Angelbird Adler SSD & SSD2Go PRO Review

Author: AkG
Date: February 24, 2014
Product Name: Adler SSD / SSD2Go PRO
Part Number: Adler SSD / SSD2Go PRO
Warranty: 3 Years
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How expensive is too expensive for an SSD? That is the rather bold question Angelbird dares to ask. In a marketplace filled with samness, where terms such as “value” and “performance” make or break entire lineups, few companies are willing to have their potential customers even think the “e: word. Well, Angelbird is not most companies and their new Adler series alongside the newest revision to their SSD2Go Pro are not like most drives.

Unlike other companies, this Austria-based organization has the luxury of being able to think differently by creating pure performance-oriented storage devices which makes no compromises for the sake of cost. While not as well known on this side of the ocean, Angelbird have quickly gained a loyal following of well-heeled enthusiasts who know what they want and are willing to pay a premium to get it. In the case of the enterprise-focused Adler series this means a 320GB model which goes for a whopping $610 and while the 640GB version can be found for a jaw dropping $970.

The SSD2Go Pro on the other hand has different aspirations. It’s target is the on-the-go user who needs the absolute highest performance possible while taking into account the limitations of current connectivity options. It’s equipped with USB + eSATA and makes the Adler look downright inexpensive since the 640GB version goes for $1,100 or more than most Ultrabooks.

To create something entirely unquiet and worthy of such high asking prices Angelbird started with a blank slate and thought well outside the box. Much like OCZ did when they enlisted the help of a little-known (at the time) controller company named Indilinx, Angelbird sought out and obtained the Novachips NVS3600A ‘Bugatti’ controller.

As the name suggests, the Bugatti is a true high performance SSD chip which is unlike any other controller on the market. Instead of being a typical eight channel design Novachips has gone with an original ten channel layout. These additional channels allow for better simultaneous performance and reduce long term performance drop-off as there are twenty NAND ICs instead of the typical sixteen.

The reason we liken this previously unknown Novachips company to that of the original Indilinx – instead of Marvel or SandForce – is simple: the owners of Novachips are comprised of ex-Indilinx employees. These are the engineers who wanted to stay true to the original Indilinx vision, disapproved of the company’s direction and headed off on their own. The Bugatti is the end result of years of research and development and is a true labor of love.

With Adler prices ranging from a $1.50 to $1.90 per GB, consumers will have to look further afield to the enterprise market to find a similarly priced storage device. However, since these models are meant for the consumer marketplace they will have to overcome a rather large price handicap as the Corsair Neutron GTX, OCZ Vector 150, Crucial M400, SanDisk Extreme 2 and a host of others are more reasonably priced and still offer a lot of performance.

Sheer performance however is not what Angelbird is counting on to help make their Adler and new SSD2Go Pro 2.0 be without equal. These are true luxury items and their high asking price is actually a selling feature. Not everyone is interested in value and owning the most expensive, highest quality devices is all that really matter especially when they supposedly offer excellent long-term performance benefits.


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