Kingston XS1000 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 external SSD – vroom, vroom (storage review)

The Kingston XS1000 is one of the new breed of USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 x 1 external SSDs that max out the interface at gigabit speeds. It comes in 1TB and 2TB capacity in a miniscule 69.5 x 32.6 x 13.5 mm 29g size.

It is backwards compatible with earlier USB standards – it just is a little slower as you go from a 3.2 Gen 2 x 1 interface (10Gbps) to 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) to USB-A 2.0 (480Mbps).

Not to get too techy, but you also have USB-C Gen 2 x 2 (20Gbps), and Kingston has an XS2000 USB-C Gen 2 x 2 that reaches 2000MBps. Later, we will see USB-C 4.0 at 40Gbps. To be clear, the drive will only be as fast as your PC/smartphone interface is.

Australian Review: Kingston XS1000 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 external SSD

WebsiteProduct Page
Price1/2TB Approx $110/188
FromFrom Scorptec. PLE Computers, MSY and more specialist PC retailers.
ForWindows 11, 10, macOS (v.10.15.x +), Linux (v. 4.4.x +), Chrome OS
Warranty5 Years Limited Warranty (based on Percentage Used *)
 Est 1987 by two engineers and friends, John Tu and David Sun, saw an opportunity in storage technology.
MoreCyberShack storage news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First impression – small, fast and well-priced – Exceed

It is not the first USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 reviewed – all the following are that standard. But I am used to seeing larger external SSDs like the Samsung T7, WD Black, Sandisk Extreme Pro, WD My Passport and OWC Envoy Pro. This is tiny in comparison.

So its USP is that it has similar performance in a very pocketable package. In fact, the USB-C-USB-A cable probably takes up more space. Sorry, you will need to buy a USB-C to USB-C cable – perhaps it would have been nice to supply an adapter.

Specs – Exceed

  • Silicon Motion SM2320 UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). Interestingly, it is a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 x 2 capable controller with a USB bridge to connect directly to the serial bus.
  • 96-layer 3D TLC (Triple-Level Cell, 3-bit)
  • LED activity light

Tests – Pass+

It meets or exceeds all USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 x 1 theoretical speeds. It gets a Pass+ as the SLC  cache fills at about 150GB, and speeds drop off.

Crystal Disk Mark read/write 1065.4/1006.74

CPDT sustained read/write 947.36/563.49 MBps

AS SSD – sustained read/write 951.85/677.40MBps

ATTO Disk Mark

15GB file copy <1m Typical write speed 545MBps

Being USB-C, there is no DRAM ram buffer, just a 1024MB SLC cache, so it will eventually need to take a breath – we expect around 100-150GB files, but CPDT is pretty indicative.

If you need more speed, look at Kingston’s XS2000 (2,000MBps), which comes in capacities up to 4TB and has a rugged IP55 rating.

CyberShack’s view – Kingston XS1000 delivers speed and value

It is compact, reaches 1000MBps sequential read/write, is reasonably priced, and has a 5-year warranty.

Won me!

Rating

  • Features: 85 – no encryption and would have liked a USB-A adapter. Small, light, and fast.
  • Value: 90 – excellent cost per GB
  • Performance: 95 – meets or exceeds specs
  • Ease of Use: 100 – Plug and go and 5 year warranty
  • Design: 100 – small, light and aluminium case

Kingston XS1000 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 external SSD

1/2TB Approx $110/188
9.4

Features

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Performance

9.5/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Design

10.0/10

Pros

  • Great performance and price
  • Small aluminium body
  • Works well on all USB devices back to USB-A 2.0
  • Use it for backup, playing games from it, or even 4K video rendering

Cons

  • Would like to see a USB-A-USB-C adapter inbox
  • No hardware encryption