Two New Very Tough, Very Small, Ultra-fast SSDs for Photographers

A black hard drive with the word critical on it.

The Micron brand Crucial is releasing a new portable line of SSD drives aimed specifically at photographers and video makers.

The reason why these external SSD storage systems are so photographer and content-creator-friendly? Their tiny size and awesome-fast transfer speeds. They’re also very rugged.

The new models are called the Crucial X9 Pro and the Crucial X10 Pro, with the latter being the obvious pricier option.

Both use Micron’s own TLC NAND technology with single-ASIC portable storage architecture to deliver especially compact storage per square millimeter.

This is true even by industry averages and in the case of these drives, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find anything that offers more digital space in a smaller package.

Micron even manages to outperform Samsung, SanDisk or other brands on this front.

In practical terms, the above tech-babble means that the two SSDs weigh 37 and 42 grams for the X9 and X10 respectively. That’s pretty damn light.

They’re also really small while still being easy to handle and very ruggedly built: Both come with an aluminum outer casing and a rubberized base while also being IP55 dust and water-resistant.

A laptop with the words professional style on it.

According to Micron, they can even be dropped up to 7.5 feet without sweating it and are vibration-proof to 1,500 G rm/s.

Both SSDs also feature little lanyard holes for tying in a tough little string loop and have a little internal LED for working status.

Another useful feature of the two SSDs is their heat-reducing design. Micron claims that it’s minimized the heat-generating points of each SSD to just one, letting these SSDs work hard without getting too warm.

And they can indeed work very hard at both reading and writing data.

In the case of the more affordable X9, Micron claims both read and write speed to be 1,050 MB/s. The X10 Pro on the other hand is a true workhorse with USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 technology built into it for read speeds of 2,100 MB/s and write speeds of 2,000 MB/s.

On the other hand, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 technology isn’t so common in PCs and is nearly absent in Apple desktop machines. This means the above read/write speeds might not apply depending on what you connect these SSDs to.

Micron is offering these ultra-compact drives in 1, 2, and 4TB versions along with a five-year warranty.

A laptop with an external hard drive and a camera.

They’re also very decently priced considering their specs. The Crucial X9 Pro starts at $79 for the 1TB edition, $120 for the 2TB version and goes up to $240 for the 4TB model.

The much more powerful Crucial X10 Pro is priced at $120 for 1TB,  $170 for the 2TB model and $289 for the 4TB edition.

According to Micron, “With more photos and videos being taken than ever before, consumers are looking for ways to save, preserve and protect their digital lives reliably and quickly. These two new Crucial Pro Portable SSDs are a great choice for anyone who needs dependable, fast, high-capacity storage.”

Their tiny size, high storage limits, and surprisingly durable designs do make them into solid choices for fieldwork.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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