Review: SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD
4.0Overall Score

Price (RRP): $159.95 starting price: $159.95 for the 120GB, $219.95 for the 240GB, $379.95 for the 480GB
Manufacturer: SanDisk

The hard drive is still a great way to backup your data, but it’s not the only way, with solid-state drives also a big deal. Finally, SanDisk has decided to get into the portable solid-state sector, and it’s not just because its rivals are doing the same.

Indeed, the Samsung T1 is likely part of the reason, but SanDisk isn’t new to the solid state game, and we’ve been looking forward to the company bringing its expertise to this sector for a while now.

Is this the competition Samsung needs?

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Features and performance

The external hard drive is so common, we’d be surprised if you didn’t have at least one in your life right now, but these generally share two common complaints: weight and speed.

The problem of weight isn’t a huge one. We’re usually only talking a hundred grams or so, maybe more dependent on the size of the drive, but this can still make a dent on luggage.

Solid-state drives, on the other hand, generally weigh next to nothing, with the silicon media and casing generally bringing that weight down to 10 or 20 grams. Often, the cable weighs more, these are that light.

Speed is the more important point, however, with roughly four to five times the speed being offered by a solid-state drive for transfer speeds over their conventional hard drive counterparts, meaning your files will be read from and written to at a faster speed than your traditional hard drive, which should make you a happier camper across the board.

SanDisk’s Extreme 500 tackles both of these and throws them into a small softened square of a device with slight framing in rubber.

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The rubber appears to be here in case you drop the device, which makes it a nice addition, though we suspect this is more of a slight element of ruggedisation, especially since the top and bottom lack any ruggedisation whatsoever. SanDisk is probably basing this decision off the fact that most device tend to land on the sides, though the lacks of rubber all around the casing tells us this is probably more cosmetic than total protection.

Still, something is better than nothing, though the silicon board can also probably handle more than a conventional moving part drive.

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At the back of the drive, you’ll find one part of this rubber can be pulled away like a door, revealing a USB 3.0 connector.

Plug this in with the included cable and voila, your drive is ready for you to use with your now sting-ray looking external drive.