The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is one of the smallest, fastest, toughest external solid-state storage devices in 250GB to 2TB capacities.
SanDisk is the consumer flash memory company of hard disk maker Western Digital (WD). It makes memory cards, USB flash drives, DRAM, portable media players and solid-state drives. In a market share sense Samsung is the leader in this arena by a long way, Intel (about half Samsung’s volume) then SanDisk, Micron (Crucial) and Toshiba (now part owned by Seagate) all fight it out for number three spot.
That is no comment on quality or reliability – all flash products by class have similar specifications.
Portable storage is becoming a crowded market
SanDisk competes in the consumer arena with Samsung, LaCie/Seagate, Crucial, WD Passport, Toshiba, and many lesser known brands.
Most portable SSDs use the SATA 6 interface over USB-A 3.0 (2.0 backwards compatible) or USB-C, so the interface limits maximum speeds to around 500MBps.
Samsung has a Thunderbolt 3 X5 drive that reaches a blistering 2800/2097MBps sequential read/write speed.
Review: SanDisk Extreme portable SSD
One sentence can describe it. A sleek, small, IP55, rugged, USB, SATA 600 interface, 250GB to 2TB portable SSD.
Sleek and small at 96.2 x 49.55 x 8.85mm x 38.9g. I venture it is the smallest of its type.
IP55 and rugged means almost dustproof (but its solid state, so that is not material) and withstands water jets (rain) – it is not waterproof. It can withstand up to 1500GH (2m drops) and vibrations.
USB means both USB-C 3.1 gen 2 (5Gbps) and USB-A 3.0 (5Gbps or slower on USB 2.0).
GadgetGuy ran speed tests using our reference Lenovo Yoga 920 with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and USB-A ports.
Using USB-A 3.0, we achieved 442/449Mbps sequential read/write. The SATA 600 interface may be 750MBps, but the USB-A 3.0 speed is 625MBps half-duplex, so this SSD controller is really pushing the limits. It also did quite well with large file random read/writes.
Using USB-C, we achieved 560/493MBps sequential read/write – again pushing the limits of the 5Gbps USB-C 3.1 but we are not sure why random read/write of larger files is marginally slower than the USB-A results. Not that this is important!
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Prices: From JB Hi-Fi
- 250GB $149 (60 cent per GB)
- 500GB $199 (40 cents per GB)
- 1TB $399 (40 cents per GB)
- 2TB $949 (48 cents per GB)
Astute shoppers will find the 2TB at around $100 making that a reasonable 42 cents per GB. It comes with a 150mm USB-C to USB-C cable, a keyed USB-C to USB-A adapter and a three-year warranty.
GadgetGuy’s take: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is fast and furious
In comparison to its WD My Passport Ultra SSD (GadgetGuy review here), it is twice as fast and adds IP55 and ruggedness. It is a winner.