The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is designed to provide compact, fast, high capacity storage that can be carried and used virtually anywhere. Even outdoors, where conditions aren’t exactly perfect. SanDisk sent me one to try out and it lives up to the claims.
The Extreme part of this portable drive is its ruggedness. It carries an IP55 rating. SanDisk says it can stand up to water exposure including rain. It can also withstand limited dust exposure. It is vibration and shock-resistant, and able to operate in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The drive can also withstand a drop of up to 6.5 feet onto a concrete floor. It’s covered by a 3-year warranty. The rubberized drive case has rounded edges and includes an integrated loop, so you can attach it to a backpack with a carabiner clip.
So not indestructible, but able to take more punishment than an external drive should have to. It stood up to a few drops of three to four feet onto the hardwood, and sitting in a pool of water with a few splashes during my testing. No problem, just dry it off, plug it in, and the SanDisk Extreme portable SSD keeps on working.
The drive is quite small (3.79 x 1.95 x 0.35-inches). Connectivity and power is via USB-C with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port. The company includes a short USB-C cable, along with a handy USB Type-A adapter, for use with older PCs. Formatted as exFAT out of the box, it’s both macOS and Windows compatible and comes in capacities of 250GB, 500GB 1TB, and 2TB. It has optional 128AES encryption, although this is not hardware-based. You’ll need to use SanDisk’s SecureAccess software if you want your data safe from prying eyes as well as unexpected rain showers… This is included on the drive, but is PC only, although a Mac version is available for download.
It can be used with a Chromebook, although expect data transfer speeds to be slower (Chrome OS seems to have trouble with large files on external drives), and the AES software isn’t offered.
My review sample was the 1TB version, which had a $249.99 MSRP. I say “had” because, at the time of writing, SanDisk had reduced that price to $169.99, although I have no idea if that’s a limited time thing.
For the most part, I would be connecting to older Macs and Apple laptops, using a USB Type A port. So the top speed of the SSD (up to 550MB/s) is plenty fast enough. However, if you want more “extreme” transfer speeds, SanDisk has an option in the Extreme Pro version of this portable SSD. Visually, the Extreme Pro version looks identical, but inside it’s outfitted with NVME flash memory for transfer speeds that are nearly double—up to 1050MB/s. That extra speed does come at a premium price, though.
If you’re in the market for a rugged, speedy, and high capacity external drive, then the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a solid option. Especially at its current reduced prices.
Disclosure: SanDisk provided an Extreme Portable SSD for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.