Review: SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – Is It Any Good?

There are a lot of impressive portable solid-state-drives (SSD) out there, but what people look for usually boils down to three things: affordability, convenience, and speed. The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD ($279 for 1TB) excels in these areas. It’s extremely fast and can be connected through USB Type-C and USB Type-A cables, taking away the need for annoying adapters. While its cost per gigabyte is a bit steep, it’s not as off-putting as rival portable SSDs. The SanDisk Extreme PRO will be a great investment for those who really need the space and speed.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD Overview

Speed – The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD uses lightning-fast NVMe technology that significantly increases transfer rates to as much as 1050 MB/s. You can even edit files straight from the drive.

Rugged – It has a water-proof protective case that keeps your files secure no matter where you go. Whether you’re a traveler/photographer who has to store mountains of files on-the-go or your job requires you to transfer files from computer to computer, your files are always protected.

Best for photos – Photographers will benefit the most out of the SanDisk Extreme PRO. It can handle massive file sizes for faster workflow.

Warranty – The SanDisk Extreme PRO comes with a two-meter drop protection and a five-year warranty.

Pocket-sized – It’s tiny and lightweight, making it ideal for travel. The portable SSD makes it easy to take your content with you wherever you go.

SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD Review

For those who handle hundreds of gigabytes of data every day, transferring data from drive to drive can take a long time — in some cases, even hours, depending on the kind of storage device used. While some people might not mind the wait, those who need lightning-speed transfer rates will want the fastest SSD in the market.

SanDisk’s Extreme PRO Portable SSD is powered by super-fast NVMe. It has a sequential performance of 1050 MB/s and uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface. The SSD comes in capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, with an average cost of $0.22 – $0.24 per gigabyte. The drive is formatted as exFAT which means it can be used on both Windows and Mac OS straight from the box. The SanDisk Extreme PRO also supports Trim and S.M.A.R.T. data reporting.

Appearance and Design

The Extreme PRO features a rugged black and orange case that is designed to protect your data. Though rugged-looking, it is still lightweight, and measures just 4.34 x 2.26 x 0.4 inches at 79 grams. It is outfitted in an aluminum body that features a triangular hole in the corner, which can be used to clip keys and flash drives.

Personally, we think that the hole wasn’t necessary. Attaching keys will just add to the bulk, thus defeating its purpose of being portable and lightweight. The hole looks cool, but we don’t see ourselves using it other than to clip it to our belt or backpack for easy access.

The SanDisk Extreme PRO boasts an Ingress Protection rating of IP55, which is no surprise since it’s a shock-proof, dust-proof, and water-resistant unit. The SanDisk should be able to survive a six-foot drop or a few splashes of rain, but it definitely can’t be submerged in water, buried beneath the sand, etc. The USB port has no cover, making it exposed at all times. The SanDisk Extreme PRO is a durable SSD, but it isn’t totally indestructible.

One missing feature is the activity light. It’s not a necessary feature but it is a nice added touch. Having an activity light can let you know when data is being read or written. Since the SanDisk Extreme PRO doesn’t make noise to signify activity, a small LED light would be helpful.

Speed Test

SanDisk claims that the Extreme PRO has a sequential read and write of 1,050 MB/s using WD NVMe Architecture. We put the SSD to the test by using BlackMagic 3.1, a drive-testing tool that can determine if a drive can perform well when working with large file sizes, typically videos and photos. The SanDisk Extreme PRO scored impressively and had a faster write speed than the Crucial X8.

Drag-and-Drop Test

The fastest way to do a drag-and-drop sped test is to hold a stopwatch while copying 1.5GB worth of data containing different file types, like images, full-length movies, and documents onto the SanDisk Extreme PRO. This offers a basic overview of the transfer speeds that people might encounter when performing everyday tasks. The SanDisk Extreme PRO was able to copy 1.5GB of data in less than 4 seconds.

Sustained Write Performance and Temperature

Write speed and temperature should always be measured when reviewing an SSD. We threw the Extreme PRO to one last test to test its writing speed — this time, to the drive’s full span. This test determines whether or not the drive has a pseudo-SLC cache, which is basically the part that absorbs incoming write loads.

We also logged the temperature through S.M.A.R.T. data to see if the device gets hot when writing massive amounts of data, and how the heat (if any) affects the performance. We tested this in an air-conditioned office, so results may vary on the ambient temperature.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO doesn’t have an SLC cache. It has an impressive sequential write performance and will write at around 1 GB/s until full. The temperature had no dramatic effects on performance. The SSD became warm to the touch but not to the point of being scalding.

Software and Components

SanDisk Extreme PRO comes with 2 USB cables (one USB Type-C to Type C, and one USB Type-C to Type-A) that’s around twelve inches long. The SSD also comes with free software called SecureAccess which can be used to create a virtual “data vault” that is AES encrypted. It’s a decent freebie but it only provides minimal security. If you’re looking for enhanced protection, you should consider getting full 256-bit encryption software instead.


Going on a year-long adventure to kickstart your career as a travel vlogger? Trekking through the woods to take stunning pictures? With its rugged design, the Extreme PRO is built to safeguard your data no matter what the conditions are. And since it can connect to almost any computer with its varied USB interface, you can access and edit your files on any device.

Although the SanDisk Extreme PRO will cost you a hefty amount of money, it’s a reasonable price to pay for premium write speeds and a 5-year warranty that will ease all of our worries. If you’re searching for a professional SSD that can stay with you in the long-run, the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD is a nice choice.

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