Lexar SL200 Portable SSD – 512GB Review
Lexar SL200 Portable SSD 512GB
Round two begins for Lexar in the portable SSD market with the Lexar SL200. Lexar has been in the flash memory storage game for what seems like a lifetime at this point but they're fairly new to this segment. The idea is simple, large capacity and fast storage in a small and portable form factor.
Lexar makes those points the focus of the SL200 lineup calling for 'SSD-Level' performance, a 3-year warranty, and really honing in on the appearance of the drive. While the unit does come in 3 different sizes ranging from 512GB ($89.99), 1TB($159.99), and a 2TB($299.99) model, we'll be looking at the 512GB unit today.
First Look At Lexar SL200 Portable SSD – Unboxing And Closer Look
The packaging for the Lexar SL200 is nice with attractive and easy to read. The front of the box features a good look at the drive itself with the interface type, capacity, and a quick peak speed rating of the drive so consumers have a bit of an idea what they're getting for their money. The back of the box reiterates the peak read speeds, discusses the styling, durability, and the included 256-bit AES encryption software that lets you password protect the drive.
The contents of the case are quite simple, The drive and two USB cables. The USB cables included are a Type C to Type A and a Type C to Type C, so there are no adapters, just straight cables which I prefer. The drive comes in at a minute 80mm x 60mm form factor and just under 10mm thick making it nice and compact. If you were to pop the unit open you'd find the internals of Lexar's NS100 drive tucked away inside showing it truly is a portable SSD.
Our test bench is now using the Ryzen 9 3900X on the ASUS TUF Gaming X570 Pro-WiFi so that now we have access to be able to take PCIe Gen 4 drives into account. We have the Ryzen 9 3900X clocked at 4.3GHz all core with the Hyper X Predator DDR4 3600 CL17. Before starting the tests I loaded the drive up to 60% capacity so that the testing would not be run on a clean empty drive.
This is our first look into this growing and competitive market so our points of comparisons will be slim for now and hopefully will expand to be able to give a better look at each model that comes through.
Also, to clear and confusion that may occur the Sabrent External enclosures are populated by a Lexar NM610 NVMe drive and an HP S750 SATA SSD.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 3900X @ 4.3GHz All Core|
|Motherboard||ASUS TUF Gaming X570 Pro-WiFi|
|Memory||Hyper X Predator 2x16GB (32GB) 3600MHz CL17|
|PSU||Cooler Master V1200P|
|OS||Windows 10-64 Bit|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE|
|Case||Lian Li T70X|
Lexar SL200 Portable SSD
ATTO Disk Benchmark
As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware software to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid-state drives, RAID arrays as well as the host connection to attached storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturer's RAID controllers, storage controllers, host bus adapters (HBAs), hard drives, and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
Crystal Disk Mark 6.0
CrystalDiskMark is a disk benchmark software Made by a Japanese coder named Hiyohiyo and is one of the simplest and most frequently used tests for storage due to its simple and easy to understand UI. It measure sequential reads/writes speed,measure random 512KB, 4KB, 4KB (Queue Depth=32) reads/writes speed,select test data (Random, 0Fill, 1Fill).
AS SSD is the opposite of ATTO as it uses incompressible data rather than compressible data and simulates the worst possible scenario imaginable for an SSD which gives the best understanding of performance when pushing the drive to its limits.
We separate the IOPS and MB/s in the results for ease of reading.
ANVIL's Storage Utilities
Anvil's Storage Utilities benchmark may be a bit of an older benchmark, but it's still very much relevant today. It takes various performance and response time metrics and gives them a score in read and writes then delivers an overall rating, which is useful to see where an HDD or SSD slots in general performance.
The Lexar SL200 gets you moving and makes for a very small and portable solution, but is it the best way to get capacity on the go? That depends. The performance is good with it being able to reach the advertised (up to 550MB/s) speed but outside of CrystalDiskmark 7 on an Icelake i7 laptop we found the results in the article more typical, the software allowing you to protect the drive with a password is a welcome feature. But the real letdown is the value it brings for $89, and that really leaves you in a position to ponder other solutions. I originally decided to compare it to the DIY external solutions to show how those options are quite bulky and expensive, but in reality, they're not. The 2.5" solution is a bit cheaper but you'll find the external NVMe solution to be comparably priced and offers better performance. If the Lexar SL200 were about $20 cheaper it'd be an easy recommendation, but for now, it does serve a purpose and an audience, you're just going to have to spend a bit more to not have to deal with the DIY aspect. The bottom line is the performance and portability are there but the price is a bit too close to much faster drives on the market.
Products mentioned in this post
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The Lexar SL200 gets you moving and makes for a very small and portable solution
- Clean aesthetic
- Activity light
- Actual SSD inside
- Two cables included