SanDisk reveals portable SSD with high-speed USB Type-C

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Samsung’s T1 drive may have set the computing world on fire with its super-fast portable solid state drive, but SanDisk is coming to show them it knows thing or two, producing a drive with twice the speed and capacity of what Samsung’s can do.

Back in May when Samsung first let us play with its take on a new style of hard drive, we were blown away.

Netting close to five stars, this was a drive that blended in the best of the best, with high-speed flash memory from a computer’s solid-state drive made into something you could take with you, plugging in over the USB 3.0 connection and letting you access your files from anywhere over the fastest speeds a computer could deliver.

At the time, we wondered why we were hearing about it first from Samsung, when its major competitor — SanDisk — was nowhere to be seen.

Turns out the company was just working on something it could launch that was better than Samsung’s own could achieve.

This week, SanDisk has pulled the covers off its own high-speed flash drive, and we’re not only being greeted by one generation, but two.


First there will be a series designed to compete with Samsung’s T1 SSD head on, with the SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable solid-state drive (above), a smallish block of a solid-state drive providing speeds of up to 415MB/s read and up to 340MB/s write for storage sizes of either 120 or 240GB.

This is the basic model, and we get the feeling that the number in the series name is representative, comparable to the rough speed rounded up that SanDisk expects the drives to perform at. Officially, there will be another size of 480GB, but primarily, this range appears to be focused on people who want a fast hard drive without moving parts.

But what if you want to work from the drive, say perhaps if you’re a creative type and interested in working with high-end video?

For that you need something that has the potential to beat even Samsung’s own T1, with SanDisk’s Extreme 900 (below).


Remember when we said that the number sounded like it was the speed of the drive rounded up? Well that’s what you get with the Extreme 900, with an 850MB/s read and write speed maximum in a solid-state drive boasting some insane sizes.

We’re not talking small fish here, with either a 480GB, 960GB, or 1.92TB of storage, providing more space for people who need more and tend to approach the limits without even trying.

Better, the speeds on offer will work through both the standard USB 3.0 connection most computers have, as well as through the new high-speed USB 3.1 Type-C connections computers are beginning to get.

That means if you own a new ultra-thin Apple MacBook., the SanDisk 900 series portable SSD will work straight from your computer with no extra plugs.

“As a recognised leader in developing solutions for professional photographers and videographers, we designed this game-changing family of offerings to provide our customers with even greater speeds and capacities to keep up with rapidly increasing demands for high-quality content,” said George Saad, SanDisk’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“Whether a professional or amateur, this level of portability, speed and capacity is exceptional, and we believe it will transform the way people create and produce high quality video content,” he said, which he believes will save them time and money.

Unfortunately, pricing of the drives is a bit of a mystery at this time, with neither the rubber and plastic SanDisk Extreme 500 nor the rubber and aluminium SanDisk Extreme 900 sporting price tags.

You will find them exclusively at Harvey Norman, however, appearing in these stores October and exclusivity staying until February next year, but right now, interpret this lack of price as “if you have to ask” well, you know the rest.