The Bottom Line
Following the path set forth by the likes of the T1 and T3 from Samsung and Extreme 500 and 900 from SanDisk, Plextor has launched their EX1 portable SSD.
The EX1 is the latest portable solution from Plextor carrying solid capacity options ranging from 128GB through 256GB and ending at 512GB. With that, there are also two color options that follow Apple's MacBook options of Silver and Gold.
On the hardware side of things, this solution features USB-C Gen 2 connectivity offering performance, if we go by marketing, reaching 550 MB/s read and write. Compatibility of this solution reaches out to Windows, Linux, and MacOS platforms adding in Android OS as well.
The current MSRP of the Plextor EX1 in the 128GB capacity is set at $199.99 with a five-year warranty.
Packaging for the EX1 houses a bit of marketing at the bottom with a window to the product in the center.
The backside houses a bit more on the specifications of the drive with warranty listed at the top.
The scope of delivery is quite nice with a carry pouch USB-C to Type-C cable and the drive.
The bottom houses the USB-C connection seen above. The enclosure is sturdy aluminum with subtle branding.
Diving into the EX1, we ran it through CDI. As you can see, this drive does support the UASP interface along with TRIM and NCQ.
Moving into performance, USB Flash Benchmark has become a staple for my testing. The EX1 was a bit erratic when it came to write performance but did pull in 420 MB/s read and write using our Intel Gen 2 controller.
Throwing things into our charts, we find the EX1 coming in at 426 MB/s read and 419 MB/s write, on par with the Game Drive from Seagate.
Putting this drive into our Price V Performance chart, it ends up in the middle of the pack at 86.9%.
I used the EX1 for a few weeks to get a good feel for it. I enjoyed the small stick form factor; it was a rather large change coming from the Extreme 900 that I normally use, a change I enjoyed. This is the kind of drive you can toss in your shirt pocket and forget about. The build quality of this solution is rather good; the aluminum enclosure is great for protecting the internal drive.
The performance of our 128GB model drive didn't quite reach projections; we actually landed nearly 120 MB/s short with our drive reaching 420 MB/s read and write. In USB flash bench, read performance held steady from 16M to 1M and by that same token write performance was a bit erratic - I'm guessing due to a caching issue. I did notice after all of my testing was done Plextor issued a firmware update for this drive, so it may be worth looking into.
Overall, I like the EX1. It has solid capacity options and a really great form factor. You can add in encryption to that mix if you grab the software from their site, free of charge. With that said, this solution is one of the higher priced portable drives on the market going by price per GB. With the MSRP sitting at $199.99 for the 128GB solution in house, you are looking at $1.50 per GB. Perhaps the five-year warranty can shade some of that.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IX Hero (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i7 7700K (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Memory: G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Hybrid (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD (buy from Amazon) / (Read our Review)
- Secondary Storage: MyDigitalSSD BP5 512GB SSD (buy from Amazon)
- Case: EVGA DG-86 (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 (buy from Amazon)
- Networking: ASUS ROG 10G Express
- Networking: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: Plextor's EX1 is a quality slim form factor storage solution for those wanting the latest in technology with USB-C and capacity options up to 512GB, but we would have liked to see better performance for the price.
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