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Transcend ESD400 Portable USB3 SSD Review

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Transcend Elite Backup Software

Transcend’s Elite backup utility is available as a free download to purchasers of this drive. Elite provides a basic, scriptable backup feature that can optionally compress and encrypt backups. Both Mac and Windows versions of Elite are available; I used the Windows version for this review.

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Elite is task-oriented: you configure one or more backup tasks, and each task can back up a specific set of files to a specific destination (it doesn’t have to be to the Transcend drive), can be set to run periodically or manually, and can optionally be compressed and locked with a password.

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The first thing I noticed was that the backup window is not resizeable, nor can the width of the panes be adjusted, leading to visual issues like this when selecting the files to back up. You can scroll the selection pane horizontally, but it’s a pain. Also, note that the window has no close box; you must use the alt-F4 combination to close it.

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Next I noticed that when you’re taking to select the destination, the window only shows drive letters, and not volume names. In this particular example my Transcend drive was “G:”, but it would be much more useful to show volume names…

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Once the backup process start, the progress window appears. Confusingly, it’s titled “Confirm Selection”, even though there’s nothing for you to confirm at this point. The type of backup is shown as an icon; I have no idea what the icon represents. A file backup maybe? It does show the available space on the destination volume and the size of the files you’re preparing to back up. The progress bar at the bottom of the window will keep you informed.

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In my case, an 81 gigabyte backup took just under 17 minutes.

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While the Elite software is both free and functional, its user interface is poor; depending on your needs, you’ll probably want something more sophisticated. It doesn’t even install as a normal Windows application– the .EXE file and its support files are installed in an obscure temp directory under Appdata->Roaming, and you can’t uninstall it using the standard Windows facilities. All in all, it seems a half-hearted effort, at least on the Windows side of things.

In the last section I’ll present my final thoughts and conclusion for the Transcend ESD400 USB SSD drive.


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