Orico USB4 High Speed Portable SSD at a glance:
- £220 or 512GB; £330 for 1TB; £540 for 2TB
- Portable solid-state drive
- USB 4.0 connection
- Measures 115 x 63 x 21mm
Orico isn’t the most familiar name when it comes to computer storage – instead photographers are more likely to gravitate towards the likes of Samsung, Lexar or WD. So when faced with this chunky, colourful portable SSD, you might dismiss it as a novelty. But that would be a huge mistake, as the Orico USB4 High Speed Portable SSD is, in fact, a startlingly fast drive.
Judged by both speed testing programs and real-world use, it comfortably surpasses anything I’ve used from better-known brands, providing external storage that comes close to matching the speed of my laptop’s internal SSD. This impressively pacey performance makes it a good choice for data-intensive applications such as working with 4K video or editing large folders of high-resolution raw image files.
Orico USB4 High Speed Portable SSD key features:
- Connector: The drive’s sole connector is of the USB-C type. Orico provides a high-quality data cable in the box
- Colourful: Unlike other drab monotone drives, the plastic top and bottom shells have a ‘Montage’ design inspired by Piet Mondrian
- Device Support: The drive can be used with Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Android devices, plus iPad Pros with a USB-C connection
- Solid state: With no moving parts, the SSD should be more reliable than conventional hard drives that use spinning magnetic disks
Key to this impressive feat is the drive’s use of the USB 4.0 protocol, which is based on Thunderbolt 3. Orico says this facilitates read speeds as fast as 3,100MB/s and write speeds up to 2,800MB/s, which theoretically equates to the ability to copy a 128GB card’s worth of files in less than a minute. This kind of speed is invaluable for data-intensive tasks such as video editing or working on lots of high-resolution raw files, just as long as your computer supports USB 4.0.
The drive feels very nicely made, with a plastic and metal shell, and comes with a high-spec data cable. However, it’s a fair bit larger than many other portable SSDs, measuring 115 x 63 x 21mm, which might limit its use for some applications. It’s probably best suited to indoor desktop use.
When you first connect the SSD to your computer, it won’t show up in the usual fashion. Instead, you have to initialise it yourself. In fairness, the process is described quite clearly in the user manual; just in very small print indeed. For those who are reasonably computer-savvy, it should only take a minute or two to get up and running.
Tested on my 2019-vintage Dell XPS 15 Windows 11 laptop using CrystalDiskMark, it turned in some spectacular numbers, with maximum read and write speeds of 2.7GB/s and 1.6GB/s respectively. That’s about three times what I registered from the Samsung T7 Shield earlier this year, which is known as a reliably fast drive.
In real-world use, with other tasks running on your computer, it may not hit such heights, but it’ll still move large swathes of files incredibly quickly. For example, an 8GB folder of image files took just 16secs to copy off my machine’s internal SSD.
Orico USB4 High Speed Portable SSD: Our Verdict
This is a superb external drive, with its spectacular performance complemented by its eye-catching design. If you want to handle large volumes of photo or video files without clogging up your computer’s internal drive, it’s a brilliant option.
Orico’s Montage series SSDs
Orico also offers other SSDs with the same cosmetic design, but in a confusing variety of capacities and speeds. The line-up starts with a 256GB, USB 3.1 drive for £65, and there are also USB 3.2 Gen 2 versions in 500GB and 1TB (£90 and £190 respectively), plus a faster 512GB USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 option (£150). In the USB 4 range, 512GB costs £220, 1TB is £330, and 2TB a hefty £540. All are available to buy from the same page on Amazon UK, so be very careful about which options you select, to make sure you end up with the right thing.