SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2

      Photo Review 8.8


      In summary

      The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has a compact size, rugged construction, IP55 shock-, dust- and water-resistance rating and compatibility with both USB-C and the older USB-A interfaces.

      With an increasing number of devices supporting USB 3.2 connectivity it will suit users who need fast data transfer speeds, while not leaving behind users of the older, slower USB 2.0 High-Speed devices. The bundled SanDisk’s Security software also provides access to password protection and basic data encryption.

      The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD will suit photographers and videographers who require high-capacity data storage while on-the-go.


      Full review

      SanDisk’s second-generation Extreme Portable SSDs, which come in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB (and in some places 4TB) capacities are small enough to slip into a pocket, making them convenient accessories for photographers and videographers who want to move large quantities of image data, Offering native support for USB 3.2 Gen 2, which boasts speeds up to 20Gb/second, they are also compatible with the slower USB 3.2 Gen 1 technology and can be used with USB 2.0 systems. We were supplied with a 1TB drive for this review.

      The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2. (Source: Western Digital.)

      These drives are with Windows and macOS, as well as being IP55 rated. This indicates they have been tested for dust protections (although not completely dust-tight) and will withstand low-pressure water jets from all directions (but not total immersion in water). They can also survive a two metre drop.

      In the pack you’ll find the drive itself plus a short USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter. A printed ‘safety and warranty guide’ is also provided.

      Unfortunately, purchasing a drive is far from straightforward. Manufacturer, Western Digital, makes three very similar-looking products: the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD, SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Portable SSD, and they come in similar packaging. Each line is characterised by its data transfer speed; but some lines are available in first and second generations that differ substantially in price and performance.

      The key difference between the two generations is that the second-generation models provide almost twice the speed of the previous versions. Unfortunately, some online re-sellers don’t make the differences clear and many are still offering the first generation drives, so it’s important to read the labelling on the package carefully so you’re certain of getting the product that meets your needs.

      Consumers looking for a second-generation Extreme Portable SSD should ensure the speeds description (circled in green) on the front of the packaging is listed as 1050/1000MB/s. The Extreme PRO Portable SSDs show speeds of 2000MB/s.

      To assist readers when choosing, the table below compares key features of the three second-generation product lines.

      SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD SanDisk Portable SSD
      Max. read/write speeds 2000MB/s 100MB/s 520MB/s
      Security features Password protection with the ability to upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption SecureAccess protection
      Capacities 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB 480GB, 1TB, 2TB
      Warranty 5 years (limited) 3 years (limited)
      RRPs (AU$) $399 for 1TB and $749 for 2TB $189 for 500GB, $319 for 1TB, and $629 for 2TB $149 for 480GB, $269 for 1TB and $529 for 2TB

      Who’s it For?
      Size-wise an Extreme Portable SSD sits between thumb drives and the larger rectangular units pioneered by Samsung. Targeted at users who are likely to require storage in challenging conditions, these drives are ideal for backing up image and video files on the go.

      These SSDs are designed to work with both Windows and Mac operating systems and come with a USB 3.1 Type-C connector and also includes a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a Type-C to Type-A adapter. A 5-year warranty – which covers the drive and supplied software for ‘normal use’, is provided.

      Other handy features include a carabiner loop that makes it easy to attach the drive to a belt loop, camera bag or backpack. Professional users can benefit from the ability to use password protection to prevent misuse of content. For even greater security, an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption is available.

      SanDisk’s security software is bundled with each drive.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Structurally, SSDs are relatively simple devices. The V2 drives are slightly larger than the original models, measuring 100.54 x 52.42 x 8.95 mm and weighing a little less than 63 grams. But they have the same durable silicone shell with a non-slip cladding and the same integrated carabiner loop.

      This diagram shows the structure of SanDisk’s
      Extreme Portable SSDs. (Source: Western Digital.)

      Internally, you’ll find an M.2 form factor NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) SSD chip, which is similar to those found in WD’s MyPassport SSDs. Above the solid state drive is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 system-side interface bridge, topped by a durable APS cover, as shown in the diagram above.

      We borrowed a laptop with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor to test the supplied unit so we could use an up-to-date USB-C to USB-C interface. We also ran tests on our Windows computer, which has an Intel Core i7-7700 CPU running at 3.60GHz and mainly USB-A connections, although it did have an older USB-C port, which was a bit on the slow side for obtaining the best performance from this drive.

      Our tests involved copying a 50GB folder containing a mixture of image, video and text files from the computer to the SanDisk drive. We repeated this test three times and averaged the results.

      With the faster laptop, the folder took roughly two minutes on average to copy to the SanDisk SSD via the USB- C connection and slightly longer to copy the folder back to the laptop. When copying with the desktop PC with the USB 2.0 High-Speed port using the supplied USB-C to USB-A adaptor, copying the folder took approximately 24 minutes.  We also moved the folder back to a five-year-old MyPassport 500GB portable HDD connected to the desktop computer, a process that took just over 41 minutes.


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      Device type: Solid State Drive (SSD)
      Systems Compatibility: Windows from Windows 8, Mac from OS 10.6+
      Interface: USB 3.2 Gen 2 (backward compatible with USB 3.2 Gen 1)
      Data transfer rate: Up to 1050MB/s read and up to 1000MB/s write
      Durability: IP55 rated for dust- and- water resistance, shock resistant to 1500G
      Password protection with optional 256-bit AES encryption upgrade
      Power supply: From connected computer or device
      Formatting: Preformatted ex-FAT for PC and Mac compatibility; can be reformatted and repartitioned by user
      Operating Vibration: 5.0 gRMS, 10-2000 Hz
      In the box: Extreme Portable SSD, USB-C to USB-C cable, USB-C to USB-A adaptor, printed safety and warranty guide
      Dimensions (LxWxH): 100.54 x 52.42 x 8.95 mm
      Weight: 62.5 grams

      DistributorWestern Digital (Products sold through local photo specialist stores)



      RRP: AU$319 (for 1TB unit, as reviewed)

      • Build: 8.8
      • Ease of Use: 9.0
      • Software: 8.8