REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The Tekq Rapide Portable NVMe SSD is hands down the fastest portable storage device we have ever tested. If someone told me last week that I would have a credit card sized external in my hand that was capable of 2.8GB/s throughput, I would have had a few doubts. In fact, considering that most companies use ATTO to determine their spec, Tekq would not be faulted for boosting their listed specifications of 2.5GB/s read and 1.5GB/s write to 2.8GB/s read and 2.3GB/s write. The Tekq Rapide TB3 Portable SSD’ performance, through Thunderbolt 3, is what we would expect from a typical NVMe SSD and we have to wonder why this hasn’t been a product with a more popular brand name on it. The Tekq Rapide goes much further than simple transfer speeds though.
Each Tekq Rapide is constructed of a single block of CNC aluminum, that block coincidentally matching the color of Apple products but that’s ok. It is the size of a credit card and 1/2″ thick and the feel and precision of each and every cut is beautiful. Where most would have simply cut a base plate that sat on the bottom of the device, this plate is recessed perfectly into the base. The Tekq Rapide speaks to simplicity with a simple disk activity light on the front top center, and the TB3 port on the bottom.
The Tekq doesn’t come without a few concerns, however. Compatibility is huge and the fact that this works on Thunderbolt 3 devices only limits it considerably. It would be great if it was backward compatible with USB, or even Thunderbolt 2, but it isn’t. I have 5 PCs in my office, three desktops and two ultrabooks; one being an HP Spectre and the other a Dell XPS 13. Understanding of course that one has to turn Thunderbolt 3 on in the UEFI, the desktops and the HP Spectre picked up and worked fine with the Tekq Rapide TB3 Portable SSD.
My Dell XPS 13 (with Thunderbolt 3) is another story though. I have been working on this report for some 8 hours now and have yet to be able to get the Tekq Rapide to work on the XPS. I plug it in and the ultra crashes…even with updated everything. Having tried the OWC Thunderblade V4 on the Dell XPS 13 as well with the same result, we can pretty confidently say the problem lies with the ultrabook and TB3, rather than with the Tekq Rapide or OWC Thunderblade.
Lastly, how can you get a Tekq Rapide in your hands soonest? We have received confirmation that the Rapide will be reaching e-tailers and retail sales 3-4 months down the road but you can get it sooner. Tekq will be launching their Indiegogo campaign on 21 February 2018 and this link will get you there. Purchasing through this campaign will save you 20% over the future retail price and their are only 243 units committed to Indiegogo, so first come first served. Tekq also speaks of Amazon pricing which we are going to believe follows a successful indiegogo compaign. Lastly, our question regarding North American sales was met with a return that any shortage of SSD supply would limit where the product is released. Pricing for the Tekq Rapide is definitely at a premium as this is a rather niche product, but then again, this is a rather special SSD.
Looking forward, the Tekq Rapide is the fastest portable SSD there is and its build is one of the best we have ever seen. It is truly sweet to be one of the very few to have this in hand. For the most part, it was simply plug and play with our TB3 systems and it is just that good. In fact, we just may be testing the Tekq with our own 2TB M.2 SSD sooner than later. As much as this product just screams Editor’s Choice, it is a bit early for that accolade. We can justify a Innovation Award, however, and I will be the first to upgrade that should everything go without a hitch during marketing.