Lexar unveiled new portable SSDs at CES 2024 — the SL500, Professional SL600, and the SL660 Blaze — with up to 2,000 MB/s read & write speeds. All three portable SSDs are purpose-built and have multiple storage variants.
The SL500 and the Armor 700 for video recording
The SL500 Ultra Slim delivers up to 2,000 MB/s read and 1,800 write transfer speeds with 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB options. This drive is useful for devices like the iPhone 15 Pro, which uses the ProRes RAW format for videos. Apple allows recording to an external drive, making portable SSDs like the SL500 perfect for this application. A MagSafe add-on, which will be sold separately, can help the drive stay where it needs to be.
The Armor 700 is the new iteration of the Lexar Armor series drives. As the name suggests, the Armor 700 has a rugged design for added durability. It has an IP66 rating (the IP65 labeling on Lexar's presentation isn't up to date) that's not seen with any other rugged drives, providing a higher level of protection against dust, liquid, and drops. This drive is advertised to provide up to 2,000 MBs in both read and write speeds, giving plenty of throughput ability to use as an external source to record 4K 60fps videos from any device. This resolution and refresh rate in RAW format consumes a lot of space and requires high write speeds. Since iPhones don't have MicroSD expandability, high-performing portable SSDs fill the gap.
The Lexar SL500 and the Armor 700 use Silicon Motion's controller with a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 interface.
The SL600 for the masses and the SL660 Blaze for gaming
The Professional SL600 is a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 drive with 256-bit AES encryption and no RGB. It is available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB.
The SL660 Blaze has 512GB and 1TB storage variants with RGB LEDs aimed at gamers. External storage is just as important for various other types of users as many handheld gaming devices do not have provisions to use a MicroSD card.
Pricing is not confirmed, but the drives will be available at retail during Q1 2024. Some of these portable SSDs are already listed on Lexar's website, so it is just a matter of time before its release.
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