Kingston SSDnow KC380 1.8-Inch Solid State Drive Review

Final Thoughts


At the time of writing, the Kingston SSDnow KC380 120GB model can be found at Amazon UK for £76.85, NewEgg for $116.99, or via Geizhals starting at €98.22.


I’ve previously mentioned that most people probably never will encounter a drive in this form factor. However, if you do, then the Kingston SSDnow KC380 might be worth taking a closer look at. The 1.8-inch Micro-SATA form factor is a bit older standard that came before the new NGFF (M.2) modules for ultrabooks and netbooks. There are very few drives to choose from in the market segment and a lot of them are mechanical drives. Don’t settle for that, get the power of an SSD.

The drive in itself isn’t even a true Micro-SATA drive, but rather an mSATA in disguise. That’s no problem at all, in fact, it can be a huge bonus. The day that you don’t need it in the current form factor anymore, you can take it apart and use the mSATA drive in a newer compatible system instead. A lot of compact systems and barebones will be able to support the drive itself, giving you more value down the road.

When it comes to the speed rating, it’s a bit tough to say if it lives up to what it promises. In some tests it does, in others it doesn’t. But those are synthetic benchmarks and they don’t always represent a real-world scenario. When we look at the IOmeter tests that take the pure drives performance, then we see a really good result. The same goes for the PC Mark tests that look pretty much the same even after the conditioning. On the other hand, CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD were benchmark applications that showed lesser performance from the drive. Still, it’s far better than anything a mechanical drive in this size can do and they’re still good results.

The Kingston SSDnow KC380 is using the by now old SandForce controller and that is partly the reason that it doesn’t perform as well as some of the other drives that we’ve tested here at eTeknix. It isn’t a bad controller in itself, it’s just been surpassed by the competition since then.


  • Form factor that’s hard to find
  • Decent performance
  • Future bonus through internal mSATA drive


  • Price
  • Slower than average in some tests
  • SandForce SSD controller

“The Kingston SSDnow KC380 would be a good upgrade choice for those who have systems such as netbooks that only support this form-factor.”

Thank You Kingston for providing us with this sample.