Lexar Media 16GB ExpressCard SSD
- 16GB of storage, NoTouch Backup software, highly effective for mobile users
- Slower than most other portable storage devices, expensive
When judged purely as a storage device, the Lexar ExpressCard SSD is found left wanting. However, its large memory capacity and included software features make for a worthy product.
Price$ 549.95 (AUD)
When you need a substantial memory-boost for your notebook, most USB flash drives don't cut the mustard. After all, how much difference can one or two gigabytes really make? By the same token, portable external hard drives are pricey and annoyingly cumbersome, requiring an extra cable and an additional surface to balance them on. This can make train travel quite tricky, unless you happen to have three knees.
Thankfully, the majority of modern notebooks now come equipped with SSD ExpressCard slots, which conveniently combine the best of both worlds. Small and powerful, they offer all the usual benefits of modular expansion, including significant boosts to speed and storage, which can be swapped around and upgraded at will. Lexar's latest addition to the ExpressCard fold touts itself as a high-capacity backup device, capable of improving system performance in Vista machines. This is thanks to the ReadyBoost software included on the drive; a Windows feature that caches data directly to the ExpressCard for much quicker access. Whether it will improve your workflow is questionable however, due to the below average write speeds.
During our testing, we used an Acer Aspire 4920G-3A2G16 notebook equipped with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a T5450 1.66GHz CPU and Windows Vista Home Premium. As you would expect from a device designed to fit into variously shaped machines, the Lexar ExpressCard did not slide into the Acer's slot particularly well. Those who are unfamiliar with the technology will be initially reluctant to insert the card into the much larger opening; in much the same way you'd balk at tossing a mini DV tape into a VHS player. On the plus side, the card is hidden snugly within the notebook after insertion, eliminating the chance for accidental knocks. (Anyone who has had there USB drive side-swiped by a clumsy hand or rogue passenger will know exactly what we're talking about.)
To assess the Lexar ExpressCard's read/write speeds, we dragged and dropped a folder containing 397MB of JPEG files from the notebook onto the card, and vice versa. It took nearly three minutes (2min48sec) to transfer the files onto the device, which works out at around 2.3MB per second. This is a far from impressive write speed; especially when compared to USB Flash drives, which typically offer a much faster performance. (Lexar's own 4GB JumpDrive Lightning USB Key 4GB model managed the same feat in under two minutes for example.)
When we reversed the process by dragging the folder from the card onto the Acer notebook, the ExpressCard took thirty seconds to complete the task. This is a fair result, though it doesn't make up for the lethargic write performance.
If you can overlook these shortcomings, there is still a lot to like about this ExpressCard; including 16GB of storage space (4GB and 8GB versions are also available), and the special software it comes equipped with. As mentioned above, the device is ReadyBoost-capable, which means you can use its memory to speed up the Windows Vista operating system. Admittedly, the difference barely registers on a high-end notebook, but if you're machine is strapped for memory and underperforming, you should definitely notice an improvement. As an added bonus, this also reduces hard drive access; thus extending your notebook's battery life between charges.
Another neat feature of this ExpressCard is Lexar's NoTouch Backup software. This is an extremely user-friendly tool that automatically backs up the important files on your computer. In a few easy steps, you can set up a schedule that will ensure your data is always safe and retrievable. You can also set filters based on different file extensions, making it easy to find and restore specific data, or choose to back up specific folders.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Google Earth VR lets you explore our beautiful planet on the HTC Vive
- Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCSecurity LeadNSW
- CCiOS Developer - 6 Month ContractNSW
- FTIT Software Asset Management CoordinatorWA
- CCMid-level .NET Developer/Programmer - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCDigital Producer | 3 Month Contract roleNSW
- FTSenior WebSphere Portal Technical LeadVIC
- TPSenior Change ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Test EngineerACT
- FTLevel 3 Managed Services ConsultantNSW
- CCIngres DeveloperSA
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkVIC
- TPiOS DeveloperNSW
- TPTechnical Specialist, Identity and Acess ManagementVIC
- FTWeb Developer/ DesignerQLD
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperSA
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - SQLNSW
- FTSENIOR DEVELOPERQLD
- FTChange Manager/ Project ManagerACT
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- TPSAP FICO Functional AnalystQLD
- FTLevel 3 Managed Services ConsultantNSW
- FTInfrastructure Team LeadVIC
- CCSAP HR/Payroll Training Manager / Instructional DesignerNSW