The Kingston XS2000 is a solid-state drive that is very small and portable. It has a USB type-C port and is built on the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 standard. The Kingston XS2000 is about half the size of a normal portable SSD but can transfer data at up to 2,000 MBps, which is twice as fast. It can hold up to 2TB of data. There are four models, each with a different amount of storage space: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. It is the lightest compact SSD drive we’ve looked at, weighing only 28.9 grams. The SSD can work in temperatures from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius and comes with a 5-year guarantee.
Kingston XS2000: Description
Kingston sent us this study unit, which we really appreciate. The Kingston XS2000 has an IP55 rating, which means it can’t let dust or water in. It also has a metal and plastic case to make it last longer. The SSD comes with a ruggedized rubber case that can be taken off to protect it from drops. The SSD works with Windows 8.1 and later versions, macOS 10.14 and later versions, Linux 2.6 and later versions, and Chrome OS.
It is already loaded with the exFAT file system, so it can be used with more than one operating system. It basically means that you don’t have to reset it every time you change operating systems. If you need to, you can reformat it to use the NTFS file system, but you can’t use Apple’s APFS file system, which allows Mac Time Machine backups by default. The drive does not have hardware encryption, but you can use software protection to keep it safe.
Kingston XS2000: Pricing
Kingston sells the XS2000 in 500GB for $75, 1TB for $160, 2TB for $285 and 4TB for $500. It can also be bought from other places at a pretty good price. It has a Type-C connector and a rubberized sock that comes in a different package to protect it from shocks.
Kingston XS2000 Specifications Table
If you have one of the rare USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports, this is a great performer for short runs. For everyone else, the XS2000 is a USB-C SDD that is small, light, and cheap enough to fly off the shelves.
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 2×2|
|Internal or External||External|
|Bus Type||PCI Express 3.0 x4|
|Capacities||500GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|Water Resistance||IP55 rating|
|Compatibility||Windows 10, 8.1, Mac OS (v.10.14.x +), Linux (v. 2.6.x +), Chrome OS|
|Warranty/support5||limited 5-year warranty with free technical support|
Kingston XS2000: Design and Build
Based on how big the XS2000 is, it seems reasonable to believe that it has a Type-C NVMe SSD inside. This is one of the most small external SSDs I’ve seen. Without its rubber case, it’s only 69.5 x 32.6 x 13.5mm and weighs only 28.9g. From an ergonomic point of view, it’s perfect for business travelers. But putting on the rubber cover is a good idea because even though the outside case looks like it’s made of metal, it’s actually made of thin metal plates and black plastic.
The drive, a 20cm USB-C cord, and the rubber sleeve are all in the box. Kingston doesn’t include an adapter to use the XS2000 with Type-A USB ports or a pouch to keep the drive and cord safe when they’re not in use, which is disappointing. It also doesn’t come with any software to sync the host system and the drive, but there are many free and paid tools that can do that for you.
Kingston XS2000: Durability
The rough-and-tumble XS2000 gets points for being durable because it has a rubber cover that can be taken off. It has the same IP55 grade as the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2, which gives it some protection from sand, rain, and even high-pressure water jets. It could still be damaged by fine dust, though, and it shouldn’t be put in water. The ADATA SE800 is a more rugged external solid-state drive. It has the best IP68 rating of any consumer-grade drive we have tried, which means it’s dustproof and can survive a swim thanks to its rubberized (and permanently attached) port cover. The XS2000 doesn’t have this feature.
Kingston XS2000: Performance
Kingston is advertising this drive as being very fast, and it can read and write at more than 2,000MB/s in the right conditions. But that statement comes with a fair number of caveats that might make you less ambitious about how well you can do. If you have a normal modern computer with USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, the best speeds you are likely to get are around 1,000MB/s, which is about half the speeds advertised. That’s the most the interface can move, since 10Gbits, when broken down, can only move between 1,000 and 1,200MB before the bus is full.
To get double the speed, you need a Gen 2×2 interface, which is something that not many motherboards or systems have. For my tests, I spent an extra $49 on an Orico PCIe USB card (shown above) that works with Gen 22. For this solution to work, the PC needs a free X4 PCIe 3.0 slot, so it’s not something you can quickly add to a laptop. Once the XS2000 was hooked up to the card, it could reach its full capacity. With CrystalDiskMark 8.0, this led to read speeds of 2,092MB/s and write speeds of 1,881MB/s.
Other tests put the limits for reading and writing at about 1,850MB/s and 1,720MB/s, at least for the short term. The XS2000 uses an NVMe drive that is similar to cheaper choices. Instead of using DRAM to cache writing, some of the NAND is used as an SLC cache. This way can work well, and it’s usually only a problem if the system reads and writes at random, which wouldn’t happen with an external storage drive.
But on the XS2000, the SLC cache seems to be relatively small (30GB), and once it is full, the base performance of the NAND memory is shown, dropping write performance to below 400MB/s. If you have very big files, like 4K video, and you put them on the drive, you might find that the transfer starts off well but slows down quickly. If you use Gen 2, you can’t do this because the cache is being used up, but the cache will be used up faster on Gen 22 because of how fast it uploads.
Kingston XS2000: Pros and Cons
The Kingston XS2000 is a great choice for anyone who needs a fast and portable way to transfer files. It is not the most rugged SSD on the market, but it is still rugged enough to withstand everyday use.
- Small and lightweight
- Semi-ruggedized, with durability features
- Available in capacities up to 2TB
- Headline performance
- Limited SLC cache size
- Lacks SSD management software and hardware-based encryption
The Kingston XS2000 is very good. It not only did better than the SanDisk and most 20Gbps competitors in read tasks and handling small datasets, but it also kept up with the Samsung X5 pretty well. Its mix of materials makes it both strong and light, and it can also stand up to water and dust. But it’s not quite as tough as the SanDisk or Samsung drives, and the IP55 rating isn’t sure if you don’t use the rubber sleeve.