Review: SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD–A Drive for All Reasons
SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD
The SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD offers a great looking drive with a compact and durable design. Not the cheapest drive on the market, but its features and SanDisk reliability provide off-sets that most will find worth the extra dollars.
There is just something futuristic looking about the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD. Orange and black. Rounded edges. A single USB-C port. Oh, and read speeds up to 1050 MB/s.
What we like
Taking a lot of stuff on the road with only a 64GB iPad in tow. While business travel may still seem far away, travel from one room for work or entertainment has become is pretty common. And if you don’t have a completely cloud-based personal storage architecture, which most people don’t, accessing large files, like video for storage starved devices, presents a challenge. Those videos on the Extreme Pro go where you go. And for those creating rather than consuming video, the size and speed of this drive should address most needs.
Worried about losing the drive? No worries. The top notch makes for easy attachment to bag and backpack clips (and nicely, it isn’t a clip itself; nothing to break or get tangled up with when connected to a clip). Unlike often left behind flash drives, the Extreme Pro proves just big enough to be noticed.
And where the drives goes, it goes with a dust and water-resistant protective IP55 rated envelop around it–without a port cover. What is peace of mind for an SSD? A 5-year warranty wrapped in a durable silicon rubber-coated aluminum case that can survive a 2-meter drop onto a solid floor.
The real test of any drive, however, is speed. I already mentioned the 1050 MB/s max read estimate. SanDisk delivers those bits over a 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe™) tech fuels the Extreme Pro extremeness (read more about Western Digital’s NVMe here).
I didn’t formally benchmark the SanDisk Extreme PRO, but I did copy over 702GBs of very large files (1GB+ media files) to the drive from a standard, spinning disk portable USB-C HD. I connected the drives directly to the dual USB-C ports on my HP Dragonfly. The files copied in less than 2 hours. Similar backups previously clocked in at 5 hours or more with other hardware and port configurations. Buyers perceive speed more than they measure it and this drive offers a clear perception of speed when compared to similarly-sized drives from other manufacturers.
The 4.34 x 2.26 x 0.4 inche, 79g drive also ships with SecureAccess, an app for creating 128-bit AES encrypted data vaults. Not as secure or as fast as encrypted drives with onboard support, but adequate for protecting more personal and business data in day-to-day situations. (See our review of the Kensington IronKey for additional thoughts on strong encryption drives).
The Extreme Pro arrives exFAT formatted for PC and Mac compatibility. It also includes both USB Type-C and Type-A.
I tested the 1TB drive, which also comes in 500GB and 2TB configurations. Like most other SanDisk drives, retailers like Amazon, BestBuy regularly discount the drive. While the standard retail price is high at $279, the street price compares much more favorably to the competition. At the time of writing this review, the Western Digital store and Amazon both listed the 1TB version at $189.99. Amazon listed a competitive Samsung drive discounted to $159.99 (Oct 6, 2020).
SanDisk delivers the Extreme Pro via mostly paper-based packaging, save the retail clip and loops around the USB cables.
What could be improved
The features that can be improved, will likely be improved over time. The size will shrink, capacities will rise, and future versions will likely be even better insulated from the ravages of water, dust. and clumsiness. The Extreme Pro showcases a vast improvement over the diamond-shaped Extreme 500 Portable drive design with its port covers that often caught and tore during travel and use.
SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD: The Bottom Line
There is a lot of like about the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD. Rugged, light, fast, and it gives off a futuristic vibe. Pricer, but also more durable than the competition. Highly recommended as a portable companion for taking files on the road, or backing large caches of video or audio, personally or professionally where trust and performance matter. Videographers, video editors, and recording engineers should love this drive.
Western digital provided a 1TB SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD for review purposes.
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Daniel W. Rasmus
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.