Today we're reviewing the Lexar SL100 Pro Portable SSD, which is Lexar's first pocket-sized SSD. Lexar was founded as a subsidiary of Micron, but was sold to Longsys in 2017 and has been operating more independently since.
Being able to carry large amounts of data around is becoming more important than ever. While external HDDs have existed for many years—even at terabyte capacities—these devices are simply too slow for an enjoyable user experience because of their slow transfer rates—copying 1 TB of data at 100 MB/s takes 3 hours!
The Lexar SL100 Pro uses the USB 3.1 Gen2 interface to support transfer rates of up to 1 GB/s, which can be a game changer if you have to copy a lot of data. Since the SL100 Pro uses no moving parts, it is much more resilient to shock than a traditional HDD, and also eliminates the seek-time bottleneck present on all hard drives.
Internally, Lexar is using a Marvel NV1160 NVMe SSD controller paired with 3D TLC NAND chips from Micron/Intel. To shuffle the data between NVMe and USB, a JMicron JMS583 USB-to-PCIe bridge is installed.
Lexar's SL100 Pro is available in three capacities: 250 GB ($100), 500 GB (this review, $100), and 1 TB ($170).