Originally Posted by flowrider
My Review of the Transcend JetDrive 520 480GB SSD in a 2012 11" MBA.
My Review also includes a comparison of the JetDrive with the OWC Aura Pro Drive.
I ordered the OWC Aura Pro Drive the day before the Transcend Drives were announced. Before I received the drive, I called OWC to see if they would price match, and the answer was no. So, I thought Shame on Me. OWC's pricing was $449. for a bare drive and $475. for one that included tools and an enclosure for the old SSD. (OWC's pricing has since been reduced to $398. and $419. respectively) I opted for the bare drive. I installed the drive, and as others have noticed, the vertical dimension of the circuit board the components are mounted on is a millimeter or 2 larger than the stock SSD. Others have cut the board, I didn't, I applied a little pressure and it snapped into place. OWCs installation video is, IMO, far better than the Transcend video. Once set up, the SSD seemed to work fine, for awhile, but less than a day later, the drive started giving me problems. I tried repairing it with both Disk utility and Tech Tool Pro, both to no avail. Two days later it happened again. I called OWC and asked for an RMA. They agreed but said I would have to pay a restocking fee and pay for return shipment. I challenged that, saying this was not a capricious return, that the unit was defective and I expected OWC to pay for shipping and refund the full amount. They agreed, and sent me a UPS label.
When ordering the Transcend JetDrive I was quoted a delivery time of from 2 to 4 weeks. The unit was shipped 3 days after the order was placed and I received it one day later, that's 4 days after order placement! The price of the JetDrive 480 GB SSD from Amazon was $350. + Sales Tax (OWC charges no tax in Arizona). If I could have waited longer, I could have bought it from my memory Supplier, Data Memory Systems and not paid Sales Tax, but Transcend has not yet supplied it's distributers with this product.
Upon receipt of the JetDrive, yesterday, the first thing that jumped out at me was the packaging. The OWC SSD came packed in an anti-static bag enclosed in a thin gauge blister packed piece of cardboard with blue printing. It looked the packaging used by Ace Combs. The Transcend packaging on the other hand was impressive. A heavy gauge white slide out box with a full color picture of the SSD. The box was multi layered and contained the drive, the enclosure for the OEM drive, and the tools necessary for installation. Each layer was a plastic bed with depressions sized to fit the associated parts. It also contained an instruction booklet and warranty information. The instructions are, IMHO, inadequate, and only two pages apply, the other 26 pages being written for other languages.
The tools worked very well, and installation was a breeze. the form factor of the circuit board is the same as apple's so no undue pressure was needed for installation. My old SSD fit into the supplied enclosure with no issues.
I then cloned the JetDrive using Tech Tool Pro from the external Hybrid Drive I had been using as the main drive for my MBA. I foolishly ordered my MBA with only the 64GB SSD.
No issues. Everything is working as expected. In terms of speed. I have not measured the speed, but it feels very snappy. I believe the OWC and Transcend drives to be equal here. Transcend even supplies software to enable Apple's Trim support, OWC does not. There is however, third party software that enables Trim, Trim Enabler. I use that anyway for the SSD I use in my Mac Pro.
In ending, I would urge anyone installing the JetDrive in a MBA to watch the OWC installation video, again, it is superior to the Transcend video, and will make things more understandable to you.
The JetDrive is by far the superior product, and as of right now is $69. cheaper than the OWC Aura Pro. When I bought the OWC product, it would have cost $125 more than the corresponding Transcend product.
That IMHO is Value.
Currently, Apple charges $500. to go from a 128GB SSD to a 512GB SSD in the MBA. So, $350. for a 480GB SSD AND you get to keep your old drive, you can't beat that.
Edit - The Transcend drive seems to run color than true OWC drive. When feeling the bottom of my MBA where the SSD is mounted, the area while warm, is not as warm as it was with the OWC unit.