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Update | Lexar SL200 portable SSD might be having random disconnection issues

Lexar SL200 portable SSD might be having random disconnection issues
Lexar SL200 portable SSD might be having random disconnection issues
(Update: A replacement unit works as intended with no further issues.) Our sleek and ultralight external drive is marred by random disconnects and general unreliability. We can only hope that our experience was an isolated incident and not representative of Lexar's brand new SL200 series.
Allen Ngo,
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(September 9, 2020 update: Lexar shipped us a replacement unit that worked without any of the disconnection issues we experienced on our first test unit. If you recently purchased the SL200, we recommend stress testing it by moving large files back and forth via USB-C to check for connection stability. Our review on the first unit is below.) 

The SL200 is Lexar's latest portable SSD with a USB-C 3.1 connector to succeed the last generation SL100. Its defining attributes are the small size, SATA III speeds, and the low weight of just 40.6 g (or 42 g according to our own kitchen scale) compared to 70.5 g for the SL100. Two capacities are available at the time of writing including 512 GB (LSL200X512G) and 1 TB (LSL200X001T) with a third 2 TB (LSL200X002T) option in the works.

Box includes manual and two cables: USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A
Box includes manual and two cables: USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A
Drive is extremely light at just over 40 grams. 256-bit AES encryption software is pre-installed
Drive is extremely light at just over 40 grams. 256-bit AES encryption software is pre-installed

Lexar sent a 512 GB unit for us to test and, unfortunately, our experience with it has been frustrating as our unit appears to be defective. The drive would randomly disconnect from our Surface Laptop 3 15 host system when running common benchmarks like CrystalDiskMark or ATTO. In fact, this would occur on three separate occasions during our testing. We would then have to physically disconnect and reconnect the cable before Windows could recognize the drive again. 

We attempted to format the drive to see if the same problem would occur between exFat and NTFS, but attempting to do so would result in the error "Windows was unable to complete the format" each time.

Chassis is mostly plastic, but Lexar still promises vibration and temperature resistance
Chassis is mostly plastic, but Lexar still promises vibration and temperature resistance
Textured back. The chassis has no screws for maintenance
Textured back. The chassis has no screws for maintenance
A small white LED indicator light sits next to the USB-C port
A small white LED indicator light sits next to the USB-C port
Drive footprint is only slightly larger than a regular credit card
Drive footprint is only slightly larger than a regular credit card

On the occasions where the benchmarks would run to completion, we can confirm the advertised read and write rates of 550 MB/s and 400 MB/s, respectively, when connected to USB-C Gen. 2. Speeds begin to stabilize at block sizes of 64 GB and greater. Connecting to a USB-A 3.0 port will limit transfer rates to less than 45 MB/s as shown by our screenshots below.

We've notified Lexar and will update this page should we receive a response in regard to the issues we encountered. It's possible that we may have just gotten the short end of the stick with our defective unit, but we still recommend users to check for disconnection issues immediately after purchasing by moving very large files or running benchmarks in a loop. More information about the drive can be found on its official product page here. Prices start at $90 USD to $160 USD for the 512 GB and 1 TB SKUs, respectively, with 3-year manufacturer warranty as standard.

CDM 7 when connected with the included USB-C cable
CDM 7 when connected with the included USB-C cable
CDM 7 when connected with the included USB-A cable
CDM 7 when connected with the included USB-A cable
AS SSD
AS SSD
ATTO
ATTO
Surface temperature when idling
Surface temperature when idling
Surface temperature after running CDM 7 several times in a row. Temperatures remain cool
Surface temperature after running CDM 7 several times in a row. Temperatures remain cool
Running CDM 7 in a loop
Running CDM 7 in a loop
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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4530 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 07 > Lexar SL200 portable SSD might be having random disconnection issues
Allen Ngo, 2020-07-23 (Update: 2020-09- 9)