Home Consumer SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Review

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Review

by Charles P. Jefferies
SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD in bag

SanDisk’s G-Drive ArmorATD is a portable 2.5-inch hard drive that’s ruggedized for less-than careful use. Though it commands a premium over non-ruggedized drives, it’s still reasonably priced for what it offers, and its performance is as good as you can expect from a 2.5-inch hard drive. Overall, the G-Drive ArmorATD gets our recommendation for economical, rugged portable storage.

SanDisk’s G-Drive ArmorATD is a portable 2.5-inch hard drive that’s ruggedized for less-than careful use. Though it commands a premium over non-ruggedized drives, it’s still reasonably priced for what it offers, and its performance is as good as you can expect from a 2.5-inch hard drive. Overall, the G-Drive ArmorATD gets our recommendation for economical, rugged portable storage.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Specifications

The G-Drive Armor ATD offers 1TB to 5TB flavors; we’re reviewing the 2TB version, which goes for $99. LaCie’s 2TB Rugged USB-C portable hard drive was going for the same price on Newegg as I typed this. The least-expensive non-ruggedized 2TB drive I found on Newegg was $60, so the G-Drive ArmorATD commands a not-inconsiderable premium for ruggedization.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Exterior

That said, it’s not an insurmountable amount of money; in harsher environments – or if you’re simply prone to dropping your electronics – non-rugged drives are more of a risk than cost savings. Provided you don’t need the blazing fast access times or data-transfer rates of a solid-state drive, hard drives are quite economical.

The G-Drive ArmorATD’s specifications are below. There are no surprises except, perhaps, for its inclusion of a USB-C to USB-A cable. As is the trend, the G-Drive ArmorATD has a native USB-C connector.

Form Factor 2.5-inch
Capacities 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB
Interface USB 3.2 Gen 1
Connector USB-C
Compatibility ·        Windows 10+

·        macOS 10.12+ (Time Machine compatible)

Dimensions (LWH) 5.12 by 3.43 by 0.83 inches
Warranty 3-year limited
In the Box ·        G-Drive ArmorATD

·        USB-C cable

·        USB-C to USB-A cable

·        Quick Start Guide

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Design and Build

As you’d expect from a ruggedized drive, the G-Drive ArmorATD feels like it’s built to take a beating. Its basic construction is aluminum, and it’s all surrounded by a thick rubber bumper. The bumper can’t be removed.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Handheld

We didn’t exactly beat on our review unit, but this drive is rated for 1000 pounds of crush resistance.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Connected

It’s also water and dust resistant, though it doesn’t carry an IP rating to certify those claims. Mainly, this drive’s ruggedization is good for protecting it from accidental drops, rough handling, and the occasional spill.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD with cables

Despite the fancy case, the G-Drive ArmorATD manages to be close to a normal 2.5-inch portable hard drive size at 5.12 by 3.43 by 0.83 inches (LWH). The USB-C connector is protected behind a rubber flap on the top edge. All in all, it’s a snazzy-looking, well-made drive.

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Performance

Now for the performance testing. In our first test, Blackmagic’s popular Disk Speed Test, the G-Drive ArmorATD managed 126MB/s read and 124MB/s write, respectably close to its claimed 140MB/s rates. In short, it’s about as fast as you can expect a portable 2.5-inch hard drive to be. Solid-state drives are far faster, though at much greater expense. (For example, see our review of the SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD.)

SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD Disk Speed Test

Our next and last test is IOMeter, which we ran single-threaded. The performance is in line with what we expect from a consumer 2.5-inch drive. It won’t seem at all impressive if you’re used to looking at solid-state drive benchmarks, but again the G-Drive ArmorATD does just fine for a hard drive.

IOMeter (1-Thread)
Test Result
2MB sequential write 62.7MB/s
2MB sequential read 64.1MB/s
2MB random write 114.5MB/s
2MB random read 47.3MB/s
4K random write 1836IOPs
4K random read 102IOPs

Conclusion

The SanDisk G-Drive ArmorATD checks the right boxes for portable ruggedized storage to earn our recommendation. It carries a premium over a non-ruggedized portable hard drive but is reasonably priced for a rugged model. Being a hard drive, it won’t perform nearly as well as a solid-state drive, but its price reflects that; the 2TB model we tested is just $99. With a standard three-year warranty and its inclusion of a USB-C to USB-A cable, it’s a fair deal for portable protection that won’t let you down because of a drop or spill.

Product page at Amazon

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