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Kingston XS1000 review: A tiny SSD that’s big on value

Kingston XS1000 review
Our Rating :
£81.71 from
Price when reviewed : £78
(1TB) inc VAT

Neither the fastest nor most feature-packed SSD, but a good choice if you want something small, speedy and reliable


  • Incredibly compact
  • Good all-round performance
  • Very cheap


  • Rival drives are faster on random read/write speeds
  • No USB Type-C to Type-C cable
  • No encryption or security

The new wave of portable USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 drives promises incredible levels of performance, with sequential read and write speeds approaching and even exceeding 2,000MB/sec. The only problem? Many desktop and laptop PCs, and even Macs, are limited to 1,000MB/sec USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectivity. The same goes for a wide range of other devices, including Chromebooks, Steam Decks, Android tablets, iPads and the PS5.

This is where drives like the Kingston XS1000 come into their own, promising fast enough performance to use all the bandwidth of USB 3.2 Gen 2, but at a lower price point than the faster 2×2 drives.

Better still, this thing is tough and tiny, making it a great option for adding storage on a laptop or tablet, or anything else where size and weight might be an issue. I put it through our battery of drive performance tests to see how it measures up.

Kingston XS1000 review: What do you get for the money?

Prices start at a reasonable £78 for the 1TB model and for that you’re getting an extremely compact portable SSD, measuring just 70 x 33 x 13.5mm and weighing only 28.7g. It’s encased within a tough metal and plastic shell with a rounded head at one end and a flat panel housing the USB-C connector at the other.

Kingston XS1000 review

Kingston doesn’t make any claims about shock or dust protection, but the casing is tight and feels very solid. It will operate at temperatures between 0°C and 40°C, and survive -20°C to 85°C in storage. It comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, which means you’ll need an adapter or spare USB-C to USB-C cable for any USB-C only devices. It comes in 1TB and 2TB capacities.


Kingston XS1000 review: How does it perform?

Kingston claims sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,050MB/sec, and there it’s right on the money. Connecting over USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, I measured read and write speeds of 1,062.6MB/sec and 987.9MB/sec in CrystalDiskMark 8, with slightly slower speeds of 960.9MB/sec and 875.8MB/sec in AS-SSD.

Our former favourite USB 3.2 Gen 2 drive, the now end-of-life Crucial X8, offers broadly similar speeds, at 1,062.7MB/sec (read) and 1,016.3MB/sec (write) in CrystalDiskMark and 959.1MB/sec and 930.6MB/sec in AS-SSD.

Kingston XS1000 review

Kingston XS1000 review

However, in our file transfer test, the Crucial X8 pulls ahead, with speeds of 889.4MB/sec and 608.9MB/sec, against 698.2MB/sec and 563.5MB/sec from the Kingston XS1000. Looking at tests in progress, this reflects the XS1000 taking slightly longer to hit its maximum speeds.

Kingston XS1000 review

In the random 4K read/write tests, which reflect how drivers are used while running applications, the XS1000 falls behind the Crucial X8 over USB-C in both the CrystalDiskMark and AS-SSD tests.

Kingston XS1000 review

Kingston XS1000 review

However, this is the one area where switching to a USB-C connection makes a tangible difference to performance, boosting read speeds in CrystalDiskMark from 158.8MB/sec to 214.3MB/sec, though with no significant change in AS-SSD. Write speeds increased in CrystalDiskMark from 145MB/sec to 235.7MB/sec; again, there were barely any differences in AS-SSD’s more granular random 4K test.

Either way, the Kingston XS1000 gives you good speeds considering its price point, even if other drives go slightly faster. 

READ NEXT: Best SSDs for PS5

Kingston XS1000 review: Are there any useful extras?

The XS1000 is something of a barebones drive, shipping without any drive management software or additional security features. You’re limited to the features built into Windows, or any you can add through a third-party disk management app.

Kingston XS1000 review

What’s more, there’s no hardware-based encryption or password protection, so if you’re looking for extra security, you might want to invest in another drive.

Kingston XS1000 review: Should you buy it?

The Kingston XS1000 has two big advantages: it’s cheap and it’s very small. Provided you’re not inclined to lose tiny things, you’ll find it reliable and fast enough for simple backup and file transfer purposes. 

Even better, it’s so small that you’ll hardly notice it attached to a laptop even if you’re on the move, or you can keep it in a pocket of a laptop case or backpack. If you’re after maximum security, ruggedization or performance, there are better options out there, but for inexpensive, take anywhere storage it’s a great SSD.

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