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Last year, Kingston launched the XS2000, a tiny external SSD that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 with read/write speeds of 2000MB/s and an IP55 rating when used with the removable rubber sleeve.

Kingston has now launched a more affordable option with the XS1000 external SSD. This has a similar design and dimensions and is an incredibly convenient pocket-friendly external SSD that is ideal as a backup solution or easily provides additional storage capacity for your laptop.

Kingston has made this more affordable by using a slower drive capable of 1,050/1,000MB/s read/write, then the slower USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 interface, which can do 10Gbps. They have also removed the rubber sleeve, so this is less durable than the XS2000.

The affordable price and the size of this SSD is the main selling point. it is not much bigger than an old-fashioned USB thumb drive, yet it can achieve read/write speeds of up to 1,050/1,000MB/s.

Specification

  • Controller: SMI 2320
  • NAND: 3D NAND
  • Capacities: 1TB, 2TB
  • Sequential Read/Write: up to 1,050/1,000MB/s
  • USB: USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 interface (10Gbps)
  • Included Cable:  12-inch/.30M Type-C to Type-A cable
  • Casing material: metal + plastic
  • Dimensions: 69.54 x 32.58 x 13.5mm
  • Weight: 28.7g
  • Warranty/support: limited 5-year warranty with free technical support

Design / Product Photos

For comparison, I have shown the Kingston XS1000 next to my Sabrent NVMe enclosure and the Orico Montage MTQ-40G USB4 SSD.

As you can see, this is tiny, it would easily fit in your pocket and barely add any bulk.

The overall build quality and design is good but basic. While the metal and plastic casing material feels durable enough to be knocked around in my bag, it has no official drop rating or IP rating.

Performance

The official rating for this drive is a read/write speed of 1,050/1,000MB/s. It uses the USB 3.2 Gen 2×1 interface, which is capable of 10Gbps or 1250MB/s, which is plenty of headroom.

If you were to connect to a USB 3.2 1×1 port (5Gbps) then the maximum speed would only be around 500MB/s (5Gb/s).

The drive comes with a short Type-C to Type-A cable, which may be worth factoring in if you have a laptop that is only USB-C. A decent 10Gbps USB-C cable only costs a few pounds. They only get expensive when you want USB4 cables.

For CrystalDiskMark V8, the drive achieved a read speed of 1032MB/s and 942MB/s.

Running a test with ATTO diskmark, the numbers were a bit smaller. Once you hit file sizes of 512KB, the drive reaches its peak speeds of around 985MB/s and 883MB/s for read and write.

For Anvil, the sequential read/write was 956MB/s and 850MB/s.

Price and Alternative Options

The Kingston XS1000 is available for:

  • 1TB – £58.08
  • 2TB – £96.12

Those prices are from the Kingston Store. On Amazon, they are:

  • 1TB – £65.48
  • 2TB – £108.46

Kingston also has the Kingston XS2000, which has double the read/write speeds and costs £75 / £138 for 1TB and 2TB, respectively. It also comes with a rubber case for extra protection.

Alternative options with similar speeds include:

  • Samsung T7: £68 for 1TB
  • SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2: £65 for 1TB
  • Crucial X8 Portable SSD: £56 for 1TB
  • Crucial X9 Pro Portable SSD: £69 for 1TB
  • WD My Passport SSD: £85 for 1TB
  • Adata SE800: £70 for 1TB
  • Kioxia Exceria Plus Portable SSD: £79 for 1TB

The above prices were correct on the 30th of August 2023.

While the Kingston XS1000 isn’t the absolute cheapest in comparison to the alternative, it is not far off. It is also worth noting that the Kingston XS1000 has only just launched. At the time of writing, it was on Amazon for 28 days and had temporarily been £56 for 1TB.

The Crucial X8 Portable SSD is the only model that’s cheaper and that has been on the market for a few years with an RRP of £114. While it is still small, it is significantly larger with a volume that’s 120% greater and a weight that’s 250% more than the Kingston.

The one factor you may want to consider is that some of the competing options have a superior design. The SanDisk Extreme is only a few pounds more. It has similar dimensions to the Crucial X8, but it has a handy loophole and is IP55 rated for dust- & water resistance.

Some, but not all, of the alternatives have the ability to do hardware encryption.

Overall

If you are looking for a basic, affordable and highly portable external SSD, then you can’t really go wrong with the Kingston XS1000 External SSD. It is one of the cheapest and smallest options on the market.

This lacks hardware encryption, but many of the similarly priced competing options lack it as well.

The only minor negative I can think of is that this doesn’t have the durability that some of the competing options have. I don’t personally have a problem with that, but it might be worth considering paying a little extra if you use it to store important data and are on the move a lot.

The lack of encryption and durability will make this less appealing for people wanting to store important data, but I think it is a perfect solution for general backups or storing media that’s easily replicable.

Even though I have faster external SSDs, I will most likely use this drive as my go-to option when travelling due to its size and affordable nature. It will work perfectly for storing movies and TV shows for when I am away, and it won’t be the end of the work if I lose it.

Kingston XS1000 External SSD Review

Summary

If you are looking for a basic, affordable and highly portable external SSD, then you can’t really go wrong with the Kingston XS1000 External SSD. It is one of the cheapest and smallest options on the market.

Overall
83%
83%
  • Price - 95%
    95%
  • Performance - 85%
    85%
  • Features - 70%
    70%

Pros

  • Tiny size
  • Excellent Price

Cons

  • No IP rating and limited durability
  • No hardware encryption

Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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