Recently we took a long hard look at the updated Crucial X8 2TB external solid-state storage solution and walked away pretty impressed. It certainly was not perfect, as while it us NVMe M.2 based it is using QLC NAND (and all the associated issues with said 4-bit NAND tech); however, when used within its operating parameters / design envelope does indeed offer good performance with excellent capacity and do so at a rather reasonable asking price. Even more recently Crucial released their second ‘X’ series – the Crucial X6 – and today we will be putting the 2TB capacity version to the test to see if it indeed can meet and exceed the needs of this corner of the portable USB storage market.

As the name suggests the X6 is, unfortunately, not meant to be a high(er) performance model compared to its ‘big brother’ the X8. Instead the X6 series is orientated more towards the typical every day user looking for on the go storage that offers decent performance, great capacity options and does both while also offering excellent portability. That is a tall task to ask from a single drive and yet nearly every manufacturer at some point takes it on. They all decide to climb, and usually die on, this hill… as satisfying these needs means satisfying the largest demographic of the general public. Needless to say, it is one tough corner of the marketplace filled with a multitude of options from a veritable horde of companies.

Crucial X6 2TB intro - Crucial X6 2TB External SSD Review

In order to cater to the specific demands of Joe & Jane Sixpack, Crucial’s design team did not try and reinvent the wheel. Instead they have opted for a tried and true approach. One that involves taking an existing internal SATA solid state drive line, tweaking it slightly, adding in an adapter PCB to offer USB connectivity, and then placing this ‘new’ combination inside as compact and lightweight a form-factor as they can get away with… and then offering it at as low an asking price as possible. The last two are key as price and portability are paramount in this market.

On paper Crucial has appeared to tick all the right boxes except one. They have paired their BX500 series of SATA SSDs with an excellent (for its class) ASMedia ASM235CM controller, then designed a lightweight plastic enclosure for it. These are all tried and true methods of grabbing the attention of fickle buyers who are in information overload thanks to a saturated market. The sticky wicket is the asking price. While the X6 2TB is indeed a touch less expensive than its main competition (2TB’ers usually go in the 280-300 dollar range… or higher) the recently released X8 2TB is only 20 to 30 dollars more at $300(ish, as its price is bouncing around a bit from retailer to retailer). That places Crucial and their X6 2TB in a rather precarious position, a difficult position of their own making. Thus, the real question about this SATA based X6 series is simple: can it justify its asking price? Two Terabytes of storage is two Terabytes of storage, and in the grand scheme of things a couple dollars up front does appear to net not only potentially higher performance but a noticeably more robust alloy chassis. So, can the X6 2TB justify being almost as expensive as its bigger brother? That is what we intend to find out. Let’s dive in and see what surprises this model has in store for the buying public… and who it is right and wrong for.