The past few weeks I’ve been recovering from an injury and have had to limit how much weight I carry around. As someone who is running around with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV attached to me like an extension of myself and a bag full of heavy glass lenses, I know the benefit of product weight and found that it was quite difficult to limit my camera gear. One place I could make a change was with my portable storage. Never have I ever seen a hard drive as big in storage space but small in size as I have with the new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 2TB.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a tiny rugged drive that can transfer data at speeds up to 550 MB/s. It has an IP55 rating, which makes it dust resistant and water resistant up to low-pressure sprays of water. The hard drive can work with Windows and Mac, USB-C or USB-A. It’s equipped with a USB 3.1 Type-C connector and comes packaged with a Type-C to Type-C cable with a Type-C to Type-A adapter. The drive is available in four capacity sizes — 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. The drive also has access to SanDisk SecureAccess, which allows you to create a password-protected folder on your drive for private data. This feature does require special software that the user must install (included on the drive).
- Dimension: 0.348 x 1.951 x 3.787 in.
- Weight: 0.086 lbs
- Water Resistant: IP55 for water and dust resistance
- Interface: USB 3.1 (Gen 2)
- Operating Temperature: 32ºF to 113ºF (0ºC to 45ºC)
- Storage Temperature: -4ºF to 158ºF (-20ºC to 70ºC)
- Shock: Shock-resistant (up to 1500G) and vibration resistant (5g RMS, 10–2000HZ)
- Vibration: 5.35 gRMS, 20–2000 HZ
- Compatible With: Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows® 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS 10.4+
SanDisk always does a nice job with their product packaging and the box for the Extreme Portable SSD is no exception. The front of the box shows a nice image of the product with a quick look at the main features of the device. The back provides even more product details in a nice graphic layout. Inside the box, you will find the drive resting inside a cardboard tray. The aforementioned USB-C cable is stored below that and the SanDisk SSD safety and warranty guide are beneath the tray as well.
When the drive arrived, I couldn’t wait to try it out. But, I have to admit that at first, I thought the box was empty. It’s just insane how lightweight and small it is. Don’t let the size fool you as it’s incredibly fast and portable. When I first connected my drive it showed up on my Mac with no problems. The drive comes reformatted as Ex-FAT. Fortunately, I did not have to reformat it in order for it to work with my Mac. The SanDisk SecureAccess software is preloaded on the drive for Windows and instructions for Mac users are included as well. These files take up approximately 101MB on the drive. I did a quick System Report on the drive and analyzed the available space using Disk Utility. Both sources showed that the minuscule amount of files loaded on the drive did not affect the available space on the SSD.
When I get a hard drive to test out, I usually run two main speed tests. The first is to have the Blackmagic Speedtest app run a stress test. I did this by selecting the SSD as the target drive and choosing 5GB as the stress test option. I was very pleased with the results. While it didn’t reach the 550 MB/s read/write speed that SanDisk suggested the drive maxed out at, it does get pretty close at 475.9/518.9. The second test I did was to transfer a file from my MacBook Pro to the SSD. The file was 2.36GB in size and it took approximately 5.49 seconds to transfer. That equates to a transfer rate of 429.8 MB/s. This is less than the Blackmagic Speed Test detected, but still respectable.
I really have no complaints with the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. I did notice though that it collects heat while connected to a computer. I noticed this at first when the drive was plugged into my computer for less than 10 minutes. In that instance, the drive measured 100.4º F near the connection port. Not too long after that, I decided to take another reading and discovered that it had a reading of 112º and finally I got 116º. Despite the heat collection, the drive continued to perform normally.
Last, but certainly not least, I installed the SanDisk SecureAccess on the drive. The interesting thing about the software is that it lives on the hard drive and isn’t actually stored on your computer. You will only have access to it when the drive is plugged into your machine. It’s a simple installation and set-up for this system. You create a password and then you drag/drop files into the dashboard. The files are then locked in that folder and can only be accessed when you enter your password. The only thing I don’t particularly like about this is that a set of files and folders are loaded onto the SSD and you can’t move them. It just causes a bit of desktop clutter that I’d rather not see.
While I am a straight up ambassador for RAID devices for the true protection of your data, having amazing portable drives is also a must. This is a drive I can have with me everywhere and I do because of its size and weight. It’s a MUST have external-drive for everyone.
Originally published at macsources.com on August 22, 2018.