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SK hynix Beetle X31 portable SSD review — BIG thing in a small package

I have never heard of SK hynix before, but it seems about right for the name of a chip manufacturer in South Korea. Even more, I didn’t know they made SSDs, of which I use plenty. Then, the Beetle X31 caught my attention, a little SSD that any creator would love to have. After some time using it, I can confidently say I’ll remember the name SK hynix, along with the Beetle X31.

When you pick one up, a few items come in the box. The aforementioned X31 Beetle SSD, a silicon protector, and two short USB-C cables to connect it. One is connected to your device via USB-A, and the other is USB-C. It’s all simple enough, and that’s all it needs to be. The only thing that was a bit off was my silicon protector; the slot where you plug in the USB-C to the SSD was offset, forcing me to push it around in order to connect my cable.

Impressively, the 1tb Beetle X31 is very small, and can almost be lost quite easily. The golden sheen makes up for that, making it a looker as much as improves its visibility. At only 74x44mm in size and 53g in weight, the Beetle X31 will fit right in the palm of your hand, and even in my smaller ones it is compact. This makes it easy to carry, which is a boon for a creator like myself, especially with the limits in place when carrying luggage. Sure, a regular SSD or HDD aren’t that much bigger, but any gained space is appreciated when you have to travel the country with only a backpack. It’s also cased in lightweight aluminum, allowing you to keep your mind at ease if it’s rattling around in your bag.

Running the numbers on the Beetle has been fun because I’m a numbers guy, and these are fantastic. I have two sets for you, one using the USB-A cable, and the other with the USB-C. Kudos to SK hynix for throwing both in the box. Let me start off with this: thank goodness for a drive using a USB-C connection rather than specialty cables or micro-USBs. USB-C is so much faster, and it shows here.

That said, USB-A is at a clear disadvantage. SK hynix advertises 1050MB/s read speed and 1000mb/s of write speed, and at best USB-A can get almost halfway there. It’s certainly better than any of the HDDs we’ve covered here; those punched above their 128mb cache. But, it’s still slower than what’s on the packaging. Even so, I ran a test moving video files and found great success – an almost 3.5gb file transferred in ten seconds.

The second you switch over to USB-C, however, the promised land arrives. All of the read/write speeds below (captured via CrystalDiskMark and ATTO Disk Benchmark) match up to the lofty performance stated. It’s not just in theory either, as my video file test again measured up. The same 3.5gb file moved to the Beetle in only five seconds this time, proving USB-C is the way to go both ways. All of this is also a product of the buffer DRAM giving an added boost.

Obviously this is great for storage, but can you utilize this drive to power what you play? To test this, I installed Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered through Steam. It did take a moment to reserve the space, but the installation was pretty quick and painless. Starting the game is similar, given the speed of the drive. I barely knew I was using it because upon booting into my previous game save cold, it only took six seconds for me to arrive in Manhattan. Quicker still, quitting back to the main menu and reloading took only four seconds.

If it makes it sound even more impressive, I was playing on the highest settings. Yes, my RTX 3080 and i9 processor will do a lot of heavy lifting, but not encountering a ton of pop-in or loading was outstanding. There was a single place where frames dropped in a random moment of swinging around, but nothing again after that. I don’t need any more proof here, the Beetle is great for gamers alongside creators.

Unfortunately, you can only use it for cold storage on new games or last generation games on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. Even so, it would be very capable at transferring your PS5 and Xbox Series games back and forth quickly, and most likely increase your loading speeds on last gen games. That, with its small nature, allows you to fit it easily behind the console, or in any crevice your TV stand or space has available.

Standing by your product is also a bonus, and SK hynix offers a 3-year protection were your Beetle to fail. As with most, it is a limited warranty; you can’t go running it over with your car and demanding a replacement, but anything extending past the usual 90 days we see on many products is great. Just make sure you keep a hold of your documentation (like receipt and certificate of authenticity), that is something the website mentions in great detail.

You can purchase your own SK hynix Beetle X31 portable SSD in 512MB or 1TB size here.

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.

95

Excellent

SK hynix Beetle X31 portable SSD

Review Guidelines

It’s nice when a device offers everything you need. The SK hynix Beetle X31 does just that for SSD users, with fast speeds, compact design, and versatility. If you’re a gamer, content creator, or just looking for a good SSD, the Beetle is a good buy.

David Burdette

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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