KingSpec NE-256 256GB M.2 2242 NVMe SSD Review


SPECworkstation 3.0.2 Storage Benchmark

We normally run this benchmark, on our larger drives. We could not on this drive due to the lack of free space. We probably could have run it on the 512GB model, but at this point we have a good sense of where this drive lands.


We monitored the idle and maximum temperature during testing with HWMonitor to get some idea of the thermal performance and requirements of the drive. Please keep in mind that our test bench is an open frame chassis in a 22C room, and is thus not representative of a cramped low-airflow case.

Kingspec NE-256 Temps
Kingspec NE-256 Temps

Somewhat surprisingly, the Kingspec NE-256 actually runs pretty warm all things considered. Peaking at 69C under load, I certainly would not consider this to be a cool running drive.

Final Words

If you simply need a 42mm NVMe SSD, then the Kingspec NE-256 is a viable option. There are plenty of use cases, such as client PCs and boot devices where this is plenty. We have seen this class of devices start to push into the realm of where SATADOMs previously were strong. Effectively Kinspec is focusing on cost optimizations and a smaller form factor over performance.

KingSpec NE 256
KingSpec NE 256

That somewhat makes sense. Taking it a step further, on spec sheets for systems this qualifies as a “NVMe SSD which offers better performance than SATA.” That statement is correct but also would serve to entice customers that they are getting a high-performance NVMe SSD when they are clearly not.

If a few dollars and M.2 2242 is important, then perhaps this is the drive for you. Otherwise, there are higher performing options on the market. Still, this is a segment of the SSD market that rarely gets covered, so we thought it would be interesting to take a look at something like this.

Design & Aesthetics
Feature Set
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Will has worked in both big enterprise and small business IT since 2001. As a perpetual dabbler, he is always open to new solutions for old problems. That said, his personal IT motto has to be "if it's not broke, don't fix it" so sometimes the old ways are best
kingspec-ne-256-256gb-m-2-2242-nvme-ssd-reviewThe Kingspec NE-256 prioritizes cost optimization and size over performance covering a segment of the market that is rarely shown


  1. All that, missed even its own low specs, and still gets a 5/10 for performance? I kind of wonder what a drive needs to do to get, say, a 2/10.

  2. At roughly +10$ to the $50-60 this Kingspec retails at, you could have a (2280) Samsung 970 Evo Plus 250GB. In terms of performance and likely reliability it seems hard to argue for the Kingspec.

  3. I have the 512GB version installed in a Lenovo Thinkpad T480, specifically because it was the only NVMe SSD that fit in the open M.2 E-keyed 2242 slot. The slot is incompatible with E-keyed SATA SSDs, so there’s not many options.

  4. Neither Patrick nor I remember exactly what he paid for this drive, but I want to say at the time it was much closer to $30 than $60.

  5. Unless you absolutely have to have a 2242 with this specific keying it seems like an extremely niche use. Maybe an oem will buy a large volume for ridiculously cheap laptops.


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