Final Words

From a technological perspective, the new 850 EVO drives do not bring anything new to the table since it's essentially the 2.5" 850 EVO in a smaller form factor, but what it does bring to the market is more selection in mSATA and M.2 form factors using the SATA protocols. There still aren't too many mSATA/M.2 retail drives available, so the 850 EVO adds a lot of value to that segment because it's by far the fastest mSATA/M.2 SSD and in general the 850 EVO is one of the highest performing SATA drives on the market. 

With that said, I do have some concerns regarding the 1TB model and its performance. Especially the IO consistency with 50-second pauses is worrying. While that won't have any major impact on very light workloads, anything that taxes the drive a bit more may run into the issue, which is basically that the drive stops for up to dozens of seconds (i.e. your system freezes). Until Samsung fixes that, I would advise against buying the 1TB version unless you have a very light workload (web browsing, email, etc.). I suspect it's fixable through a firmware update, but I'll have to wait for Samsung's reply to be sure of that.

Amazon Price Comparison (3/29/2015)
  120/128GB 240/250/256GB 480/500/512GB 1TB
Samsung 850 EVO mSATA $80 $130 $230 $450
Samsung 850 EVO M.2 $80 $130 $230 -
Samsung 840 EVO mSATA $89 $150 $228 $429
Crucial M550 mSATA $172 $107 $184 -
Crucial M500 M.2 $88 $129 $244 -
Crucial MX200 mSATA - $120 $213 -
Crucial MX200 M.2 - $120 $226 -
Plextor M6M mSATA $76 $133 $280 -
Mushkin Atlas Deluxe mSATA $65 $108 $183 -

The 850 EVO mSATA/M.2 is already available on Amazon and the pricing appears to be fairly competitive. It's not the cheapest mSATA/M.2 drive around, but the premium isn't that significant when taking 850 EVO's feature set into account (5-year warranty, hardware encryption etc.). 

All in all, the 850 EVO presents another option to users who are looking for an mSATA or M.2 SSD. It's equipped with the same extensive feature set as its 2.5" sibling, the performance is good and the pricing is fair. As long as Samsung is able to fix the 1TB mSATA on a timely manner, I have no reason not to recommend the 850 EVO. After all, it's still the only mSATA with 1TB capacity.

Idle Power Consumption & TRIM Validation
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  • Peichen - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    Shouldn't mSATA/M.2 intereface drives be a lot faster than SATAIII drives due to the much faster interface? I was kinda expecting 1GB/sec. speed consider there are already drive tested at 1.4 and 2.7GB/sec. Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    mSATA is SATA in a different formfactor. M.2 can be either SATA or PCI-E. As stated in the article, this drive comes (only) in the SATA form. Reply
  • foxtrot1_1 - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    The interface is still SATA, even if the connector is M.2. I assume PCIe M.2 drives will be coming later. Reply
  • Murloc - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    in a very short time they introduced a bunch of connectors and interfaces and it's all gotten quite confusing. Reply
  • foxtrot1_1 - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    Don't worry, it's not like there's also three different mainstream USB standards with two different plugs. Oh wait.

    Well, at least we have one agreed-upon display connection, that makes shopping for monitors and graphics cards easier. Oh wait.
    Reply
  • lazarpandar - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    That's the great thing about standards, you've got so many to choose from! Reply
  • yslee - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    xkcd #927 puts it very nicely. :P Reply
  • Artuk - Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - link

    Nice Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    You need yo put /sarcasm tag so people don't get confused. Reply
  • Callitrax - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - link

    One thing you should probably do in M.2 SSD reviews is include how the drives are keyed, preferably in one of the tables. This is important since the M.2 interface is actually 4 semi compatible "standards" (see http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/understandi... As a result not all M.2 SSDs will fit in all M.2 slots. This one appears to be both B and M keyed so I think it should be pretty universal, but as an example the Samsung XP941 is only M keyed and thus will not work in the HP Stream Mini's B keyed SSD slot. (Did whoever came up with M.2 make a crappy standard that will cause lots of customer support calls and RMA's when consumers M.2 drives don't work with their M.2 equipped computers? Yes they did.) Reply

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