PQI 16GB ExpressCard SSD
- 16GB of storage, included mini-USB port, good write speeds
- Slightly slower read speeds than comparable units, no USB cable included
The PQI ExpressCard offers plenty of storage and solid write and read speeds, and the included mini-USB port only sweetens the deal.
PQI has jumped into the SSD ExpressCard space with a 16GB card which offers good speeds and plenty of storage capacity. Allowing for a wider appeal, it also has a mini-USB port, so those without an ExpressCard slot can still take advantage of this new technology. Although read speeds are slightly slower than simular tested units, solid write speeds and the convenience of USB make the PQI an enticing option - even if the hefty price tag may turn some people away.
If you need a substantial memory increase for your notebook, then most USB flash drives aren't up to scratch, as they offer very limited capacities. The other option is an external hard drive, but although they offer plenty of storage, price is an issue and transporting them if you are travelling can be a hassle; they usually require plenty of desk space due to messy cables.
The new alternative solution is SSD ExpressCards. They are compact, lightweight and can be swapped around and upgraded whenever you like. They also offer large storage capacities of up to 32GB, with plenty of room for development.
ExpressCards claim to provide speed increases too, and we were pleased to learn that the PQI ExpressCard is one of the faster units we've tested. Using an Acer Aspire 4920G-3A2G16 notebook equipped with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a T5450 1.66GHz CPU and Windows Vista Home Premium, we dragged and dropped a folder containing 397MB of JPEG files from the notebook onto the card, and vice versa. It took just over two minutes (2min01sec) to transfer the files onto the device, which works out at around 3.2MB per second. It's not an outstanding result, but it's the fastest ExpressCard we've tested thus far. The Read speed was slightly slower than similar units taking 36 seconds to drag-and-drop the same files from the PQI to the Acer's hard drive.
Like large capacity flash drives, when inserted into an ExpressCard slot, the PQI sits flush with the edge of the notebook, preventing it from being accidentally damaged, or bumped like a USB flash drive, for example. This is hugely convenient for frequent travellers, as USB drive being damaged because they stick out of a notebook are a common occurrence.
Perhaps the most convenient feature of the PQI ExpressCard is the included mini-USB port on the front. This means you can use a standard USB cable to connect it to a USB port on your notebook, essentially turning it into a 16GB USB drive. This feature is ideal for those who may own an older notebook without an ExpressCard slot; they can still take advantage of this new technology without having to upgrade their notebook immediately. Unfortunately, PQI doesn't include a mini-USB cable in the sales package, but it's compatible with a standard mini-USB cable, so it shouldn't be difficult, nor expensive to purchase one. We ran the same tests using the USB capabilities and achieved slower, though still noteworthy results; a write speed of 2min12sec and a read speed of 31sec - the latter slightly faster using the mini-USB interface.
The biggest drawback to this unit is its price tag - at USD$400 at the time of its release, it definitely doesn't come cheap, and its high cost may turn some people away.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTData and Insights AnalystNSW
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTProject SchedulerACT
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTC# (Full Stack) DeveloperNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperQLD
- FTICT Client Services ManagerQLD
- TPSenior .NET Developer - Contract roleWA
- CCVirtualisation Engineer - IP NetworksVIC
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperQLD
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- TPTechnical ManagerNSW
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- FTTeam LeaderNSW
- FTSenior Infrastructure Business AnalystVIC
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTOracle DeveloperACT
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- FTWeb Support LeadQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT