Lexar is proving that its versatility in product design extends to external solid-state drives, pivoting from 2020’s plodding, entry-level Lexar SL200 to the zippy RGB-lit Lexar SL660 Blaze Game Portable SSD. The SL660 Blaze ($129.99 for 512TB; $199.99 for the 1TB unit we tested) can take advantage of USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 speed if you have the hardware to support that connection, and it comes with a nifty removable stand and protective pouch. It also aced our PCMark 10 Storage benchmark, which measures a drive’s speed in tasks such as loading games and other apps. It’s an attractive product with a gamer’s aesthetic, but if you’re looking to store a library of games, more voluminous options are available.
What’s in the Box
First, we have the box, which has all the stuff you need to get your new SSD in the morning. You’ll also find a warranty and full customer support email list, along with a FREE Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that can help you track your drive’s performance, create reports, and more. You can also access the support forums, where customers can leave any questions or find help if they get stuck.
USB 3.2 Host Controller
The standard USB 3.2 host controller with FireWire and USB 3.0 ports works with the 256GB model; the 512GB model has a FirePort and USB 3.0 port. It’s sold individually and in sets of two for $69.99, which is more than affordable enough to replace an aging laptop, or use as a secondary drive in a laptop.
1TB Lexar SL660 Blaze
The 419GB Lexar SL660 Blaze ($129.99 for the 1TB version; $199.99 for the 512TB version) is one of the more expensive drives on this list, but it does offer a large, 1TB capacity. Unlike other brands with big capacity options, Lexar keeps its drives under 8GB, and lets you upgrade to larger capacity drives with 1TB options, which are available in both 8GB and 16GB models. The read and write speeds are good enough for most needs, and the maxed-out benchmark test shows it is able to hold and delete three accounts from the cloud. The charging port is hidden in the drive itself, so you won’t know if it’s working or not until you plug it in and take it to the next step.
The display pouch comes with one SD card and one SD card reader, as well as a few other accessories. It’s a space-inefficient solution, but it works fine without a cover. The SD card slot has a built-in lens, which lets you see what the card is reading. If you need to take the card out and take a picture or two, you can use the lens to “swap” it out of view. You can also use the SD card to store music, photos, and video, or use it as a storage bay for external storage.
Stand and Pouch
The stand and pouch are standard on all models, made from a sturdy fabric that’s easy to clean and hold. They’re easy to slip on and take off when you’re done using the drive. The stand can support a lot of weight, and the pouch provides plenty of space for manuals, documents, and other items. A good buy if you want a versatile drive that can take on a variety of uses.
PCMark 10 Storage Benchmark
The Storage Benchmark test shows how well a drive performs, measured in IOPS, or the average number of operations performed (MNO). It’s a great way to see how a drive performs on a variety of tasks, from backing up your favorite games to mounting a full-blown website. The test takes place entirely on the drive, and you won’t see any hints of its performance being affected by USB 3.0.
The moment you open the box and see what’s inside, you know you’ve got yourself a winner. The simplicity of the design and its versatility in use, coupled with the array of options available from one source, make the Lexar SL660 a no-brainer when it comes to choosing the right drive for your needs. With a capacity of 8GB and an F1 timeline, it’s no surprise the SL660 has a helpful SuperDrive setting to make it easy to set up and use. The drive can store a ton of data, and it has plenty of power to handle heavy demands. The build is solid, and it has a swag of accessories that make it pretty much a one-person machine. It varies in price from $129.99 to $129.99, but if you’re looking for an affordable drive that’s great for general use, then it’s a great choice.