's a more human friendly decimal measure. All in all, there are 58.8GiB addressable by the user in the 64GB Transcend JetDrive Go 300 drive.

Transcend Jet Drive Go 300 64GB ATTO Benchmark

JetDrive Go 300 ATTO On the ATTO benchmark, we generally get the best case performance scenario from flash storage. On the USB 3.1 interface the writes maxed out to nearly 110MB/s and the reads hit just under 130MB/s which is right at the specified data transfer speed in the specifications though the specs don't explicitly indicate whether this is for reads or writes. Not hard to guess which they chose.

Transcend Jet Drive Go 300 64GB CrystalDiskMark Benchmark

JetDrive Go 300 CrystalDisk CrystalDiskMark is usually a little more demanding on the hardware and thus we usually see performance drop as compared to ATTO since it uses a mix of compressible, incompressible data. Indeed, we did see a small drop in max read performance at 126.5MB/s and writes suffered a little more, down to 93.75MB/s but overall very close to where Transcend says it should be per the specifications.

Final Thoughts On The JetDrive Go 300

JetDrive Go 300 Inserted Overall, in terms of usability the JetDrive GO 300 is a great little drive that can save money in lieu of larger iOS device capacity as well as provide a simple way to back up your photos and videos without fussing with iCloud or iTunes. The 32GB version can be had for around $44.99 and the 64GB and 128GB for $65.00 and $80.99 respectively. Backing up or saving off media files also maintains the integrity of 'special' files like slo-mo and time lapse videos which is great to see. The ability to back up on the fly without intervention from an actual computer makes it a very flexible option. Besides backing up, you can take pics and videos directly to the drive, skipping the host device storage altogether though if you sync photos through the cloud, these will not get picked up. Where we start to see a few negatives crop up in in the physical use of the drive. Obviously, having this stick out of your iOS device while you are active and taking pictures or video, you run the real risk of breaking the Lightning plug off the drive and/or damaging the Apple device. One slip and that's it. It can't really be helped until flash chips become uber small so I can't knock Transcend for a design flaw nor blame them for the fragile nature of the Lightning plug. Another more reasonable gripe is something they already addressed with the Go 500 drive and that's the end caps that will get lost in no time at all. There's no way to secure them on or place them where they stay with the drive. It doesn't hurt the drive any but could make it more susceptible to damage in transit. On the Go 500 they are absent altogether but do have a lanyard and key ring slot which are not found on the Go 300 which would make keeping track of the drive a little easier when on the go but again, not really a deal breaker. ***ADDENDUM - For a true real world use case...Immediately following this review I took my iPhone for an accidental swim (long story) and killed it. Dead. I replaced the phone and was able to restore everything except my photos/videos from my camera roll for some reason. Fortunately, I had backed them up with the JetDrive Go 300 and was able to restore them to the phone without losing a thing. Now that's handy!*** Legit Bottom Line: If you are short on capacity on your iOS device or just hate using iTunes or the cloud to back up your precious data, Transcend has a very slick solution with their JetDrive Go 300 external mobile storage drive. //