Accessory, PC, Review

Kingston XS1000 Review: Fast, Affordable Portable SSD

Kingston is a name that needs no introduction in the storage market, and the Kingston XS1000 external SSD is one of its latest products. Available in 1TB and 2TB options, the XS1000 is a very portable…portable SSD that also offers great value for money.

If you’re in the market for a new portable SSD that offers a lot of storage for not a lot of money, the XS1000 is a great option to consider. Of course, it does have some shortcomings here and there, but its excellent value proposition more than make up for them.

What It Is

The unit in this review is the range-topping 2TB model of the XS1000, which is currently going for RM479 from Thunder Match, a well-known retailer in Malaysia. In contrast to the 1TB version – which is listed at RM285 from the same store – the 2TB model offers better value for money.

Beyond that, the XS1000 is also very compact and lightweight. Tipping the scales at only 29g with a metal and plastic enclosure that can fit into the palm of my hands, the SSD offers read speeds of up to 1,050MBps as well. According to Kingston, this is the smallest external SSD in the market now with this level of read speeds.

Of course, the XS1000 also comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable.

In fact, the packaging itself is very simple with just the XS1000 and the cable inside the box. Unfortunately, no USB-C to USB-C cable is bundled with the SSD, though Kingston did provide us with one for this review.

The Good Stuff

One of the most important aspects of any given SSD is exactly how fast it is, so let’s talk about the read and write performance of the Kingston XS1000 first. The company claims that the SSD boasts read and write speeds of up to 1,050MBps and 1,000MBps respectively, and in my testing, it actually got quite close to these figures.

I ran quite a number of speed tests with the XS1000 using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app on my M3 Max 14-inch MacBook Pro. The result below is pretty much the average speeds that I get in over 10 runs, and it’s worth noting that I connected the SSD to my MacBook Pro with the aforementioned USB-C to USB-C cable provided by Kingston, which is not bundled with the XS1000 by default.

While these figures don’t quite line up with Kingston’s estimate, they are close enough and perfectly acceptable. Whether you want to store games – you can easily run games off of the SSD too – or keep valuable data in the XS1000, know that the SSD will be able to do so quickly and seamlessly.

Performance aside, the design and sheer portability of the XS1000 are also worth mentioning. The metal plates that sandwich the plastic enclosure of the SSD give it a solid feel in my hands, and the fact that it weighs only 29g means that I can just keep it in my backpack (or even my pants pocket) and forget about it. If portability is of utmost importance to you, you can’t go wrong with the XS1000.

Last but not least is the value proposition of the XS1000. For a 2TB portable SSD that can deliver this level of performance at only RM479 – or even lower during special sales – Kingston is pricing the SSD very competitively. It also helps that Kingston itself is a reputable brand in the industry.

The Bad Stuff

My biggest qualm with the XS1000 has to be the fact that it is not bundled with a USB-C to USB-C cable. In a market where USB-A ports are increasingly rare, it’s curious that Kingston decided to bundle the SSD with only a USB-A to USB-C cable, even if a USB-C to USB-C cable isn’t particularly hard to get.

There’s also the fact that the XS1000 is only offered in 1TB and 2TB capacities; it would’ve been great if there was a 4TB option to appeal to users who want more storage space. After all, its higher-end sibling, the XS2000, is available in a 4TB – and even 500GB – capacity.

Is It Worth It?

Unless the SSD’s 1TB and 2TB options don’t suit your needs, the Kingston XS1000 is absolutely worth it. The performance (at this price point), compact form factor, and sheer value proposition of the portable SSD are tough to beat, especially for an SSD from a reputable brand like Kingston.

The one thing that would make the XS1000 a better buy would be the inclusion of a USB-C to USB-C cable for better compatibility with modern laptops. Beyond that, it really is a compelling portable SSD for folks that want good value for their money.

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