Hot on the heels of a PNY Optima review, we have another low-cost SSD that promises to provide SSD performance without traditional SSD prices. Early SSDs suffered on two fronts: high failure rates and high prices. As with any new technology, time eliminates both of these issues. SSDs are now widely considered more reliable than the technology they replaced, and prices have shrunk to very low levels.

Almost as long as we’ve had performance SSDs, we’ve had lower tier mainstream models too. Most of these products shipped with lower quality flash but with the same high performance controller found on the flagship offerings. Some of the products were actually pretty good, but a very large number of them were cringingly bad.

Over time, the industry determined that using lower quality flash is the wrong way to approach the mainstream market. Micron’s L85A flash also made the decision much easier to swallow. L85A, known by many as 20nm 128Gb die flash, is now very cheap and plentiful, so third-party SSD manufacturers can take on flash manufacturers in the mainstream SSD market.

Transcend isn’t new to SSDs or low cost models designed for broad adoption. The SSD720 we reviewed last year was a solid offering and at times competed for the lowest priced mainstream SSD at Newegg. Transcend is back with a new mainstream SSD, this time using a JMicron controller but one that we’ve tested and liked in the past.