It never seems to take long for a laptop to get cluttered. One minute you’ve got loads of space everything works like a dream, the next minute you’re getting messages about lack of memory. Like many photographers, it means I take some sort of storage drive with me whenever I go away from home.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a great choice because at 8.85 x 49.55 x 96.2mm and 38.9g you can slip into your bag almost unnoticed.
I’ve been testing the 500GB version, but it’s also available in 250GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities.
It has a USB 3.1 (Gen 2) interface and is supplied with a nice quality USB C cable. That means you can plug it directly into a MacBook but there’s also a USB A adaptor so it can be plugged into older (more common) laptops as well.
Windows users will find software on the drive to allow them to password protect the drive. Mac users have a link to download the software. If needed.
Build and Handling
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has a nice silky coating on the surface and a high-quality feel. This is backed-up by the water and dust resistance to IP55 standard. It’s also capable of withstanding a drop from 2m on to a concrete floor and specification sheet lists it as vibration-resistant and shock-resistant to 1500G. In short, this is a drive that you can chuck in your bag and not worry about too much.
Both the cable and adaptor are also of high quality. The cable is thick and feels like it will last well.
As it has read speeds of up to 550MB/S, images can be transferred quickly to the Extreme Portable SSD.
I measured the Extreme Portable SSD’s speed using SpeedTools QuickBench on a Mid-2014 MacBook Pro (15-inch Retina screen), connecting via the USB A adapter. That won’t deliver the drive’s best performance but with large files (20-100MB) it achieved average read speeds of 437.8MB/S and write speeds 429.9MB/S. That means it’s a very close match for the Samsung T5 which hit 436.9MB/s (read) and 430.6MB/s (write).
Dropping to 2-10MB files for the test delivered read and write speeds of 433.7MB/S and 424.7MB/S, that compares with 424.7MB/s and 412.3MB/S with the T5.
What’s more important to me than transfer times, however, is that images and video render quickly. That means if I copy my shots to the drive I can browse and edit them without noticeable lag, there’s no need to transfer them to my laptop.
I used the drive to store images and movies from my memory cards while I was away from home. I then viewed and edited the files on the drive, saving space on my laptop. Once home, I transferred everything to my multi-drive NAS for permanent storage. It all worked seamlessly.
After a few minutes use the drive starts to warm up, but it doesn’t get excessively hot. I used it without any major concern. I also gave it the odd knock and subjected the main body (not the USB port) to a sprinkling of water, all of which it survived.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD looks smart and has the performance to match. It’s not quite as stylish as the metal-bodied Samsung T5, but in some instances, it’s just a little faster. Files transfer quickly and when browsing and editing images, the performance seems the same as if the files are on the computer’s drive.
The supplied cable and adaptor are also strong and fit with measuring snugness.