SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500GB 2018 Review

This post reviews the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, 2018 model with USB C. If you’ve read my other posts concerning data backup and whatnot, you’ll know how critical I am of accessories. I feel I’ve written about travelling too much and my posts will start to become the same… So to keep this short, I use these kind of items when I travel with a Sony a7rII mirrorless camera and a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I’m in a bit of a rush to post this (I fly to Canada soon) but I feel it’s a really unique product that people should know about. Not to sound like downer dave, but so often I hear of people buying large, often more expensive and slower backup solutions, that weigh a tonne. There’s really no need to do that in 2018 when we have small, lightweight, usable SSDs.

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2018 model looks and feels stellar. It’s soft to the touch and for those that care about fingerprints, you won’t have to worry. I cannot comment on its long term durability yet, but it’s the only water resistant portable SSD I’ve seen (IP55 rating). You could probably improve it by getting a USB C silicone plug. It’s lightweight, and I measured it at about 42 grams (slightly less than a Sony a7rII battery). It’s really hard to find photographs that show its size. I’ll take some better ones when I return home, but if nothing else you can see it’s not that big. When I initially saw the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, I was surprised at how light and small it was. A few reviews said it’s bigger than others. Perhaps it is. I don’t own them all, so I can’t say too much here I guess. You’d have to be pretty damn fussy if you found this too big. In terms of weight, it’s a portable backup solution that’s a tenth of the weight of dedicated solutions.

It’s available in various sizes; 120GB, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB. You get about 460GB practical data with the 500GB model. I’d like the 1TB model but I cannot afford it. When you have this much speed, it’s really easy to eat into that amount of data.

Reviewing an SSD without actually showing how fast it is, is kind of lame. However, SSDs have limited write cycles (if you write too much, eventually they stop working) and I wasn’t given this item, so there’s only so much testing I’m willing to do. In practical usage, when backing up photographs, it’ll be a lot lot faster than your SD card. With my phone, I easily crossed the 220MB/sec mark with Sony a7rII raw files. Transferring a single file might be faster, and I believe their 500MB/sec claim as I know the kind of drives that’re typically in these things (m.2 SSD usually).

This will give you a rough idea about its size and the other items you’ll need to backup photographs from an SD card. You’ll notice that the plug is well machined. If you look at certain USB C cables, their plug has a little machining mark on the bottom. This doesn’t have that, it’s all one piece of metal. There’s a little adaptor included, and it keeps the weight down. The cable isn’t ridiculously long either. It’s shy of half a foot long.

This is an uncompressed raw photograph being loaded adobe photoshop :).

In terms of pricing… I think reviewing a product and giving it a positive or negative due to price, is a bit of an awkward thing to do. Prices change. Prices vary in area. People know the price before they read a review. People are able to search prices themselves… Okay, okay, it’s clear I hate mentioning prices in reviews :). But… Portable backup solutions are so complicated. You can have a do-it-all-no-phone-needed device for several hundred pounds that weighs a tonne. Various SD cards that’re all different prices. m.2 drives, etc. You can pretty much achieve the same thing with any of these. At the time of writing, I paid about £10 more for it than if I made one myself with a USB-C enclosure. Why didn’t I do that then? Quite simple really. I ordered one, and it was dead on arrival. This however was not. The build quality of this feels better and as it’s mass produced, it’s probably designed in a way that’s more durable. If respectable companies were making decent enclosures, perhaps things would be different but most m.2 enclosures are not great.

Final notes regarding the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

It draws a fair amount of current. If I’d like one improvement, it’s that drives consume less battery (they’re all like this, so there’s not much you can do).

You can loop paracord through it which is a nice touch.

There’s nothing really surprising about it and drives are fairly simple in how they operate, so I can’t say too much. It certainly seems like a nice device to have, and I’m glad I picked it over the Samsung T5.

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