In the last year, Lexar has introduced several new storage solutions, starting with the SL100 Pro in the fall of last year and, more recently, with NS and NM series SATA and NVMe solutions. Today, we have their second entry into the portable SSD market, the SL200.
The SL200 is a small form factor portable solution slightly larger than the SL100 Pro we reviewed last year, footprint at 86x60 with a z-height of 9.5mm, a touch smaller than a standard SATA SSD.
Marketing performance offers up to 550 MB/s read and 400 MB/s write across three capacities - 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Compatibility extends to macOS 10.6+ along with Windows and Android 4.4+. Connectivity is pushed over USB-C with USB 3.2 Gen 1 behind it. The MSRP of the 512GB Lexar SL200 comes in at $89.99 with a three-year warranty.
The packaging is quite simple, an image of the drive centered with capacity bottom right.
The back goes into more detail with drive features and warranty information.
Unboxing, the SL200 is shipped with both a USB-C and A to C cable for legacy applications.
The drive itself is quite nice. The finish is a smooth matte plastic. USB-C connectivity can be found along the edge.
Internally, the SL200 uses a SATA SSD, the NS100, to be exact, which is powered by a Marvell controller and TLC that looks to be from Intel.
Lexar DataSafe comes included with the SL200 for encrypting your drive with a password.
CDM is a staple in performance testing; version 7 has seen some updates in the workloads used for testing. The sequential performance was quite good in testing with the SL200 grabbing 553 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write.
New to our testing is a 200GB data transfer that aims to weed out drives that lose performance during backup scenarios. In this scenario, the SL200 was one of the quicker Gen 1 drives we have tested, transferring the 200GB in under 10 minutes.
Price/Performance of the 512GB SL200 is near the bottom of our charts. There are way too many drives on the market using the quicker USB 3.2 Gen 2 technology to make using Gen 1 worth your time, especially at this price point.
The Lexar SL200 is an interesting drive that enjoys some somewhat decent build quality. Fit and finish are quite good with what looks and feels like top quality plastics. Internally, we have the NS100 SATA SSD, entry-level, but good SATA SSD.
Performance is at the tops of Gen 1 solutions bringing in 550 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write followed up by fantastic performance in our 200GB transfer test, moving all that data in under 10 minutes.
Wrapping this up, I go back and forth on the SL200. The drive overall is as solid as a Gen 1 drive can be, but pricing gets me. With the drive coming in at $89.99 for the 512GB capacity, consumers could spend $10 more and pick up the much quicker and backward compatible SL100 Pro. So, why the need for the SL200?
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
There is nothing functionally wrong with the SL200, but for $10 more, you can double your performance with the SL100 Pro.