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Western Digital Storage Solutions Review

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Western Digital kindly sent some members of the Rapid Reviews editorial team a selection of storage products to review. From portable SSDs to Nintendo Switch memory cards, there’s a lot to cover so it’s time to find our thoughts in these Rapid Reviews.

SanDisk MicroSDXC Card for Nintendo Switch Review | Chloe Osborn

The standout feature of the Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC as soon as I opened the package was the unique design! There is a variety to choose from with corresponding memory capacity; The Legend of Zelda for the 64GB, 3 different Mario designs for 128GB, 256GB and 400GB, then Animal Crossing for the 512GB. I got sent the Animal Crossing one, which as a fan I was over the moon with. I loved Tom Nook, Timmy and Tommy on the packaging, and the mint green and white palette to match.

Of course, the appearance isn’t the reason you’re going to buy a memory card, particularly when it’s hidden inside the Switch! The Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC card works for both the Switch and the Switch Lite. The 512GB of space comes with a fairly large price tag, but it’s what you’d expect when the Nintendo branding is involved. Not to mention, SanDisk being a very reliable company too in regards to memory cards.

Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC
Though packaging design is not essential, it was a pleasant surprise.

This amount of space is incredibly ideal for me as a game reviewer. A lot of the time, I’ve had to archive games in order to make room to install new ones. I try to archive ones I’ve completed or won’t play for a while, but I was starting to edge into games that I didn’t want to delete. Thankfully, with this memory card, it is more than enough to make archiving a thing of the past. 32GB on the console, some of it reserved by the system itself, just isn’t enough particularly for someone who plays a lot of games. A big chunk of these are digital too, such as review codes, so storage space is essential. I tend to take a lot of screenshots too for my reviews or simply to keep cute pictures of my Animal Crossing villagers, so now I don’t have to delete them!

Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC
Hand for scale!

Being able to choose between saving on my system memory or on the Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC card is really handy. It’s easy and quick to do from the data management section in the Switch’s settings. The memory card offers 100MB/s read and 90MB/s write times, so you will not be losing out too much on fast loading times from saving on the SD card rather than the system. However, as someone who isn’t the most technological out there, I couldn’t really tell the difference. Someone more experienced may notice or have the speeds as a deal-breaker when browsing.

You also receive a lifetime limited (or a minimum 30-year) warranty too for your memory card. This is a pretty impressive amount of time! However, not having had years to use the card or any problems, I am not too sure what happens if there is a fault, for example, if it affects your game data.

Overall, the Nintendo SanDisk microSDXC card worked perfectly for me and is great for any Nintendo fans who don’t mind paying for the branding! Though a little unnecessary as it has nothing to do with the performance of the card, at least you can rest easy knowing it is officially licensed and will work with the Switch. If you’re not too keen on paying extra for the branding, perhaps search for a similar SanDisk memory card. What I can say though is that 512GB is a very considerable amount; if you’re someone who has lots of digital games, it’s more than worth it. But if you feel you don’t need that much space, don’t be afraid to go with the lower options either.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase the Nintendo®-Licensed Memory Cards For Nintendo Switch™ from the Western Digital Store.

SanDisk iXpand 15W Wireless Charger Review|Alex Laybourne

I received the SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger in pristine condition – after my previous hardware delivery had not been handled with care by the same delivery company. I was surprised by the size of the packaging, thinking perhaps they had gone overboard with the insulation, however, to my surprise there were two products in the box.

One was a wireless charging unit and the other, a combination charging unit and 256GB photo backup unit.

Unboxing both products, the presentation was neat and clear. This charger was packaged in a form-fitted dense sponge packaging. The all-white finish of the units along with the cables and plugs created a nice aesthetic that suited my office space perfectly.

SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger
Well presented out of the box.

As you would expect with a wireless charger, you plug it in and off you go. It really was that simple to get started. I also like that the cable is USB connected so you don’t need to use a plug socket if you don’t have one spare.

I initially used the smaller 15W fast charger. Placing my phone on the unit, I immediately saw that charging symbol pop up and I was away. I use an iPhone from work, and the cable I have is not the best – it’s a generic non-brand cable – and I’m used to lengthy charging times. Not anymore. The SanDisk iXpand Fast Charger was remarkable. My phone was charged in no time, around 90 minutes. Granted it was not from fully empty, but it was in the single digits when I placed it on the charging pad.

SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger
Compact design allows easy office placement

The SanDisk 15W Wireless Charger is 4inches round and has a single USB-C connector. It is compact and lightweight and does not look out of place anywhere. I was really impressed with this product and would certainly recommend it to anybody looking for a charger. The jump to 15W is a big step forward and surely it can’t be long before we see wireless charging for larger devices too.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can get your SanDisk iXpand 15W wireless charger for £49.99 from the Western Digital store today.

SanDisk iXpand 10W Wireless Charger and Photo Backup Review | Alex Laybourne

The second unit I received was a combination wireless charger and photo backup device. The SanDisk iXpand 10W Wireless Charging Device has a 256gb storage capacity and will automatically backup your photos while charging.

There is a little more to do before you can truly use this device as compared to the smaller wireless charger. In order to backup your photos, you need to download the SanDisk app. While you can search for this, there is a QR code provided in the box that takes you right to it.

Once downloaded, paired with your device and connected to the internet, you can go ahead and use the device to its full capabilities.

This charging unit is less powerful than the other unit I reviewed, offering a 10W charge. Even then, my phone was charged in around 2 hours. Most of the time I just put it on overnight anyway. The extra size of this unit (7 inches by 4 inches) meant I didn’t keep it on my desk – which is rather small – but rather beside my bed. Also, a very handy location.

I don’t have too many photos on my phone, it’s relatively new, but I had no issues getting the app set up for my photos backed up.

If I had to choose between the two SanDisk iXpand Wireless Chargers, I would have to say that I prefer the smaller unit. I have my photos backed up to my Google Drive already, and the smaller size, USB plug and the 15W charge capability just make it my preferred choice.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can get your SanDisk iXpand 10W wireless charger and photo backup drive for £90.99 from the Western Digital store today.

WD_Black P10 2TB Review | Squashpickle

Upon removing the WD_Black P10 Drive from its packaging, I was immediately struck by its small size and rugged design. With a grilled metal finish and a typeface that wouldn’t look out of place in any war-based game, this design lends itself perfectly for gamers. 

The drive I reviewed has a marketed 2TB of storage (with 1.8TB available out of the box). This was the perfect amount of storage for me; allowing me to install my DRM-free games and personal files with plenty of data to spare. Whilst I spent my time using this drive with my PC, the packaging also boasts function with the last generation of Xbox and PlayStation; a perfectly suitable way to house your Game Pass library for cheap.

The USB connection available on the drive made it easy to share my files across my main gaming PC and notebook. Whilst my notebook’s small amount of RAM and lack of any form of dedicated GPU meant that gaming was reserved for my desktop, if you find yourself alternating between devices then the P10 is the perfect device to store your DRM-free games on.

WD_Black P10 Drive
Take your games wherever you go!

Running Epic Games’ Fortnite straight off the game drive, the highest quality of textures quickly loaded in with some initial low-quality assets “upgrading” after a few seconds. Another way of using this drive is by using the P10 as a secondary drive for your games. As someone who likes to alternate between games, the speed of the drive is considerably faster than that of installing via the internet. It means that you will not need to uninstall and install games every time you need more space or want to return to a game, instead it’s just a simple case of dragging and dropping your files over.

Speaking of ease, using this drive is the very definition of “plug and play”. A single USB micro B to USB A cable comes equipped and my PC instantly picked up on the drive; available to use straight away with no additional software required to install.

WD_Black P10 Drive
The design fits into this setup well.

Another way that the speed of this drive impressed me is that I was able to record gameplay footage straight onto the drive. Additionally, my editing software easily picked up the footage on the P10 Drive, trimming and exporting back onto the drive with ease. Fairly intensive reading and writing both at the same time was an unexpected feature. I did this editing to really put the drive through its paces, initially unexpectant of the speediness of this minus £80 hardware, but to my pleasant surprise, the P10 certainly delivered. It should be noted that the P10 “high-performance game drive” is unsurprisingly marketed for games rather than editing, so there are better options in the market if you are more of the creative type.

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase the WD Black P10 Games Drive (2TB) for £75.99 on the Western Digital Store

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD Review | Rob Lake

SanDisk market the Extreme Portable SSD as a “high-speed storage designed to keep you moving” and this bite-sized SSD lives up to that statement.  Its small, compact design features a USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type C Ready connection that is also compatible with Type A. What’s more impressive is that the SanDisk Extreme can withstand both dust and water with its IP55 rating. Add this to its shock and vibration resistance, and the ability to withstand drops of up to 2 meters (6.56 foot), then this portable SSD is a serious bit of kit. 

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD
This external SSD can withstand both dust and water!

Most of my time with the 1TB version of the Extreme Portable SSD was with it attached to my Xbox Series X. As a gamer, I was instantly impressed with its speed. Playing backwards compatible games off of the SSD was an absolute joy, and moving titles to and from my other storage was lightning fast. This is in part to its impressive read and write speed which clocks in at 1050MB/S Read and 1000MB/S Write. Its compact design also works wonders if you’re limited to shelf space too! 

As SSDs go, the SanDisk Extreme is a serious bit of kit. Its design means that it can take the pressures of everyday life with relative comfort. While my time with the SSD was limited to using it on my Xbox Series X, I could easily see myself using this within my day job, and I intend to do so once I’m able to return to the office. 

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (1TB) for £132.99 via the Western Digital Store

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