The SanDisk Extreme Portable Solid-State Drive lineup has been considered to be the best portable SSD products out there by many for at least a few years now. The latest-generation V2 iterations come in a standard and PRO configurations with the main differences landing, for the most part, in the data transfer speeds and build material categories. Nonetheless, both models are easily among the best portable SSD solutions for just about anyone’s EDC, whether you’re a photographer, video-based content creator, or just someone looking for a high-quality solution for speedy backups and on-person storage – some folks even use them to store PS5 games and the like. But with a chance to go hands-on with the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable Solid-State Drive V2 recently, I just had to get a closer look and finally put the seemingly best-in-class portable SSD lineup to the test for myself.
SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 review
I have long since been a user of the G-Drive portable SSD solutions – I use them on-the-go and in my home music recording/content creation studio to store sound libraries, art content, raw video files for editing, and more. But just about everywhere I turn, folks are raving about the SanDisk Extreme Portable Solid-State Drives, not to mention being one of the most popular products on 9to5Toys for the last year or more and especially so over the holidays in 2021. Therefore, it was only right we go hands-on with the Red Dot Product Design Award-winning V2 PRO model to take a closer look. While we are taking the 2TB PRO model to task here, much of the details will be relevant to the more affordable 1TB solution, as it is identical otherwise, as well as the standard edition Extreme V2 drives.
Quick look specs:
- NVMe solid-state performance— 2000MB/s read/write
- Nearly 2x as fast as previous generations
- Forged aluminum chassis acts as a heatsink
- Drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance
- Included hardware encryption
- Compatibility with a range of USB Type-C smartphones
- Handy carabineer loop
- 5-year limited warranty
The actual packaging of the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable Solid-State Drive V2 isn’t anything to write home about. You’re looking at a standard retail box with one of those horrible little flimsy plastic white inserts housing the drive and a small paper leaflet with warranty information, along with the included USB-C and USB-C to USB-A connection cables nestled underneath. There’s certainly no Apple-level of quality and care on the box here – not that I or likely anyone expected that – with all of the focus clearly left on the impressively small and robust portable SSD drive
The SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable Solid-State Drive V2 measures out at 4.36-inches long by 2.28-inches wide and just 0.41-inches in depth – it is much smaller in person than those measurements made it seem for me, and in the best way possible as far as I’m concerned.
One of the elements of the SanDisk 2TB Extreme lineup that always been championed by folks that have been willing to lay down the relatively steep price tag here is the build quality – it is also the main reason it won the aforementioned Red Dot award. Not only was it quite impressive just to see the tiny little drive in the box upon first opening it, but it also feels particularly robust and well made in my hands. As someone who can be, for better or worse, immediately turned off by the look and feel of cheap plastics and other materials in that category, I was immediately impressed here.
The Extreme PRO is housed in a “forged aluminum chassis” that doubles as a heatsink of sorts and wrapped in a rubbery-feeling silicone shell. The backside is completely covered in this silicone treatment while the front leaves a sort of slightly textured panel with the metal exposed. That aesthetic touch is joined by what I would refer to as a striking orange metal striping carried throughout the slightly angled outer edge of the device, surrounding the USB-C jack along the bottom, and the inner edge of the carabineer loop in the top right corner. I’m not the type to leave a $330+ SSD dangling from a carabiner hook anytime soon, but the metal-reinforced loop certainly helps the case and in my tests (both inside of a bag and on my belt loop) it was quite sturdy and reliable.
It is a wonderful looking design that seems robust enough to handle the 2-meter drop protection SanDisk touts here. The Extreme moniker also refers to its ability to be an ideal option for the adventure type, snapping photographs in rough terrain, making films out in the woods, and the IP55 water and dust resistance is also a nice touch. You won’t catch me doing much of this, or at least not to any extreme that would be a valuable marker of how robust this thing actually is – there are certainly more protected SSD models out there with giant rubber bumpers surrounding the tech inside with serious crush resistance – but it was more than capable of bouncing around in my backpack and dealing with the harsh winter weather for a few hours in my tests.
Considering how thin the design is, the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable Solid-State Drive V2 is easily the most sleek solution firmly placed in the rugged category that I have ever used. It will almost certainly be able to handle the toughest conditions your average user would ever need it for.
Data transfer speed test
SanDisk states the Extreme PRO V2 lineup can throw your data around at an impressive 2,000MB/s with the standard model clocking in at 1,500MB/s. If you’re anything like me, outside of just comparing these numbers to competing products, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. I’m sure you could find some technical benchmarks for these drives elsewhere, but again, the particular conditions with which these tests are done, in many cases, don’t mean much to your average user like me. All of these things are highly dependent on the bus speed of the actual gear folks have in front of them, the cable they are using, and so on. So let’s do a quick test with some run-of-the-mill connections on gear most people will actually have access to.
In our case today, we are connecting the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable Solid-State Drive V2 with the included USB-C cable to the latest-generation Mac mini:
Copying my “Logic” folder – a collection of Logic Pro sessions, album art work, a slew of photographs, a smattering of audio files, some Final Cut sessions and content, and some TextEdit documents – from my internal Mac mini SSD over to the Extreme PRO was quite fast.
You’re looking at 34.56GB (or about 5,266 items) in just over two minutes time. Again, this isn’t the most technical of benchmarks, but certainly one that your average customer can use to get a better idea of how long typical transfers might take out in the field on current generation machines with USB-C connectivity. Obviously, things will slow down a bit over standard USB connections and the like.
Conclusion – the best portable SSD out there
In the end, the SanDisk 2TB Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 now sits atop my list of the best portable SSD solution on the market. There are more protective options out there for hardcore adventurers, but none quite as sleek to me, and for my particular use case, this as about as robust as I’ll ever need it. The transfer speeds are also about as fast as I’ll ever require, and for my money, I’ll always be looking towards SanDisk’s Extreme line from now on.
Sure, the price isn’t exactly the most affordable at around $210 for the 1TB model and more like $330 for the 2TB solution, but price drops have been hitting quite regularly. And you can always drop down to the standard edition offering for a slightly less protective solution without as effective a built-in heatsink feature, but suffice it say those options are likely the best there is in that $89 and up price range anyway.
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