The Integral Memory SlimXpress 1TB external SSD offered a polished, if underwhelming performance, without any significant feature worth mentioning. There’s no IP rating, no useful software bundle (like on Samsung or Seagate portable SSDs), not even a carabiner (like for Netac or Sandisk). Its biggest flaw though is the fact that it is a UK-only brand at the time of writing.
One of the cheapest in its category
You can only buy it in the UK at the time of writing
Four year warranty
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Integral Memory SlimXpress: One-minute review
(Ed: Since this review was published, Integral informed us that the warranty period is four years as there was an error on the packaging. The SlimXpress does have an LED activity LED next to the charging port which flashes blue when in use. My apologies for not seeing it. They also told us that whilst the product is currently only available in the UK, we will be launching it in several European Amazon stores shortly. The rest of the reviews follows below).
Integral Memory may not be a household name in the global storage market but it has carved a niche in the UK one where it caught my attention in 2016 by launching what was then the largest SSD ever, the SVR100 and its enormous 8TB capacity. I’ve got myself the SlimXpress, its latest external SSD. There’s no denying that there’s an air of resemblance between Integral Memory’s metal champion and the Netac Z Slim which we recently reviewed.
The one we’re reviewing today however differs on three important points: It is available only in the UK, is much faster and has a shorter warranty. Other than that the solid black aluminum chassis that protects the delicate electronic components, the location of the USB port and the short cables lead me to believe that both Netac and Integral are using the same original design manufacturer (ODM).
The SlimXpress though manages to pull itself ahead of Netac when it comes to pricing and performance, positioning itself as a viable alternative to better established brands, although not by much. Not bigger than a pack of chewing gum (only 106mm x 32mm x 9mm), it offers USB 3.2 Gen 2, which is the highest mainstream speed (USB 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 and Thunderbolt are still very much niche technologies) and I’d wish Integral had bundled a data recovery software or a backup application of some sort.
Integral Memory SlimXpress: Pricing and availability
- How much does it cost? £55.99
- When is it available?
- Where can you get it? It is available in the UK only
As a potential candidate for our best portable SSD buying guide, the SlimXpress loses out on availability as it is a UK-only product. It is available in capacities ranging from 500GB to 4TB; I reviewed the 1TB model.
Integral Memory SlimXpress: Benchmark
On the whole, Integral delivered on the advertised 1.05/1GBps speeds, coming close to 1.1GBps on CDM write and inching into 1GBps territory on write, which is admirable. The drive became warm on extensive use which was expected. I didn’t test the drive with the bundled adaptor but I’d recommend sticking to USB Type-C to enjoy the higher transfer rates.
|Row 0 - Cell 0
Integral Memory SlimXpress: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Row 0 - Cell 1
|512GB, 1TB, 2TB
|71.5 x 43.5 x 8mm
|USB 3.2 Gen 2
|Warranty (in years)
|Rated R/W speeds (MBps)
Should I buy the Integral Memory SlimXpress?
Buy it if...
You want a solid performer at a decent price
The SlimXpress won’t win any prizes for speed but given that it is one of the cheapest portable SSDs with a rated 1GB/s read/write speed at the time of writing, it’s a compromise, we’re happy to make.
Don't buy it...
You want a small inconspicuous portable SSD
Despite its name, the SlimXpress is bigger than many of its peers (although one may argue that size is inversely proportional to the selling price).
You’re looking for a storage device with a long warranty
Integral offers one of the shortest warranties I’ve seen on a portable SSD which doesn’t send the right signals to potential purchasers.
Integral Memory SlimXpress alternatives
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|Netac Z Slim
|USB 3.2 Gen 1
|USB 3.2 Gen 2
|USB 3.2 Gen 1
The Z Slim from Netac looks like a twin brother to the SlimXpress 1TB and is a good 15% cheaper than its rival with a much longer warranty. However, it is also much slower which reduces its appeal. Just bear in mind though that prices change all the time. As I was finishing this review, Netac introduced a 20% discount on the ZX10, a faster version of the Z Slim. The discount brought down its price in line with the Integral SlimXpress but with a much longer warranty.
The Crucial X8 is just a few pounds more expensive and matches Integral’s performance while delivering a much longer warranty. The backing of Micron, one of the world’s largest memory manufacturers, gives it the edge on the SlimXpress
The Crucial X6 is a slower, cheaper and smaller version of the X8 above. It competes with the Z Slim but is one to be considered as well due to its longer warranty and the presence of Micron as the parent brand.
How I tested the Integral Memory SlimXpress
After having formatted the Integral SlimXpress to exFAT, I test it the same way I test other storage components (external HDD, microSD cards etc). I use the latest versions of CrystalDiskMark, Atto, AS SSD and AJA benchmarks, noting the best scores achieved in each. They are all free and can be downloaded by anyone. I then transfer a folder of files, roughly 10GB in size, to get a rough idea of real life performance.
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.
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