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Crucial X9 Pro Review: A Surprisingly Fast, Spacious, and Compact Portable SSD

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Over two years ago, I reviewed the Micron Crucial X6 and thought it was the tiniest portable SSD that's fast and spacious. I'd sound like a broken record today if you asked me to describe the company's latest portable SSD, the Crucial X9 Pro.

And I'd only be more right. The new drive is even tinier than its older cousin and topped the performance charts for all USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) portable SSDs. And it's also available in up to 4TB of storage space.

Micron announced the Crucial X9 Pro late last month with the Crucial X10 Pro, which shares the same physical design and capacities but has the faster USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps) standard.

Like the previous Crucial portable SSDs, including the X8 and X6, the new X9 Pro is a simple plug-and-play storage device. With a friendly cost starting at $80 for 1TB, it's an excellent drive to bring on the go or connect to your computer or game console to instantly increase the storage space. Get one today!

Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD Includes a USB C Cable
The Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD includes a short USB-C cable.

Crucial X9 Pro: An sweet-spot portable SSD

The Crucial X9 Pro has a new design compared to the previous Crucial portable SSDs. It now has a rectangular shape with rounded corners.

The new drive is surprisingly small, slightly more than two-thirds the size of a credit card in length and width. It's very thin, too; at 40 grams, it's also super light -- you can hook it to a keychain. So, it's amazing that it can hold up to 4TB of data.

The Crucial X9 Pro has a USB-C port on one end, and the drive includes a short USB-C cable. You can use it with an existing USB-A port via an adapter or USB-A to USB-C cable; neither is included. Like most modern portable SSDs, the X9 Pro also works with Android phones and tablets.

Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD FrontMicron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD Back
The Crucial X9 Pro is one of the tiniest portable SSDs. Here are its top and underside. Note the keyfob hook at one of its corners.

NVMe-based storage, built-in encryption

The biggest thing that sets the X9 Pro from the X6 is that it uses an NVMe SSD inside. Consequently, it's much faster.

Additionally, the new drive also has built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption. You can turn it on with a password to protect the data from prying eyes.

Out of the box, the X9 Pro is pre-formatted using the exFAT system--it'll work as soon as you plug it into a host. There's no software preloaded on it. Instead, there are shortcuts to web addresses for you to download bundled applications, including the one-month trial of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Or you can use the new portable SSD as is with built-in backup or security software of Windows or MacOS.

Crucial X9 Pro: Hardware specifications

Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD
Capacity1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Part NumberCT1000X9PROSSD9 (1TB) 
CT2000X9PROSSD9 (2TB)
CT4000X9PROSSD9 (4TB)
Internal StorageNVMe SSD
Product ColorSilver
Dimensionsβ€Ž2.56 x 1.97 x 0.39 in
(65 x 50 x 9.91 mm)
Weight1.3 oz (40 grams) 
Copy SpeedUp to 1,050 MB/s
InterfaceUSB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (10Gb/s)
Backward CompatiblityUSB 3.2 Gen1 (formerly USB 3.0) 
(5Gb/s), USB 2.0
RuggednessWater, dust, and sand resistant (IP55)
SecurityPassword protection,
256‐bit AES hardware encryption
Power UsageUSB Bus Powered 
via a USB-C port
Package ContentCrucial X9 Pro Portable SSD 
USB-C Cable 
Warranty5-year limited warranty
US Price
(at launch)
$79.99 (1TB) 
$129.99 (2TB)
$239.99 (4TB)
Crucial X9 Pro's hardware specifications.
Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD Retail BoxMicron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD USB C Port
The Crucial X9 Pro's retail box and its USB-C port.

As you have noted, the Crucial X9 Pro features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) and not USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20Gbps). While this may seem disappointing, the 10Gbps USB standard is currently the most popular. Additionally, most NVMe SSDs -- especially those made for external storage applications -- don't deliver over 10Gbps in real-world performance anyway.

The point is, while it doesn't hurt to have a 20 Gbps USB portable drive, in real-world usage, the 10 Gbps standard is more practical since it's less expensive.

That makes the Crucial X9 Pro a sweet-spot portable SSD, more so than other high-end drives, such as the WD Black P50, SanDisk Extreme Pro, or Micron's Crucial X10 Pro.

And in my testing, the Crucial X9 Pro is plenty fast.

Crucial X9 Pro: Excellent NVMe performance

I tested the 2TB version of the Crucial X9 Pro using all supported USB standards, and the drive excelled. It easily topped the chart of USB 3.2 Gen 2 portable SSD by good margins.

Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD Copy Performance
The Micron Crucial X9 Pro's real-world copy performance

And the drive could handle extended operations with ease. I tried to copy a single file of over 100GB to it, and it didn't slow during the entire process.

The drive also ran cool during my testing, and it shared the power status with the host -- you won't need to replug it when you restart the computer or bring it out of sleep mode.

In all, there was nothing to complain about the Crucial X9 Pro in terms of performance.

Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD's Rating

8.8 out of 10
Micron Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD Box
Performance
10 out of 10
Features
8 out of 10
Design and Setup
9 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Fast NVMe USB 3.2 Gen 2 performance

Super-compact yet spacious; rugged, practical design

Supports all platforms, including Android.

Cons

No USB-A cable or adapter included

Conclusion

Micron's latest Crucial X9 Pro is an easy recommendation. It has everything you'd want from a portable SSD, including fast performance, a compact and rugged design, built-in encryption, and lots of storage space. Additionally, its pricing is reasonable.

Grab it today if you are in the market for an effective direct-attached add-on storage solution. You won't regret it.

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