SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD full review

SanDisk is well known for its flash memory, and the Extreme 500 is a portable SSD which joins the ranks of the company’s well-known SD cards and USB flash drives. Unlike many portable drives, this one should withstand life on the road as it’s both dust and water (well, splash) resistant. Also see: Best portable hard drives

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB review: Price 

The price of flash memory is slowly dropping, but we’re still a long way from a time when solid-state storage is as cheap as traditional hard drives. The Extreme 500 costs around 30p per GB and is available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. 

We tested the 240GB model, which costs £70. That might seem expensive, but it wasn’t long ago that SSDs were twice as costly as this. You can find it on Amazon UK for £70.02 and on Amazon US for $92.99.

If you need a drive that’s properly waterproof, there’s the Extreme 510, but this is only available in a 480GB capacity for £199 (slightly over 40p per GB). 

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB review: Design and features 

SanDisk’s portable SSD is so light, it almost feels almost like a toy. Its diamond shape casing is unusual, as is the position of the USB port on one corner. That port itself is unusual because – rather than using a modern, reversible USB-C – Samsung has gone for an older microUSB 3.0 connector. Also see: Best NAS drives.

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB - Windows 10

This is protected from the elements by a rubber cover and on the opposite side is a loop so you can attach it to a lanyard, your keys or even your camera.

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB - Software

It comes with SanDisk SecureAccess. This is easy to setup and allows you to encrypt files with 128-bit AES encryption. By default the drive is formatted with exFAT – this makes it compatible with most devices. Note, though, that it comes with only a standard USB cable, so it’s not easy to connect to a phone.

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB review: Performance

SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD 240GB - CrystalDiskMark

Performance is in line with our expectations, and only slightly behind its competitors. In CrystalDiskMark’s sequential read test, it managed just shy of 400MB/s, and then roughly half that in the read test. Only Adata’s SE730 is significantly quicker at writing. Also see: How to build a PC.

The Extreme 500’s 4KB performance isn’t too bad either, writing at 3.7MB/s and reading at almost 20MB/s. Again, it was outperformed in the write test by the Adata, but that drive also costs a lot more per GB.


SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD: Specs

  • Price per GB (at tested capacity): 31p
  • Capacity tested: 240GB
  • Capacity range: 120-, 240-, 480GB
  • Storage Type: NAND Flash SSD
  • Sequential performance: 398.3/203.4MB/s
  • 4K performance: 19.8/3.7MB/s
  • Interfaces: USB 3.0
  • Encryption: 128-bit AES encryption
  • Software: SanDisk SecureAccess
  • Dimensions: 75.7x75.7x10.7mm
  • Weight: 78.9g
  • Warranty: 3 years

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