Verbatim has created a new storage device category – the portable write-once SSD. Described as a "long-life SSD," the new Verbatim SWOVA128G comes packing 128GB of NAND flash-based storage, a USB 3.2 Gen1 interface (for data and bus power), and a reassuring ten-year warranty.
The design brief behind the new SSD seems worthy enough. This Verbatim WOV series device is pitched as a solution to accidental file deletion, accidental file overwriting, complex and unfamiliar backup solutions, or SSDs wearing out.
Verbatim says it uses high-quality industrial Flash NAND, which has passed strict selection standards. The NAND is good for ten years or more when stored in environments at 55 Celsius or less. Other than this single hardware consideration, the rest of the special sauce that makes this a write-once long-life SSD relies on the Verbatim software.
To use the SWOVA128G, you will perform data writes in Windows 10 or 11 (but not S-Mode versions). These are the only two OSes that support the writing of data to this device, and .NET 4.8 must be installed. Verbatim doesn't describe or provide screenshots for the process of saving your write-once data on the SSD. We think it will be accessible in Explorer; however, we can't rule out a dedicated writing app with its own interface – something like a CD burner program of old.
Reading of data from the SWOVA128G is very simple. Verbatim says that any device that can read an exFAT file system can read files and folders from the disk. This includes Macs, ChromeOS, iOS, Android devices, and Windows 8.1, 10 or 11 without the Verbatim software installed. Unfortunately, Verbatim didn't mention Linux compatibility, but we don't know if this is intentional or an oversight.
You can't benchmark this drive without errors, but Verbatim has tested it and asserts that it can read at 540MBps and write at 180MBps.
Disclaimers in the Small Print
It is natural to wonder about the robustness and durability of data on this write-once drive – and whether it is tamper-proof. Verbatim's product page has several small print disclaimers, indicating that the write-once feature isn’t intended to be tested to destruction by elite hackers but should stand up to ordinary users in an office environment.
On the one hand, the number of product disclaimers is a little worrying, but it displays honesty. However, we must point out that Verbatim admits that "we do not guarantee that files, etc. cannot be deleted or overwritten," and that "we do not guarantee that files on the SSD cannot be corrected or deleted." Moreover, the ten-year period doesn't guarantee your data, but rather to replace a faulty drive -- but this is standard for a storage device guarantee.
The Verbatim SWOVA128G looks like it will be released in Japan first. From the product page discussing example usage scenarios, it might have particular appeal in Japan, as it is said to be "compliant with the revised Electronic Bookkeeping Law" in that country. Japanese law requires electronic transactions that can "ensure truth," "ensure visibility" and be retained for at least seven years. A file system tool provided by Verbatim can verify the data on the drive with a recording log that maintains the file name, date and time, hash value (SHA-256).
At the time of writing, we don't have pricing and availability for the Verbatim SWOVA128G or information about if/when it will be sold in the west.
If you need durable and capacious portable storage in the near future, it might be worth a look at our recent review of the Samsung T7 Shield 2TB Portable SSD, with shock, water and dust-resistance, as well as encryption.
I wonder if this type of drive will ever be used for video games. Buying a game and waiting hours or days to be able to play it is frustrating - it's faster to run to the store and buy a 128GB game cartridge containing the game than it would be for a lot of people to download the game.
We already have discs for that, which are a far cheaper and less wasteful solution. Physical media for games is dead. Many games, especially AAA titles, require a day-one patch that's up to the full size of the game and the further from launch date you are the bigger it gets, meaning you're not actually getting much from the disc/physical media itself, you're downloading it. You could always take advantage of pre-installs for new releases whenever possible.
But do the kids know about disks ?
I can see this as a bookkeepers archive device. Each year you pull out the Company Archive and deposit the annual official "books". Put it back into the safe with the ceremonial "Chop" or "Hanko".
Archiving is something that is so simple except ... that it happens over time.
Doesn't solve the problem. Files on multi-session discs can be deleted and modified.