THE GOOD: The Atom SSD is superfast and supports USB-C. The drive is compact, light and rugged and includes cables for both new and old computers.
THE BAD: Unlike other drives from Glyph, it doesn’t include data recovery in the warranty.
THE BOTTOM LINE: For power users, this is the best portable drive to date.
Editors’ note: The Glyph Atom RAID SSD and the Atom SSD are very similar, so their reviews are similar.
If you own a 12-inch MacBook or one of the new MacBook Pros, the Atom solid-state drive from Glyph has everything you’d want in a portable drive.
First, it’s superfast. It uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 and its real-world read speeds averaged about 420MBps and 270MBps for writing and reading, respectively, making it one of the fastest non-RAID portable drives. (The, which uses RAID-0, scored 675MBps and 460MBps, respectively.) Its hard aluminum casing and removable rubber protective case mean it’ll survive a 6-foot drop onto a carpet floor (something I actually tested) and still work fine. And it’s a USB-C drive that includes both a USB-C cable and a USB-C-to-USB-A cable. This means it will work with any computer with any USB port permutation.
The Atom SSD is available in 275GB, 525GB and 1TB capacities for $150, $250 and $440, respectively. That’s not cheap, but it’s actually a better deal than the $400 1TB, which is about 25 percent slower and not as durable. Also, the Atom can be found in gold, silver, gray and black to match the color of your MacBook. The T3 comes in only one color. Note that SSD prices always fall soon after release, so it’s likely the Atom will be an even better deal in a few months.
On the inside, the Atom SSD houses an M.2 version of theSSD, the first drive from Crucial that uses 3D flash memory to strike a balance between costs, capacity and performance. Out of the box, the drive is formatted in HFS+ so it works right away with a Mac. For Windows, you will need to first reformat it into NTFS. Or you can reformat it into exFAT if you want to use it with both platforms. The drive doesn’t include any software, but you fortunately won’t need any. Time Machine (Mac) and File History (Windows 10) both work fine as backup tools. The Atom includes a standard three-year warranty against hardware defects, but nothing for data recovery.
Should I get it?
If you need a great-looking, compact, superfast and versatile portable drive, the Atom SSD is the best you can find for now. For Mac users, it’s also one of a few that’s ready to work right away with your new MacBook Pro without a dongle. For Windows users, however, there are generally more options. So if you can live with significantly slower performances and bulkier designs, a regular drive like theor the will give you a lot more storage for your money.