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The RAVPower 500GB Mini SSD Is a Small Encrypted Powerhouse

Rating: 9.5/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $80

The RAVPower Mini SSD in the palm of a hand. It's quite small!

RAVPower’s new 500 GB Mini SSD offers a glimpse into the future of SSDs. It’s small, cheap for its specs, and it even comes with encryption software. For $80, it’s one of the best future-ready external drives on the market.

On its own, the RAVPower SSD is a wonderfully fast and affordable storage device. There aren’t too many external SSDs in the $80 price range that offer 500 GB of storage and decently fast 540 MBps data transfer rates.

And really, that’s the device’s big selling point. It’s pretty fast, super small (7.2″ x 5.1″), and very cheap. The fact that it comes with encryption software and is powered by a USB-C cable (it comes with two USB-C cables) is just icing on the cake. You can use the RAVPower SSD with any USB-C compatible device, including the iPad Pro. And of course, you can connect the SSD to a computer via USB-C to USB-A cable.

Considering Size and Speed, It’s a Future-Ready External SSD

The RAVPower SSD next to a standard SD card. The SSD is about the size of three SD cards.
The RAVPower Mini SSD is about the length of three SD cards.

Solid-state drives get cheaper every year, and the market will probably be saturated with less expensive, faster options than the RAVPower SSD in the next year or two. But if you’re looking to buy a future-ready external drive right now, then this one’s a great option.

The RAVPower SSD has a decent data transfer rate of 540 MBps. That’s about half the speed of some $130+ external SSDs, but it’s more than enough speed for a hard drive of this capacity.

A little math tells you that 540 MBps is equal to 0.54 Gbps, or 32.4 GB per minute. That means you could fill the entirety of this 500 GB hard drive in about 15 minutes.

For a tiny $80 SSD with a future-ready USB-C, that’s not too bad. You could easily get a few years of use out of this drive before you find a cheaper, faster, smaller alternative. And even then, this drive probably won’t feel too outdated due to its forward-thinking design and encryption options.

Encryption Is Useful, but It Ain’t for Everyone

an image of the RAVPower encryption software. It displays GBs available, along with the option to encrypt or decrypt the drive.

RAVPower’s decision to include encryption software with this SSD is interesting. It’s a niche feature that may be useful while traveling, or while digitizing and storing personal documents.

And thankfully, this encryption software is quick, easy to use, and stored in a partition of the SSD. Every time you plug the SSD into a Mac or Windows computer, you’re presented with a File Explorer window containing the encryption software. This gives you the option to encrypt or decrypt the drive with a password and ensures that its contents are hidden from prying eyes (the software even hides the drive’s capacity, which is neat.)

The RAVPower SSD with its two USB-C cables.
The RAVPower SSD and the two USB-C cables that come with it.

But I’m not sure that the average person will get much from this encryption software. They might find it a little annoying or intrusive. Again, you’re presented with a File Explorer page containing the encryption software every time the drive is plugged into your computer. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it’s worth noting for people who aren’t interested in encryption. (Of course, you can format the partition and delete the encryption software through the Windows Disk Management tool or the Mac Disk Utility tool.)

There’s also the issue of compatibility. While the RAVPower SSD itself is compatible with just about any device (including iOS, Android, and Linux devices), its encryption software only works on Windows and Mac computers. Again, this is a very tiny issue, but RAVPower should probably develop a mobile app for its encryption software (after all, RAVPower loves to make apps.)

All in all, the RAVPower Mini SSD is a wonderful portable drive. For $80, you get a tiny USB-C external drive with a capacity of 500 GB and data transfer rates of 540 MBps. Its encryption options, while niche, are just icing on the cake.

Rating: 9.5/10
Price: $80

Here’s What We Like

  • For $80, 540 MBps Is Great
  • Has a USB-C Port
  • Comes With Encryption Software
  • Extremely Small
  • Works With iPad Pro

And What We Don't

  • The Encryption Software Can Be Intrusive
  • Encryption Doesn't Work With Mobile Devices

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »