Review #27: Transcend MTS600 M.2 SSD (256 GB)

I had simply alluded to the Transcend MTS600 in my previous post on the M.2 SSD enclosure but this time the spotlight is firmly on it. The fact is that when I set about to update the SSD in my Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140, I realized that I wasn't exactly going to be spoilt for choice. The only references to compatible M.2 SSDs in the 2260 form factor that I could find were the Crucial MX200 and the Transcend MTS600. Since only the latter was available locally, I didn't even get the opportunity to decide.

The chief concern that I had was that the SSD was reported as not playing nice with Intel's Link Power Management, though the forum posts were from a year or two back. I had also read a couple of posts referring to firmware updates that resolved this issue. The outer cover states that the SSD supports DevSlp and I am glad to report that I have been able to leave my SSD idle for hours at a stretch without encountering any BSOD. My SSD, manufactured in July 2016, came with firmware version O0918B which is the latest available at the time of this writing.

The total disc space on a fresh Windows installation comes out to be 238 GB. While increasing the storage capacity was the primary reason for the upgrade, I was really hoping that I would get a speed boost as well since the 64 GB SanDisk X110 was not one of the fastest SSDs around. While the SSD read speed didn't quite touch the "up to 550 MBps" figure stated on the package for the 512 GB version, I am glad that it came pretty close and offers a significant boost across the board when compared to the default SanDisk X110 SSD. I rest my case with the following chart:

I was lucky enough to snag this locally for a price (INR 7700 or USD 110) comparable to the one on Amazon US (USD 107) as it has since appreciated by over 25% at the same store. Based on my personal experience, this SSD gets my wholehearted recommendation for the M.2 2260 form factor.

Review #12: Anker Multi-Angle Portable Stand

All in good standing

Is there anything outstanding about this stand? Is there something about this that will make your hair stand on end? Will this thing stand the test of time? To know where I stand on this, stand by as I stand and deliver yet another review that will make your heart stand still (I guess that's enough puns for one review).

The USP of this product is the ability to set the stand at various angles which allows for various means to view the screen and interact with the devices that utilise the stand. The typical use case would involve tablets of various sizes that weigh just enough to test the muscular strength of your arms, should you decide to watch a movie on it. I have mainly used it with my Dell Venue 11 Pro when watching movies or using it as a PC along with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. In those cases, it works really well, admittedly even better than a laptop with its protruding keyboard for you can set the screen in close proximity to your face and arrange the viewing angle for greater visibility. The stand supports the portrait mode equally well which I primarily use with my iPad when reading magazines. Never once does it give the impression of tipping over which is essentially what you need the most of a stand.

Coming to the build, the stand seems to be made of a combination of aluminium with rubber linings. I wouldn't say the build quality is top of the line for the hinge is not very confidence inspiring in terms of perceived durability, but is quite smooth. The angle is set by pressing a button on the left side, the release of which sets the lock. It works great most of the time but for the occasional instance where the button gets stuck and needs to be cajoled out by pressing it again.

I think the best aspect of the design is the thoughtful layering of rubber at critical positions. The floor of the holding section as well as the pivoting support bear rubber straps that ensure that you won't scratch the surface you set the stand on. Rubber nubs at the shoulder and a (removable) rubber lining running along the inside of the device holding section ensure that the back and the bottom of the device won't get scratched as well. The face of the stand bears a cut-out at the bottom for interaction with the home button of the device and it works well for me with the iPad as well as the Windows tablet.

To surmise, the Anker multi-angle stand can be said to be a product built for a purpose which it fulfils really well. There are some doubts on the durability, but at this point of time, there is nothing much to complain about. The official distributor for Anker products in India (Yugadi) doesn't stock this product, so it comes down to buying from sellers that import the product from US which significantly raises its price. For the design and utility, this product deserves 4.5/5 stars but for the fact that its priced quite high in India, it comes down to 4/5.