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WD’s Next-Gen SanDisk Portable SSDs Double Down on Performance

SanDisk Extreme vs SanDisk Extreme V2
The next-gen portable SSDs that SanDisk announced on September 30, 2020.

Western Digital today announced two new portable SSDs as the major upgrades to the previous versions, the SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO. Respectively, these two are the next versions of the 2018 SanDisk Extreme and 2019 SanDisk Extreme PRO.

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Similar design, double the speeds

Due to the unchanged names and designs, you likely will mistake these new drives for their past models. In that case, get ready for a pleasant surprise since their performances are at an entirely new level.

Specifically, the new SanDisk Extreme PRO is the first in the family that delivers up to 2000 MB/s or almost twice that of the previous version.

It gets to this level by being one of the first few on the market that supports the latest USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 standard, which caps at 20 Gbps. On top of that, it also uses an NVMe SSD on the inside.

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It’s worth noting that on the host side (namely computers), the adoption of the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 has been slow. For now, there are few motherboards and even fewer add-on adapters of this standard, but that will likely change soon.

The non-PRO version also offers twice the speed of the previous model, thanks to the use of an NVMe SSD instead of a SATA drive on the inside. Indeed, SanDisk says the Extreme can deliver up to 1050 MB/s in copy speed.

SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD 8
The SanDisk Extreme PRO is slightly larger than the SanDisk Extreme.

Other than that, the two new drives share the same rugged designs of previous models that allow you to clip them on a keychain or your backup. Both are super light and tough enough to handle up to 1500G of shock resistance and features IP55-rated water and dust resistance.

They do have a few new features, however. They both now feature built-in 256 -bit AES hardware encryption with optional password protection, and support select smartphones (and tablet) with USB-C connectivity.

SanDisk Portable SSDs of 2020: Extreme PRO vs. Extreme

SanDisk Portable SSDs of 2020s hardware specification Extreme PRO vs Extreme
SanDisk Portable SSDs of 2020s hardware specification: Extreme PRO vs Extreme.

Pricing and Availability

Western Digital says the latest SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSDs are available today worldwide, both with a 5-year warranty.

SanDisk Extreme Pro V2
The new SanDisk Extreme PRO is one of a few portable SSDs that feature 20 Gbps USB standard.

The Extreme drive comes in 500GB and 1TB with the suggested retail price of $120 and $200, respectively. The 2TB version will be available later this year, with pricing being announced then.

The Extreme PRO‘s 2TB version, on the other hand, is up for grab right away at $500. You’ll also have to wait till the holidays for the 1TB version.

These drives will work with any computer, but to enjoy them to the fullest, you’ll need one that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 or at least USB 3.2 Gen 2. I’m in the process of getting myself the former. Check back soon for the full reviews.

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