SanDisk iXpand Base 256GB Review

We tackle the third iteration in the iXpand lineup with the Base 256GB, an iPhone storage and charging device.

Published Mon, Dec 18 2017 4:45 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 6:58 PM CST
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: SanDisk
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We have been following SanDisk's iXpand brand since its launch as an iOS flash drive through the iXpand memory case and now the latest iXpand base. With SanDisk now offering three solutions in their iOS portfolio, let's see how the latest stacks up.

The latest solution in the SanDisk iXpand portfolio takes advantage of your charging cycle on your iPhone. Whether it be once every three days or every day, once you dock for the night, the iXpand base goes to work backing up all of your photos, videos, and any changes to your contacts list. On the subject of charging, the iXpand base rivals some aftermarket chargers capable of delivering 15w or 5V at 3A. Capacity options include 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB solutions with this storage being conveniently held on a removable SD card interface.

Compatibility includes iPhone 5 and above along with iPad Air, Mini 4, and Pro support. The MSRP for the 256GB solution comes in at $199.99 with a two-year warranty.

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The packaging gives a good idea of the use of the device with an image centered. Capacity is listed at the top right.

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The spine gives a scope of delivery and diagram of the device.

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Included with the iXpand base is the 15w power adapter.

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The top of the base offers a rubberized texture offering a solid place for your phone to rest. Around the edges is a cable trap to wind up any loose cable attached to the base.

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The backside houses the SD card slot and power input.

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Under the device, we have the Type-C charging port.

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The included 256GB SD card offers 90 MB/s read and 64 MB/s write performance.

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The iXpand base has its very own app as seen above.

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When setting up the iXpand Base, you do get control over what it backs up via these sliders.

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The settings menu allows you to name your backup device, restore backups, and setup permissions. Further down, you can see storage available both on the base and iOS device.

This being our third iXpand device we know what to expect going into the review. With the iXpand Base, SanDisk now has all stations covered with the flash drive, memory case, and this new charging base. Build quality is solid but does have some severe fingerprint issues on the nickel plating and while it does offer aesthetics to the design, I would much rather have brushed aluminum.

Performance of the iXpand Base is rather good in backup tasks and I do enjoy the design utilizing removable storage. This should allow you to archive SD cards and over time build an impressive catalog of iPhone backups. The included SD card did not sacrifice performance for its capacity as we were able to reach 91 MB/s read and 64 MB/s write in testing.

One downfall for the entire iXpand lineup has been the app. A little over a year in and we still have three separate apps to control these devices. I'd much rather SanDisk figure out a unified solution as it does add bloat to your iPhone.

Otherwise, the usability of the iXpand Base app is quite simple and straightforward. SanDisk has put together enough of an in-app tutorial for users to get the hang of backing up their devices and choosing what to backup. One thing I would like to see in the future is a wireless charging implementation of this design possibly utilizing AirDrop or Bluetooth for the data side as this would clean up a lot of the cable mess inherited.

Tyler's Test System Specifications

TweakTown award

The Bottom Line: As it sits, SanDisk's iXpand Base is probably the best of the three iOS solutions in SanDisk's portfolio as it offers solid performance, quick charging, and archiving capabilities to iPhone and iPad users.

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Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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