SanDisk Ex­treme 500 Por­ta­ble SSD

£70 inc VAT (31p per GB) •

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS - Jim Martin

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


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 120-, 240- 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.

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).

Fea­tures and de­sign

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

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. It comes with SanDisk Se­cureAc­cess. This is easy to set up and al­lows you to en­crypt files with 128-bit AES en­cryp­tion. By de­fault, the drive is for­mat­ted with exFAT, which means it’s 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.


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. 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.


For those that need high-speed por­ta­ble stor­age, the SanDisk Ex­treme 500 is a solid choice. Ca­pac­i­ties ex­tend to 480GB, which should be fine for most peo­ple. If you need more, look no fur­ther than the Sam­sung T3.

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