August 10, 2022
SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD (1TB) Review

Most portable SSDs these days use the standard USB 3.0 interface (also advertised as USB 3.1), which is a bottleneck in terms of speed. Sure, there are high-end and entry-level options, but manufacturers rely more on design and marketing to position different products. SanDisk has decided to raise the bar for performance and also opted for a rugged aesthetic for its Extreme Pro Portable SSD. This model is designed to be resistant to water and dust, which is always a good thing. The primary target audience is those who require high performance when working outside, such as creative professionals who are constantly on the go.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro closely resembles the SanDisk Extreme, but the two should not be confused. We’re reviewing the more premium model today, which promises faster data transfer and an aluminum frame for improved heat dissipation and stiffness. Both models are IP55 rated, which means they can withstand exposure to water and a fair amount of dust for a few minutes.

Sandisk, the sister brand of WD and G-Technology under the Western Digital umbrella, is very well known for its SD cards and USB flash drives. This portable SSD fits somewhere between the stylish WD My Passport SSD and the ultra-tough G-Technology G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series. Let’s see if it can stand out from its siblings as well in the market as a whole.

IMG 20200420 144817 Rear Sandisk

The back is made of rubberized plastic material

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD Design and Features

Portable SSD may be very small but it is bigger than what we usually see. It’s flat and slanted, but it should fit comfortably in most pockets and hardly take up any room in a gear bag. The front is plastic with a pattern of dots and the rear gets a rubberized texture for grip. Unfortunately both these materials and textures pick up a lot of dust and lint. The drive is difficult to keep clean, and even when unpacked brand new from its factory-sealed box, we had to clean it.

The front and back of the plastic appear black but are actually a very deep bluish-gray color when viewed in direct light. There’s a bright orange metal rim running around the perimeter and a USB Type-C port attached at the bottom. Surprisingly, there is no LED to let you know when the drive is actively in use.

There is definitely an orange-rimmed cutout in one corner that immediately grabs attention. It almost looks like a carabiner clip that could be used to hook this SSD to a bag or belt, which is in keeping with the rugged theme.

We’re not completely sold on the color combination and texture that SanDisk went with. In particular, we quickly annoyed that we had to keep doing a full wipe off the Extreme Pro SSD every time we took it out of the pocket or picked it up from the table. On the plus side, it stands out and feels likely to be able to survive the rough treatment, unlike many other portable SSDs.

sandisk extremepro angle ndtv sandisk

Orange accents give a unique look to the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD Specification and Performance

SanDisk claims a speed of 1050 Mbps and clarifies that this only applies to sequential reads – many manufacturers are happy to let you know that their claims apply to all speeds, not just the best-case scenario. The higher speed is thanks to the USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps) protocol which is twice as fast as standard USB 3.0 (yes, the naming of these standards is messed up). You will of course need a laptop or desktop that supports this standard as well.

You can get the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. The device supports 128-bit software AES encryption that you can configure using the downloadable SanDisk SecureAccess app. The five-year warranty is a pleasant surprise, as three years is the industry standard. Inside the sizable retail box, you’ll find a USB Type-C cable as well as a Type-A cable, so you can get to work right away, no matter what kind of computer you’re using.

We used an HP Specter x360 13 aw0205tu laptop to test the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD because it has Thunderbolt 3 ports that will allow us to measure the speed of this drive without a hitch. Windows showed 931.51GB of space available. SanDisk uses the exFAT file system by default which means you’ll have interoperability with Windows and macOS out of the box, although Time Machine on a Mac won’t work without reformatting (or partitioning) this drive.

The trusty CrystakDiskMark benchmark reported sequential read and write speeds of 959.5MBps and 960.7MBps, respectively, both of which are close to SanDisk’s claims, but not quite. Most consumer SSDs don’t get more than 450MBps. Random reads and writes are more representative of real-world conditions, and we saw speeds of 261.4 Mbps and 235.2 Mbps, respectively.

The Anvil Storage benchmark gave us a score of 2373.3 for reads and 2449.15 for writes, bringing an overall total of 4825.45. All of these scores are well above what we’ve seen from the Seagate One Touch SSD and even the HyperX Savage Exo. Unless you use a PC with a USB 3.1 (Gen2) port or Thunderbolt 3, which can fall back at this speed, you’ll see performance that’s almost twice as high as most consumer portable SSDs out there today.

We felt the SanDisk Extreme Pro’s body getting quite hot when heavily stressed with our tests and large file copy operations. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain about.

sandisk extremepro bottom ndtv sandisk

There’s a USB Type-C port on the bottom, and you get Type-C as well as Type-A cables in the box.

Decision

The SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD stands out in the market for its high performance, setting the standard for a new class of devices. The IP55-rated body and generous warranty period are bound to appeal to buyers as well. However, this model has the same design and name as the SanDisk Xtreme. That model is slick and made of plastic, which makes it more pedestrian. It would be very easy to pick the wrong one by mistake.

If you have a high-end computer with a fast enough USB port, you’ll be all set. Of course you can get back to work at a lower speed but that defeats the purpose of spending that much money.

Speaking of money, the 1TB version of the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD, which we tested, retails for Rs. 19,999 in India, which is almost double the sales of popular models like the popular Samsung SSD T5. We expect the price to drop over time. For now, if you don’t have a need for speed, you’ll be happy with a more mainstream option.

Price (MOP): Rupee. 19,999 (1TB)

professionals

  • Fast USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Connectivity
  • IP55 dust and water resistant
  • light and easy to carry

Shortcoming

  • very expensive
  • Dust and dirt sticks out

ratings

  • Display: 4.5
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4

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