Once all hooked up, formatted and inspected by Windows properties we find the Transcend MSA720 128GB yielding 119GB to the end user. The rest is tied up in the overprovisioning or lost in the translation of GB to GiB, The overprovisioning allows the controller to have spare NAND available for drive maintenance duties to help overall drive endurance.
Transcend has a nice mSATA product on their hands with the MSA720 although it could easily get lost in the shuffle of the numerous SF-2281 mSATA drives popping up all over. It doesn’t appear to be as widely available at retailers as some other brands. We were able to find the 128GB version at Amazon for $161.75 shipped which rounds out to $1.35 per usable GB and more or less on par with where we see a comparably sized Intel 525 mSATA drive.
Performance overall was very good and where it should be based on our experience with this controller/NAND configuration. We saw max read/writes at nearly 560MB/s and 525MB/s respectively and the predictable dip in performance when subjected to incompressible data. Such is life with the SF-2281 controller. Still, it’s one of the most popular controllers and has been shown to be a very reliable over time. Overall, there’s little to differentiate this drive from many of the others we’ve tested but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Legit Bottom Line: Transcend offers up a solid performing line of mSATA drives that offer performance that is extremely competitive with the other drives is their class.