I’d have dearly loved to spec my new MacBook Pro with the 2TB SSD option. However it’s an eye-watering £720 extra to go from 1TB to 2TB (and that’s on top of the already expensive £360 to go from the standard 512GB to the 1TB). We won’t even talk about the cost of the 4TB option.
For example, Final Cut X projects can be huge but you can move them to an external device, although spinning drives aren’t an option for 4K video editing.
Another way to lighten the load comes via the most recent Logic Pro X update where Apple have added the ability to relocate its huge sound library to an external drive too.
But for me it’s my photos that are really taking up most space, as I write this half of that build in 1TB SSD (492GB to be exact) are being taken up with my Lightroom Library.
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So with this in mind I’ve been following the prices of small, fast external SSD’s from the likes of Samsung and WD over the last few months. Then in November the The 1TB version of the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD dropped to below £200.
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
The SanDisk Extreme is a little 5cm x 9.5cms slab that’s just 8mm thick and tips the scales at a feather wight 39 grammes. It’s available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB versions, all with USB-C. I love the short (17cm) USB-C to USB-C lead that comes with it, perfect for laying the unit beside my laptop.
SanDisk bundle their SecureAccess software (Mac or PC) allowing you to encrypt the drive and there’s a USB-C to USB-A adaptor included too.
The advertised speeds are ‘up to 550 MB/S’ and we found real world performance of this USB 3.1 Gen 2 drive wasn’t far off that.
For comparison I backed up 830GB of data using Carbon Copy Cloner on the Mac.
The backup to the SanDisk took just 49 minutes, compared to 3 hours and 48 minutes using my external USB3 spinning drive!
This is a silent, rugged, IP55 water and dust resistant, shock-resistant (up to an incredible 1500G) little unit.
The carabiner eye looks funky, but I don’t see myself ever hanging this off my clothing or backpack, so I guess the unit could have had even less volume without it. This is about the only niggle I can come up with.
Prices seem pretty volatile at the minute, moving between around £260 and £180 for the 1TB over the last month, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for a deal.
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