Lexar’s New Armor 700 is a Super-Fast IP66-Rated Portable SSD

A Lexar portable SSD is showcased in three different environments. On the left, it is surrounded by sand. In the center, water splashes around it. On the right, it is on a rocky surface. The Lexar logo is prominently displayed on all three SSDs.

Lexar has a new portable SSD called the Armor 700 that promises not only fast transfer speeds but also protection from the elements thanks to an IP66 rating.

The Armor 700 portable SSD comes in three storage capacity options at launch: 1 TB and 2TB. Lexar plans to release a mammoth 4TB version that will be available sometime later this year. The company says this portable SSD is built for both speed and durability.

First, on the speed side, the Armor 700 uses USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 to bring up to 2,000 MB/s reqd and write speeds with compatible computers. While more common on Windows PCs, Apple users are likely out of luck as Macs and MacBook Pros almost entirely skipped USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 and went with USB 4.0 instead — there is one exception, but it’s an older laptop that Apple doesn’t actively sell anymore. All of Apple’s M-series laptops use USB 4.0 which while it is backward compatible with 3.2 Gen 2×2, doesn’t support full speeds. As a result, only select computers will have access to that top speed while the rest — those using Thunderbolt or USB 3.2 — will be relegated to a maximum 10 Gbps bandwidth instead of Gen 2×2’s maximum 20 Gbps bandwidth.

All that said, USB 3.2 speeds are typically plenty for photographers, but filmmakers on Apple machines or PCs that don’t have USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 support should look at Thunderbolt options or USB 4.0 SSDs to get the necessary transfer speeds. Until USB 4.0 parts become more widely available and cost-effective, expect manufacturers like Lexar and Samsung to avoid USB 4.0 since it is currently difficult to make products at scale using the tech.

Data throughput is not the Armor 700’s only trick, however. As the name suggests, Lexar put significant effort into making the portable SSD highly rugged. The IP66 rating means that the Armor 700 is fully protected and sealed against the ingress of dust (defined as “dust tight”) and is protected “against powerful water jets.” This rating is just one stage below protection from temporary immersion in water.

A sleek, black Lexar external hard drive is depicted against a rugged, rocky background with splashes of water around it. The hard drive's minimalist design features a single visible USB port. The imagery suggests durability and reliability even in harsh conditions.

Lexar also rates the Armor 700 as able to withstand drops of up to three meters, though the company doesn’t specify the hardness of the surface that the test is rated for.

The Armor 700 has wide-ranging compatibility and works with PCs, Macs, various tablets, iPads, Android smartphones, iPhone 15 series smartphones, and gaming consoles like the Xbox X|S, PS4, and PS5 (although games cannot be saved to external drives on the PS5 and, of course, speed performance will vary). It also includes Lexar DataShield, a 256-bit AES encryption security solution to help keep files secure. The SSD also ships with both a USB Type-C and a USB Type-A cable.

the Lexar Armor 700 Portable SSD is available in a 1TB capacity for $150 and a 2TB for $255 starting today.