Adata has finally launched the SE920, the company's first USB4 external SSD. We first heard about the Adata SE920 over two years ago, but it's only now coming to market, with slightly reduced specs. It boasts transfer speeds up to 3,800 MB/s, which means the SE920 rivals even the best external SSDs currently on the market. Naturally, you'll need a modern PC or laptop with the appropriate connector(s) to take advantage of the potential transfer rates.
The SE920 has the latest USB4 (40 Gbps) Type-C interface to deliver blazing-fast performance. The interface is backward compatible with USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 ports, though the latter would seriously limit throughput. Thunderbolt 3 and 4 support is also on the table; however, you'll want to pair the SE920 with a USB4 Type-C port to unleash the drive's full potential. The Adata SE920 is, at least on paper, one of the fastest external SSDs around. It's up to 40% faster than the Sabrent Rocket Nano XTRM, which is already pretty speedy for file tranfers.
The SE920 comes in 1TB and 2TB flavors, providing a decent amount of capacity. Adata doesn't specify what SSD controller powers the SE920 nor the type of NAND that's inside the drive, which is unfortunate. Lack of such details suggests the manufacturer could change hardware in the future, should it deem in practical to do so.
The SE920 offers sequential read and write speeds up to 3,800 MB/s and 3,700 MB/s, respectively. In real-world usage, we're looking at around three seconds to transfer a 4K video file that's 10GB in size. It's important to highlight that the SE920's sequential write performance is restricted to 3,200 MB/s on the Thunderbolt 4 interface.
The SE920, which features a black exterior, measures 4.13 x 2.52 x 0.62 inches (105 x 64.2 x 15.9mm) and weighs 6.4 ounces (181.52g), so it's a portable drive that you can take with you anywhere — maybe even inside your pockets if they're large enough. The SE920 comes with a spring-loaded enclosure and an active cooling system. Pressing down on the case will activate the tiny cooling fan to improve heat dissipation and extend the body to exhaust the heat. According to Adata's testing, the micro fan helps reduce operating temperatures by up to 10 degrees Celsius.
The SE920's active cooling system is an interesting concept over the typical metal chassis with passive cooling. However, we're unsure of the practicality, especially when the fan dies and you need to replace it. Unfortunately, Adata didn't provide any data on the fan and its noise level and, more importantly, life expectancy.
In regards to compatibility, the SE920 gets along with Windows (10 and 11), macOS (13 or later), Linux (Kernel 6 or later), and Android (13 or newer) operating systems. The external SSD is compatible with previous and current gaming consoles, such as the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X or S, so you can store your favorite titles on the SE920.
Adata backs the SE920 with a limited five-year warranty, though it doesn't list an endurance rating. The brand didn't share pricing for the SE920 yet, either. The USB4 external SSD is supposedly available today, but we haven't found it listed at any U.S. retailers.
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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.