LaCie has launched a new USB-C SSD line with data transfer rates up to 500 MB/s — impressive for an external hard drive. They offer capacities up to 2TB, and start at $114.99 for the 500GB model.
The 2TB model is $509.99. USB SSDs, and SSDs in general have historically been prohibitively expensive. However, prices have fallen substantially in recent years.
SSDs are solid-state drives, this means that they don’t utilize spinning discs (called platters) and mechanical heads to store data and perform I/O operations.
Due to the physical limitations of conventional rotating drives, SSDs are significantly faster, achieving transfer rates in excess of 500MB/s for SATA drives, and more than 1,000 MB/s for PCI Express models (don’t expect this kind of performance from external drives, though).
The low power consumption of SSDs may open a window of opportunity to using external hard drives with phones and tablets (without the need for an external power adapter). Smartphones and tablets could probably supply them with power in the future.
For now, video editors and producers are among those who will benefit the most from LaCie’s new external 2TB SSDs due to their need for both large storage capacities and the fastest-possible transfer rates (as no drive is fast enough to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of video on a frequent basis, unless you have the patience of an owl).
LaCie claims that it can ‘transfer one hour of 4K 30fps video footage in less than one minute’, so that’s promising. I’m assuming that isn’t in the RAW format (or of particularly high quality), but it is nevertheless impressive.
Carrying around a 2.5″ SSD in your jacket could be a great way to add 1TB of lightweight storage to your phone or tablet. It would be even better if it was wireless. A Bluetooth or other wireless SSD could make the experience of using an external drive on your phone almost as easy as if you had no external drive. As it wouldn’t be hanging from your phone by a cable when you’re texting on the couch, etc.
There are already wireless SSDs on the market available from Western Digital, but they aren’t cheap!