Being niche in a dog eat dog tech market can be very risky. Being niche in the SSD industry is straight up crazy as NAND manufacturers price their SSDs so low that 3rd party SSD manufacturers find it very hard to compete; or they shut down. More than a few companies have slowed, or shut down their SSD production and, in fact, there are also more than a few SSDs that we have reviewed that were never released. Angelbird has seemed to sidestep the frenzy and, at least with their SSD2Go line, build quality has played a major part in their success. Today, we are taking a close look at the Angelbird SSD wrk and, looking at this picture, Angelbird seems to want to continue on its own path, so to speak.
All previous Angelbird SSD shells have been two piece and hand machined to perfection, an Austrian value of finesse Angelbird enjoys maintaining. The shell of the SSD wrk is something we had never seen prior, constructed of a very solid one piece aluminum, the plastic bracket and PCB of which slide in from the end of the shell. We have seen this one piece design in flash drives, yet never in a SSD. Make no mistake; this 7mm shell is virtually indestructible as a result of its shape and its design is very attractive to match. Let’s take a closer look at the Angelbird SSD wrk and determine if the remainder of this build matches this shell.
The Angelbird SSD wrk is due to be released on publishing of this report and will be available in capacities of 128, 256 and 512GB. Performance is listed at 561MB/s read and 296MB/s write and, at first you might be wondering about the low write speed, but they have chosen to list sustained write speeds for the drive, rather than FOB (fresh-out of-box) specifications. Additional features of this SSD include TRIM, ECC, overload protection, EMS protection, and power is listed at 0.25W idle and 3.42W active.
Angelbird seems to be changing direction just a bit when it comes to pricing. Traditionally, we are used to seeing upper tier components and pricing that might be considered high, however, todays SSD wrk seems to be striking at the more value conscious consumer. The 128GB SSD wrk has an MSRP of $109.99USD, 256GB at $189.99 USD, 512 GB capacity at $369.99 and comes with a limited three year warranty. We are also aware that Angelbird products will be seeing a great deal more visibility on the North American market.
SSD WRK COMPONENTS
Opening the Angelbird SSD wrk SSD is accomplished through the removal of two screws on the bottom and then pushing from one end, much like one might see in a cigarette pack. I hate using this comparison as I have never been a smoker, however, it seems the easiest comparison to create that visual.
Once removed, we can see a half-sized PCB screwed into a plastic adapter. This also helps us to understand how Angelbird has reached such a low value-point; it contains the Silicon Motion SM2246en 4-channel controller, a controller that seems to have found a fair amount of success as of late. Along with this, there are eight pieces of unbranded MLC NAND flash memory, as well as NANYA DRAM cache memory beside the controller. The memory has a product number of BW29F512G08CMCAB which represents 20nm memory and is most likely Micron, however the ‘BW’ in the product number has yet to be seen prior.
Checking The SSD Database, we can see that this controller has been in three other recent SSD reviews, the Corsair Force LX,and PNY Optima, as well as the ADATA SP610 most recently. In fact, looking at the components of all three, one might agree that all seem to be very similar in makeup.