Lexar SL500 portable SSD review

Fast, compact and well-priced portable storage

Lexar SL500
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Lexar SL500 is a well made, conveniently compact portable SSD. We found it delivers very fast file transfer speeds, and though we weren't able to match Lexar's advertised speeds, we did find the SL500 plenty fast enough to make light work of typical workloads. To top it all, the SL500 is also cheaper than equivalent rival SSDs, making it a great value option if you want faster than average storage that's effortlessly portable.


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    Sleek and compact

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    Fast transfer speeds

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    Four capacity options


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    You might not get the advertised speeds

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The Lexar SL500 is a portable SSD marketed as being compact, fast and tough. Like other portable SSDs, it uses a single USB connection for both data transfer and device power, so no separate power supply is required. The drive is available in four capacity options: 512 megabytes, 1 terabyte, 2TB and 4TB.

But what really sets it apart from more average portable SSDs are its advertised maximum transfers speeds. Lexar claims the SL500 can achieve a peak read speed of 2000MB/s, and a maximum write rate of 1800MB/s. These speeds are only possible thanks to the drive's fast USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 connection, which has twice the bandwidth of the more widespread USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard. 

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MaterialBlack aluminium
InterfaceUSB 3.2 Gen2x2
Performance Speedup to 2000MB/s read, up to 1800MB/s write
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 50°C
Storage Temperature -40°C ~ 85°C
System SupportedMac OSX 10.6+, Windows 7+, Android 4.4+, Harmony OS
Warranty5-year limited warranty
Size (L x W x H)85 x 54 x 7.8 mm (3.35 x 2.13 x 0.31 in)
Weight43g (0.09 lb)
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Speed test results
Header Cell - Column 0 ReadWrite
CrystalDiskMark benchmark1067.15MB/s1058.18MB/s
Real world861MB/s634MB/s

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.