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

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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 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. 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