Crucial X9 Pro SSD review: Budget portability

This tiny SSD can do respectable speeds and comes with a great price tag.

Crucial X9 Pro SSD in hand
(Image: © Palash Volvoikar/iMore)

iMore Verdict

A speedy little portable hard drive that looks great and slips straight in your pocket, the Crucial X9 Pro SSD is a great option if you want extra storage on the go.


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    Incredible value

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    Decent speeds

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    Great looks


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    No Thunderbolt support

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    Not the fastest SSD you can buy

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Crucial has made some fantastic SSDs, internal and external, over the years. It’s X series of external SSDs has been remarkably consistent. The X6 and X8 have been popular picks for a while, and the X9 Pro is one of the successors to those drives. It's a super compact SSD and supports USB 3.2 Gen 2. We tested the 2TB variant for a week, and here’s how it performed.

Crucial X9 Pro SSD: Price and Availability

The Crucial X9 Pro SSD is available worldwide in capacities of 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. The Crucial X9 Pro sells for $89.99/£88.79/ for the 1TB version, $159.99/£157.19 for the 2TB, and $289.99/£285.59 for the 4TB one. You can buy it from all the major retailers right now.

The X9 Pro is pretty new, having launched only a few months ago, in July 2023. It doesn’t sell at a huge discount yet, but despite the low price, you can still get a few bucks off when buying one. Amazon US, for example, is selling the X9 Pro at $10-$50 off the MSRP, depending upon the storage capacity you pick. The same is the case with many other retailers, so you can expect to buy this drive for a price lower than the launch price.

Crucial X9 Pro SSD: Specs and Features

Crucial X9 Pro SSD USB-C port

(Image credit: Palash Volvoikar/iMore)

The Crucial X9 Pro is a balanced external SSD offering. It supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface via USB-C. What that means is there isn’t Thunderbolt support here. However, you don’t quite need it with this drive as it promises speeds of up to 1050MB/s. read and write, which USB 3.2 Gen 2 can handle just fine. You also get 256-bit AES hardware encryption.

The drive also comes with IP55 water and dust resistance, as well as drop-proof durability up to 7.5 feet/2 meters. The casing of the SSD is made out of anodized aluminum, giving the drive a nice look. The base is made from soft-touch rubber, so you get the extra grip. The drive is very, very portable, to the point where it would go unnoticed attached to your keys.

Speaking of which, the lanyard hole comes with a progress LED integrated into it, which is a great place to put it. You get five years of warranty.

Crucial X9 Pro SSD: Performance

Crucial X9 Pro SSD on a MacBook

(Image credit: Palash Volvoikar/iMore)

It’s fair to say that the X9 isn’t among the fastest SSDs you can get. However, it managed to get respectable speeds, and it does that while being super compact. Crucial promises read and write speeds of up to 1050MB/s.

The drive lived up to the promise during our testing, delivering roughly the promised figures. We tested the drive on a 13-inch M2 Macbook Air, which does come with Thunderbolt 4 but can also run USB 3.2 Gen 2 as the ports are backward compatible. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Crucial X9 Pro SSD benchmarked in AmorphousDiskMark 4.0.1
AllRead (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
SEQ1M QD81007.68925.98
SEQ1M QD1756.16723.79
RND4K QD64125.1051.37
RND4K QD126.548.31

As expected, the random write and read speeds are lower, but they were acceptable for this drive. In practical tests, the drive was quite speedy as well. The drive works with macOS’ Time Machine feature, too, if you format it with the APFS format using Disk Utility, making it a decent choice for a Mac user.

In terms of the thermals, the drive doesn’t seem to compromise on that front to achieve the portability that it has. It barely got warm to the touch under sustained loads. That's a good thing since we tested this drive in a hot tropical climate, so the ambient temperatures were rather high.

The massive advantage this drive has is the size and weight of the drive. While it doesn’t deliver speeds as high as some of the fastest external SSDs, like the SanDisk PRO-G40, it delivers solid speeds while being very portable.

Crucial X9 Pro SSD: Competition

 While the Crucial X9 Pro is incredible value for the money, there are some competing drives that you might want to consider. The first alternative is the ADATA SE880, which is faster but not as portable as the X9 Pro, even though it’s quite small. 

There’s also the predecessor to the X9 Pro, the Crucial X8, which has similar speeds in a larger form factor and comes in slightly cheaper. The Samsung T7 is also a solid alternative with similar speeds. 

Should You Buy The Crucial X9 Pro SSD?

You should buy this if...

  • You want an ultra-portable drive
  • You don’t want to spend too much
  • You want a rugged drive

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You need the fastest speeds
  • You have a higher budget

Crucial X9 Pro SSD: Verdict

Crucial X9 Pro SSD back

(Image credit: Palash Volvoikar/iMore)

 That’s all we have to say about the Crucial X9 Pro. It’s an incredibly portable drive that managed to do decent speeds while staying cool. It’s small and light and well worth the price tag. It’s easily one of the best external SSDs you can get on a budget and works well with Macs.

Palash Volvoikar

Palash has been a technology and entertainment journalist since 2013. Starting with Android news and features, he has also worked as the news head for Wiki of Thrones, and a freelance writer for Windows Central, Observer, MakeUseOf, MySmartPrice, ThinkComputers, and others. He also worked as a writer and journalist for Android Authority, covering computing, before returning to freelancing all over town.