I still remember getting my first-ever solid state drive -- a SATA model with a small capacity by today's standards. It was mind-blowing to see how fast Windows could boot from it. Also great? No longer being forced to hear the sound of a mechanical hard drive seeking for data. All things considered, the transition from HDD to SSD was one of the most significant upgrades of my entire computing life. And you know what? I am sure many consumers would say the same.
With all of that said, solid state drives aren't just great inside computers -- they work wonderfully outside of them too. What do I mean by that? I am referring to portable storage. Thanks to NVMe drives, external storage devices can be faster and tinier than ever. Not to mention, with USB-C, you never have to worry about plugging in the connector the wrong way either. Today, Western Digital launches such a drive and it is absolutely gorgeous. Called "WD My Passport SSD," it features an internal NVMe drive, USB-C connectivity, and a beautiful metal exterior that oozes elegance.
USB flash drives and SATA solid state drives may not be cutting edge products anymore, but for some consumers and businesses, they are absolutely essential. For instance, while many computer users are leveraging NVMe SSDs these days, there are many more that don't even have computers with that option. Similarly, while many folks are storing data in the cloud, there is still a need for saving files locally and transferring them by USB flash drive.
That's why I was happy to see that earlier today, TEAMGROUP unveiled the EX2 Elite SATA SSD and the C201 Impression USB Flash Drive. Neither product will win any awards, but still, I can guarantee that many computer users will find them intriguing.
Backing up data is an essential part of computing responsibility. Just like regularly changing your car's oil, you should regularly back up your computer's files. The sad reality is, many people don't think about their important files until they are lost forever. How sad would it be if you lost your entire music library, your work projects, or worst of all, your family photos?
Nowadays, the cloud makes data backup easy, but you should not trust that solution exclusively. What if there is a situation where you don't have internet access, or even worse, the cloud provider goes out of business? You should also backup your files locally -- redundancy is key. Depending on how much data you have, a portable solid state drive often makes a lot of sense, as they offer very fast speeds and no moving parts. Not only does an external drive allow you to move data between multiple computers, but you can easily lock it in a safe or fireproof box if needed.
If you want to store your data externally, you can always go with a mechanical hard disk drive. That makes sense, as HDDs are typically a more cost effective option when compared to solid state drives. With that said, SSDs have dropped in price a lot lately, and are getting larger storage capacities all the time. For instance, both Sabrent and Samsung recently showed off 8TB SSDs. Not to mention, solid state drives are faster and have no moving parts, making them worth the premium for some consumers.
Lexar recently announced a new portable SSD that uses USB-C for connectivity, and it is rather affordable. Called "SL200," it appears to use a SATA drive internally, so it isn't the fastest option on the market. With that said, it is still significantly faster than a USB hard disk drive. Your PC doesn't have USB-C? Don't worry. The attractive drive comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box.
Back in January, we told you about the Samsung T7 USB-C SSD — a fast and svelte portable storage drive. There are two variants of the drive — a “T7 Touch” model which has a fingerprint reader for decryption, and a non-touch “T7” model that uses a password for the same thing.
While the touch model has been available for purchase for some time, Samsung promised the non-touch variant would hit stores in Q2 of 2020, meaning April, May, or June. Well, the T7 USB-C SSD is thankfully meeting that promised deadline, as it is available beginning today!
Back in the day, external storage drives were great for portability, but were typically very slow compared to internal storage drives. Nowadays, however, thanks to PCIe solid state drives that interface with either USB 3.2 or Thunderbolt 3, the convenience of external storage doesn’t mean having to sacrifice performance. There are some very fast portable SSDs out there, and they are typically quite small too.
Today, Patriot launches its latest external SSD, and it is a fast little beast. It is essentially an internal M.2 PCIe NVMe drive housed in a sleek enclosure. The diminutive drive connects via USB-C and provides both read and write performance up to 1,000MB/s. Its aluminum body doesn't just look good, but should lend to extra durability too. It even comes with both USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables in the box.
Solid State Drives are great for many reasons, two of which are speed and durability. They are much faster than mechanical hard drives, and since they have no moving parts, they are less likely to become damaged from bumps, drops, or excessive vibration. Another great thing about SSDs are their size. With portable solid state drives in particular, they can be quite diminutive -- much better for tossing into a bag or sliding into a pocket.
Today, Silicon Power unveils a new such drive that is not only very svelte, but quite fast too. The "PC60," as it is called, is a mere 11mm thin and just 80mm around. The squarish drive uses USB-C for connectivity and the ultra-fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface. It is thin, small, and fast, but also, quite attractive too. It even has a hole for attaching a carabiner, lanyard, or keychain.
With more and more people forgoing traditional desktops for laptops and tablets nowadays, consumers are having less of an opportunity to upgrade the internal components of their devices. Sadly, over time, having a non-upgradeable computer has become very commonplace. Hell, many components -- such as memory and storage -- are soldered into the damn board. Sigh. We largely have Apple to thank for that trend...
Thankfully, consumers can often turn to external components to expand the capability of their laptops and tablets. USB-C in particular has been a godsend for this -- there are many excellent adapters, dongles, and more that can take advantage of that tiny reversible port. If you need to add storage, for instance, there are many USB-C external drives on the market. Today, ADATA unveils its latest such portable solid state drive. Called "SE760," it is small, fast, and absolutely beautiful.
CES 2020 has been very exciting for those interested in data storage. Just yesterday, Western Digital unveiled a prototype 8TB portable SSD plus a diminutive 1TB flash drive with both USB-C and USB-A connectivity. Both of these drives should prove very popular with consumers -- if/when they hit stores.
Today, it is Samsung's turn to wow the data storage community. The company's latest SSD, called "T7 Touch," is an external drive that uses USB-C for connectivity and features USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds. What makes it particularly interesting however, is its integrated fingerprint reader which is used for secure hardware encryption.
When you think of portable storage, SanDisk is a name that likely comes to mind. The brand (now owned by Western Digital) has long been producing quality memory cards and flash drives. Personally, when choosing an SD card for my camera, I always go with SanDisk. Sure, there are less expensive options, but I know from experience, when it comes to storing important family photos, you should never go cheap. SanDisk cards offer great performance, but more importantly, they are extremely reliable.
And now, at CES 2020, Western Digital is, of course, highlighting products from its SanDisk brand. There are two new offerings that are very impressive. One is just a prototype (for now), but it is certainly the more exciting of the pair -- an 8TB portable USB 3.1 gen 2 SSD. That's big capacity from such a small drive. Even smaller, however, is the Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB 3.1 Gen 1 flash drive. This drive comes in capacities ranging from 32GB to a massive 1TB. It offers dual connectivity -- USB-A and USB-C.
If you need external storage, you should always try to get a solid state drive -- if you can afford your needed capacity, of course. Not only is an SSD much faster than a mechanical hard disk drive, it can be more reliable too. You see, since an SSD doesn't have moving parts, it is less likely to become damaged from jostling. An HDD, by comparison, can become corrupted by bouncing around in your bag or luggage.
Another benefit of an external solid state drive over a hard disk drive is its physical size -- an SSD can be much smaller, which is superior for traveling. Today, ADATA launches a new USB-C SSD that is tiny and adorable. Called "SC680," it is thin, light, and pretty fast.
How great is USB-C? Long gone are the days of incorrectly plugging in your devices, as the Type-C connector is reversible. Not to mention, it is smaller and more aesthetically pleasing than USB-A. Slowly but surely, the Type-C connection it is showing up on more and more devices, with USB-A being increasingly omitted.
And so, it is essential that device and accessory makers utilize USB-C. For example, ADATA has a new USB-C SSD which uses the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface. Called "SE800," it is essentially an upgrade to the company's excellent SE730H. Not only is this new model insanely fast, but it is quite rugged too. It's also very small, making it easy to toss into a bag or your pocket. And if your computer doesn't have USB-C, don't worry -- a USB-A cable is included in the box.
Despite the surge in cloud storage adoption nowadays, sometimes local storage is still needed -- particularly external drives. After all, fewer consumers are buying desktops these days, instead relying on laptops, tablets, and convertibles. These computer types typically don't allow the addition of a second internal storage drive -- some don't even allow an upgrade of the sole drive. Thankfully, good ol' USB is still here to expand storage.
Today, ADATA unveils two new drives that utilize the tried-and-true USB-A connection. One is a flash drive, while the other is an external solid state drive. Neither product is particularly remarkable, but that is OK -- these are designed for functionality only. In other words, they aren't supposed to revolutionize anything or win a beauty pageant. With that said, they both are rather pretty.
Samsung makes some of the best internal Solid State Drives -- they are fast and reliable. That is why many gamers and enthusiasts choose the company's SSDs for their computers. Samsung makes great portable SSDs too, including the popular T5, which uses USB-C.
Now, the Samsung T5 is getting two new color options -- Rose Gold and Metallic Red. This is in addition to the existing Deep Black and Alluring Blue options. Both new colors can be had in two capacities -- 500GB and 1TB. Unfortunately, the 2TB capacity model remains black only. A 250GB model is available too, but only in blue.
While many people are turning to the cloud for storage these days, not everyone trusts such a thing. After all, when you upload your files to an online server, you are essentially storing your stuff on someone else's computer. If you prefer complete control over your data, local storage devices are superior.
What if you want to leverage a USB flash drive, but you need better performance? In that case, a product such as the rugged Pocket SSD from VisionTek should meet your needs. These popular devices look like a standard flash drive, but they are much faster. Today, VisionTek launches the next generation -- the XT Pocket SSD. Not only is the top capacity now a massive 1TB, but the drive should last longer too. You see, VisionTek claims special data refresh technology will allow it to last more than 171 years before failing. In other words, it will outlive you!