Storage

Best Portable External SSD for MacBook Pro 2021

top compact mini ssds for Mac computers

Portable external SSDs are ideal to store your important files if you are a MacBook Pro user. SSD not only gives you extra storage but also allows you to restore your files in case of an internal drive failure. Thanks to the compact-sized external SSDs that you can put in your pocket and carry anywhere you want.

Modern external SSD drives are reliable, fast, and efficient as compared to traditional hard drives.

Best Portable External SSD for MacBook Pro

Best Portable External SSD for MacBook Pro on market

Here in this guide, we have listed and reviewed some of the best portable external SSDs for MacBook Pro users. These SSDs are plug and play, all you need is to plug them into the USB port to transfer your files.

1. SanDisk Extreme External SSD | Best Overall for Mac Computers

Compact external solid-state drive for Macbook users

Storage: 1 TB | Speed: 1050 MB/s | Interface: USB-C

Without any doubt, the SanDisk Extreme SSD combines durability and portability at the same spot. Indeed, it is one of our favorite external SSDs that we use at our office.

SanDisk Extreme has a clean and classic design. It easily fits in your pocket without any problem. We found this pocket SSD slim as compared to the other famous brands in the market.

With a cut-out at one end, you can easily attach SanDisk Extreme to a keychain or bag. Moreover, the rubber on the edges of this SSD gives it more durability against drop impacts.

SanDisk Extreme is shock and water-resistant. These are the features that must be your concern when buying an external SSD for Mac. However, we never advise anyone to test this device in the rain.

Right out of the box, you will get an adapter to switch between Thunderbolt 3 and the USB-C interface. All in all, SanDisk Extreme is an ideal external solid-state drive to use with a Mac computer.

2. Samsung T5 Portable SSD | The Runner up

external SSD drive for mac

Storage: 1 TB | Speed: 540 MB/s | Interface: USB 3.0

Despite its small size, this external SSD excels in performance when compared to other famous brands. We love the metal build and portability that comes with this device.

The Samsung T5 is lying on a sweet spot between price and performance. The shrunk dimensions of this SSD allow it to fit easily in your pocket.

This external SSD perfectly sits in the pocket of your laptop bag. It’s one of the best portable SSDs that do not compromise on performance.

Although its Aluminium finish might get scratchy over time, we still found it durable enough to withstand impacts if dropped from 2m height.

Moreover, you can choose between the 1TB & 2 TB versions. The minimum storage that you can go for in this model is 256 GB. If you are a MacBook Pro user, we highly suggest choosing the 1TB version of this external SSD.

With so many valuable features to see, this SSD also has a downside. Samsung T5 is not water-resistant. However, this is not something that you should seriously skip buying this compact and reliable SSD for your MacBook.

3. SAMSUNG T7 Small Sized External SSD | Fast & Reliable Storage for MacBook Pro

Most ideal and fast portable SSD for Macbook pro

Storage: 1 TB | Speed: 1050 MB/s | Interface: USB-C

Samsung T7 is not that much different than its sibling, the T5. However, in this model, you get more transfer speed up to 1050 MB/s.

We tested out this external SSD with iMac Pro and it keeps up to its claims. We noticed the transfer speed around 900 MB/s which is quite amazing.

Let’s move on to the design of this SSD. Well, to be honest, the design is not that much different from the T5 version.

You will find the same aluminum finish with rounded edges. However, this version is a bit more durable than the T5. It can withstand impacts if dropped from a 6ft height.

The USB-C interface gives you more freedom to attach this external SSD to MacBook computers. Again, it’s not tested for any water and dust-resistant capabilities. What does that mean in English? Well, never connect this drive with your computer when it’s raining outside.

4. RAVPower Pro Mini Solid State Drive for Mac Users | Best Value

Mini external SSD for Macbook Pro

Storage: 1 TB | Speed: 540 MB/s | Interface: USB 3.1 Type C

Here’s a little glimpse of what SSDs of the future will look like. With RAVPower Pro external SSD you will get peace of mind while transferring data and carrying it anywhere you want.

It’s one of the smallest external SSDs for the MacBook Pro on the market. Making use of NAND technology, this SSD ensures reliable and fast data transfer under the $150 price tag.

RAVPower has crafted this SSD in a metal body. So it is obvious that it can stand against rough drops. Although we have not tested this SSD yet in any drop tests.

If you are a video editor and use MacBook Pro for editing purposes, then we highly recommend you stick with this portable SSD. You can store 4K videos on this SSD and play them right away without any wait.

Without any doubt, it is the perfect combination of reliability, performance, and small form-factor. This external SSD is compatible with iPad, MacBook Pro, and Windows computers.

5. VectoTech Rapid Portable External SSD

best valued solid-state drives for macbook pro laptops

Storage: 1 TB | Speed: 540 MB/s | Interface: USB 3.1 Gen 2

This might not be the most famous brand out there in the market, but it makes up our list because of its reliability and durability. Being highly reviewed on famous eCommerce platforms like Amazon and eBay, Vecto SSDs have won the trust of many Mac users.

Although the design of this external SSD looks more traditional and bulky, it still scores good marks in portability. It is made up of Aluminum, so at least we can trust this device for longer durability.

On top of all, you get 3 years warranty from the manufacturer in case of malfunctions. Although it feels cheap when you hold this SSD in your hand, it is worth buying keeping in mind the affordable price factor and specs.

How to Choose a Mini External SSD for Apple MacBook Pro

As you have now reviewed our list of best-valued external SSDs for MacBook Pro. Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing any solid-state drive for your machine.

Why SSD?

SSDs do not use any mechanical parts to store data. Portable SSDs use NAND chips to store and transfer data. The data stored on NAND chips can be easily accessed and faster as compared to traditional hard drives.

Solid-state drives are more reliable as compared to hard disks. There are fewer chances of failure and losing your data.

Durability

As a lot of brands are selling SSDs in the market, not everyone keeps up with the labels you find on the box. You may find cheaper SSDs for Macbook Pro, but saving few bucks might not promise a durable product.

Make sure the SSD you choose for your MacBook comes from a reputed manufacturer. There are SSDs that are shock-proof and water-resistant.

Although you may need to throw some cash on the table to go after durable SSDs, you don’t have to worry about losing your data in the future.

Data Transfer Speed

Top external solid-state drives come with different transfer speeds. The minimum data transfer speed is around 550 MB/s. The maximum you can get is around 1GB/s.

You may experience variable speeds while transferring data as it depends upon the USB port of your Mac or MacBook Pro. If you have the latest Thunderbolt 3 on your laptop, you can enjoy high-speed data transfer with your MacBook.

However, most mini external SSDs use USB 3.0 or 3.1 as the main interface rather than Thunderbolt 3. So chances are that you may witness a little bit less data transfer speed as you see on the labels.

Storage

Portable SSDs are available from 256GB to 4TB capacity. Well choosing the storage entirely depends upon your level of use or profession. If you are a photographer or video editor, you might need at least 1TB version.

Similarly, if you are a businessman and need an SSD for storing presentation and project reports, a 256GB version is good enough for you. And, if you need storage up to 20TB, you have to consider external hard drives in that case as SSDs are not currently available in that many sizes.

The Bottom Line

Finally, these were some of our best recommendations when it comes to pairing top-of-the-line solid-state drives with your MacBook Pro machine. SanDisk Extreme stays our most recommended choice up till now. It is fast, durable, and reliable to store your important files, media, or games.

Sometimes installing a new SSD might end up in SSD not detected in BIOS or Windows, check out our guide on how to solve this error in simple and easy steps.

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