Expert Review

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Portable SSD

High-speed storage for hi-res photos and videos on the go!

In a world where file sizes are ballooning, storage costs are plummeting and capacities are exploding, consumers and professionals alike are demanding even more from their storage devices. Increases in digital storage capacities have meant there is an increased reliance upon digital storage. With the value of the data far outstripping the value of the storage medium, reliability and robustness have never been more important. Meanwhile, few people have the time, the patience (or storage capacity on their laptops) to transfer colossal files to and from a computer, just to be able to perform basic editing.

In the past you would need to make sacrifices like high speeds and low capacities or high capacities and slow speeds. Adding robustness and portability to the mix would push already-high prices into the stratosphere and introduce a multitude of other compromises.

The good news is that, it does not need to be that way anymore. You can now have it all and it needn’t cost the earth. So, whether you’re a designer, illustrator, drone operator, photographer, videographer or another type of creative professional (or if you’re simply a demanding enthusiast!), check out SanDisk’s 5 things to consider when buying a portable SSD.

1. Fast Transfer Speeds

The modern-day, gargantuan file sizes of RAW photos and video footage mean that the old workflow of transferring files to a computer before organising and editing them is becoming increasingly untenable. However, thanks to the proliferation of super-fast interfaces, like USB 3.1 Gen.2, the potential for fast transfers is now possible on most, modern computers. This is something that the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD caters towards: they come with the new, standard, USB-C connector but, if you need it, there’s a USB-A converter too. With speeds starting at 550 MB/s, there won’t be much waiting around.

2. Ability to edit directly on the device

What’s faster than speedy transfer speeds? The answer is, not having to transfer anything in the first place! The SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD uses Western Digital’s proprietary NVMe technology which almost-totally eliminates bottlenecks. By supporting transfer rates up to 1,050 MB/s, you can edit photos and footage while they stay on the drive. This will be transformative to creative professionals who no longer need to wait around for file transfers or check that there’s enough storage space on their computer for a new project.

3. Portability

Although 8K video is only now hitting the mainstream, creative professionals have been needing to carry many Terabytes of heavy, high-performance storage into the field with them for years already. Both the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD each weigh less than 80g and can fit in your pocket. They’re perfect for field work and drone operation.

4. Capacity

How much capacity you require will depend on each individual use-case. But, in the current market, hundreds of Megabytes should be the minimum while Terabytes are ideal. The diminutive SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD is currently available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB varieties, and they cost a very reasonable $259, $399 and $799 respectively, so adding multiple units is not unaffordable – especially for professionals whose livelihoods depend upon them. If you don’t need the top (NVMe) speeds, but still want the features and capacity, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is also available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities for $149, $169, $299 and $599 respectively.

5. Robustness and Warranty

With great content comes great responsibility: if you’re shooting in the field, you need to know that your data is safe, whatever the weather, and that your storage can survive inevitable drops, knocks and spillages. SanDisk takes this responsibility seriously: both the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD are IP55 certified meaning that they can withstand significant contact with dust and liquids. Their ruggedized design is based around a forged aluminium structure that protects the SSD core and dissipates heat to keep everything running at top speed. The tough coating, made from a sturdy, silicon-rubber material, provides additional durability, vibration protection and high impact resistance. They can survive a temperature range between -20°C and 70°C and can operate from 0°C to 45°C. For even more peace of mind, SanDisk provides a three-year warranty for the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD, and a whopping five-year warranty for the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD.


Both the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD offer potentially transformative benefits – especially for creative professionals where time is money. The ability to work directly from a small portable drive will save considerable time and frustration for anyone that has had to deal with shifting large files around while those working in the field can potentially reduce the weight of their kit bag (or drone load) considerably.

If you want the robustness, portability and capacity of the SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD but don’t need its super-fast NVMe interface, you can save money and still enjoy all these features with the high-value SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD which still offers 500 MB/s transfer speeds!

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD and SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD is available now at JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks and Harvey Norman. Click here to find out more.

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IDG Online Staff

PC World
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