Review of Lexar SL500 USB SSD: 20Gbps storage cut thin to win

Review of Lexar SL500 USB SSD: 20Gbps storage cut thin to win

In terms of appearance, Lexar’s SL500 portable USB 3.2×2 SSD is bulkier than its SL600 and SL660 stablemates. The SL500 seems chunkier than almost all external SSDs because it is only 0.3 inches thick (less than 0.2 at the edges), 2.1 inches wide, and 3.3 inches long. Let’s just say that the SL500 is a fantastic model among external SSDs because it is also stylish and weighs only 1.5 ounces.

What are the SL500’s features?

A USB 3.2×2 (20Gbps) external SSD with a very thin design, the SL500 is available in 2TB and shortly in 4TB capacities. It comes with a brief Type-C to Type-C connection and has a five-year warranty. That’s a limited guarantee, which probably implies you won’t write many petabytes of data on it or hit it with a sledgehammer. The drive comes formatted as exFAT, meaning that it can be read and written on Windows, macOS, and Linux (of course) straight out of the box.

For both operating systems, Lexar provides its DataShield software, which lets you password-protect the SL500. You will need to install the program on every computer from which you wish to access the protected disk if you choose to use a password.

Lexar SL500

What is the price of the Lexar SL500?

On March 20, the SL500 2TB model, with a list price of $230, will be available. That’s about average for a name-brand USB 3.2×2 20Gbps device, while name-brand 10Gbps 2TB SSDs and generic 20Gbps 2TB SSDs are available for far less money. (The Crucial X9 Pro, our top pick for a 10Gbps external SSD, is reasonably priced at $95 for a 2TB capacity.) Later in the year, the SL500 will be offered in a 4TB variant for an unspecified price.

What is the Lexar SL500’s speed?

When compared to devices such as the Crucial X10 Pro and Samsung T9, the 2TB SL500 that we examined performed fairly well. I double-checked to make sure I hadn’t downloaded the incorrect file because its synthetic benchmark results were so similar—if not significantly better—than the SL600 that had been tested earlier. I didn’t. Given the closeness of the fraternal win and the findings falling well within statistical variance, the controller and NAND are probably the same but in a different form factor.


The SL500’s incredibly thin form factor makes it exceptionally portable and ideal for use as an additional storage option for your phone or other tiny device. Although it doesn’t write nearly as quickly as some, the SL500 is still a nice little device in our opinion.

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