Here’s conventional wisdom when it comes to portable storage: If you get a Thunderbolt (3 or 4) drive, it won’t work with USB despite fitting perfectly into a USB-C port.
That’s about to change.
Western Digital today announced its first dual-mode portable SSD, the PRO-G40 SSDwhich is also the company’s latest PRO storage in its SanDisk Professional series designed for advanced users.
As such, the G40’s design reminds me of the PRO-BLADE Transport I reviewed recently. The main difference is that the G40 is a complete portable SSD with faster speeds and versatility. In fact, I’ll be generous and call it the ultimate portable SSD.
WD PRO-G40 SSD: A portable drive that works everywhere
The new SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD checks all the boxes for a dream portable drive. Almost.
First and foremost, it’s a Thunderbolt 3 drive — like the Samsung X5 — that can deliver up to 2700MB/s of copy speed. If you just have a USB-C port, it also supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps).
And you can move from one standard to another seamlessly. The only difference is that it performs faster with Thunderbolt 3.
Secondly, the new drive is rugged. WD says the PRO-G40 SSD comes with “IP68 dust/water resistance, up to 4000-pound crush resistance, and up to 3-meter drop resistance” and can withstand the elements of any working environment.
And finally, the drive is compact and looks good, weighing in at just a quarter of a pound (120 grams) and about as big as a matchbox.
WD PRO-G40 SSD: Hardware specifications
|Standard||Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
|Compatibility||macOS 10.13 and later,
Windows 10 and later
|Default File System||APFS (Mac)|
|Dimensions||4.36 x 2.28 x 0.47in
(111 x 58 x 12mm)
|Weight||1TB: 0.27 lbs (121.2g)
2TB: 0.27 lbs (122.3g)
|Data Transfer Rate
(through Thunderbolt 3)
|Thunderbolt 3: Up to 2700MB/s read and 1900MB/s write
USB-C: Up to 1050MB/s read and 1000MB/s write
|Operating Temperature||41oh-95ohF | 5oh-35ohVS|
|Ruggedness||IP68 dust- and water-resistant
4000 lbs crush resistance
3-m drop resistance
A frill-free plug-and-play portable drive (for Mac users)
As you might have noted from the table above, the PRO-G40 SSD doesn’t have everything one might want from a portable drive.
For example, it doesn’t support hardware encryption or any built-in protection feature — you’ll need third-party software if you want to keep your data safe against prying eyes. On top of that, its rated performance with USB could be better.
WD says the PRO-G40 is formatted with the APFS file system to work with a Mac immediately. While the drives work with any host with a USB-C port, it performs best when used with Thunderbolt 3, which is supported in all new Macs.
Pricing and availability
Western Digital says the new PRO-G40 SSD is available now in the US for $299.99 (1TB) or $449.99 (2TB). The price includes a five-year limited warranty.
If you’re looking for a fast, portable drive that can also handle 4K or even 8K video editing, it’s an excellent drive to get.