Storage capacity: 1TB (931MB after formatting)
Interface: USB 1.1
Special features: Portable
Disk type: Solid State Hard Drive
Hard disk form factor: 2.5 inches
Size: 11.03 x 5.73 x 1.02 cm
The Sandisk Professional PRO-G40 sets out to fill an important utility for its users, and thankfully for both Sandisk and us, it knows who its users are. With its extremely compact form factor, grippy texture and rugged build quality, it's an SSD made for active pros working on the go, such as photographers and filmmakers.
But if you're thinking that's easy to achieve, just build a decent casing, pack the ingredients in tight and hope for the best, Sandisk has saved the best for the internal contents, claiming impressive read speeds of 2700 MB/s and write speeds of 1900 MB/s. But is it good enough to claim a space among the best external hard drives (opens in new tab) on the market today?
After receiving a sample to test and use with my work over several weeks, I think I can confidently say yes.
Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 review: Design and build
The Pro-G40 is a compact SSD, and knowing who its users are going to be, it's also very ruggedly built. The durable, sturdy casing is partly covered in soft-touch rubber for extra grip (very useful for photographers, for example), and it will easily slip into small side pockets on a backpack or a camera bag, for example, as it measures only 11.03 x 5.73 x 1.02 cm across.
It's also got a stated 4,000lb crush resistance, but after much internal deliberating, I didn't dare drive my 3,100lb hatchback over it to verify that claim. The 3m drop resistance claim was easy enough to verify, and even dropping it onto the pavement from head height hardly left so much as a scuff mark on the thing.
On the inside is a cooling aluminium core to keep things moving quickly in heavy workflow situations. Very quickly, as it turns out...
Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 review: Features
As a portable hard drive, the Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 has one main feature: storage. It comes in two size options, 1TB and 2TB. Both are ample for pros on the go, to store files and data collected out and about (such as photos or video) and then transferring those to a computer once back from your excursion.
We covered the rugged build above, which is great for the on-the-go bit, but what about the back-home bit? If you've got a large number of photos to put onto your computer for processing or onto more permanent storage, spending loads of time just waiting for them to be moved over isn't great for your workflow. That's where this drive's main selling point comes crashing through the wall: transfer speeds.
And this one has that area well and truly covered. Claiming read speeds speeds of 2,700MB/s and write speeds of 1,900MB/s when using the provided Thunderbolt 3 cable, it sets itself up as a top option for anyone who needs to move things in a hurry. But would it meet those claims? I checked.
Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 review: Performance
ATTO: Write: 2.42 GB/s, Read: 2.94 GB/s
CrystalDiskMark: Write: 2.59 GB/s, Read: 3.15 GB/s
Turns out, the Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 doesn't just meet its claimed transfer speeds. It actually obliterates them. Two benchmark tests, one using ATTO and one using CrystalDiskMark, both showed much higher read and write speeds than the manufacturer's claim, with the ATTO test showing how the drive reaches its whiplash-inducing top transfer speeds at a fairly small file-size point. CrystalDiskMark testing showed even higher benchmark results than ATTO, at 2,590MB/s when writing and 3,150MB/s when reading.
This was achieved using the Thunderbolt 3 cable, of course, while the USB3.2 Gen 2 speeds will obviously be slower due to the limits of the ports involved rather than anything in the drive itself.
In real-world use (with collections of different-sized files), the speeds stayed impressive, and the drive proved itself as perhaps the fastest one I've ever used.
Sandisk Professional Pro-G40 review: Price
With great speed comes great RRP, of course, as the Pro-G40 retails at £297.99 (opens in new tab) / $299.99 (opens in new tab) for the 1TB variant, and £495.99 (opens in new tab) / $449.99 (opens in new tab) for the 2TB version. However, you can often catch this drive for about a £/$50 discount when Western Digital's website runs its seasonal offers and deals.
It's still a lot of money for an SSD that isn't massively big in terms of storage, so what you're paying for here is the lightning-fast transfer capacity. As such, this isn't the best-priced option for casual users looking for additional storage for photos, films or files, but rather a specialist tool for pros who need fast file transfers, and the price reflects that.
Should I buy the Sandisk Professional Pro-G40?
The answer lies in the name. Are you a hobbyist who needs additional storage or the occasional use of a file-transfer drive for your projects or files? Then you'll almost definitely find an equivalently sized drive with speeds that will do you just fine for less than half the price of the Pro-G40. However, if you are indeed a professional photographer or videographer who needs to waste as little time as humanly possible waiting for your vital files to be moved either onto or off your portable drive, this is the one for you.