Portable hard drives come in a wide range of shapes, sizes capacities and colors and while I have a huge collection of these slender drives, I always worry about traveling with them since they're susceptible to bumps, drops and other accidental mishaps that could, potentially, results in lost data. And, compared to the latest batch of portable SSD drives, portable hard drives are a little slow.
To my delight, portable SSD drives are becoming more readily available these days and I was pleased to have one of Lexar's new, next generation portable SSD drives show up on my doorstep. Rather than wrapping a portable hard drive in bubble wrap before stowing it in a carry-on bag with my laptop, this particular model is tough enough that I can just toss it into my bag without any extra padding—plus, it comes with a limited two year warranty, just incase.
While there are other choices, the Lexar SSD has a couple of features I really like: First, it works with Lexar Professional Workflow products like the four slot card reader/drive hub. The hub is convenient in large part because it provides access to four card readers or drives (or any combination of the two) but only utilizes one port on your computer. The SSD drive comes with its own USB 3.0 cable for travel, so all you have to do is pop it out of the hub, find the cable and you're good to go.
A half-dozen blue LEDs on the front of the drive light up to indicate how much capacity has been used, which helps avoid getting stuck without enough capacity (I know this from experience). With read transfer speeds of up to 450MB/s (write speeds are lower, although we don't have exact numbers), you won't have to wait too long to offload images and/or video.
The Lexar SSD drives are available in 256GB and 512GB capacities for $150 and $250 (MSRP), respectively.