SanDisk enters portable drive market with high-speed SSDs

SanDisk has announced its first lineup of four portable SSDs -- two high-capacity thumb drives and two pocket sized drives -- one of which is using the new USB Type-C connector offering up to 850MB/s throughput.

SanDisk, known for thumb drives, memory cards and internal SSD, has announced its first line-up of pocket-sized, high-capacity external drives.

The new line of drives includes four products of varying size, ranging in capacity from 120GB to 1.9TB. The new line includes the Extreme 900 Portable SSD, which uses the new, reversible USB Type-C connector with throughput up to 850MB/s.

All of the drives come native with SanDisk SecureAccess software, which uses 128-bit AES encryption to password protect data.

In March, SanDisk became the first company to ship a USB Type-C thumb drive.

The Extreme 900 Portable SSD comes in 480GB, 960GB and 1.92TB, with a suggested retail price of $399, $599 and $999, respectively. SanDisk said the drive, which also comes with an older USB 3.0 Type-A port for flexibility, has data transfer speeds well suited for users working with 4K video, detailed high-res photos or large graphics files. USB 3.0 has data transfer speeds of up to 625 MB/s.

Type-C connectors, which use the USB 3.1 specification, are reversible, meaning the orientation of the plug to the receptor doesn't matter. The USB 3.1 specification supports data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, twice as fast as USB 3.0. Type-C can also deliver far greater power than USB 3.0 -- up to 100 watts.

The USB 3.1 specification is backward compatible with USB 3.0. For its part, USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0.

"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," Dinesh Bahal, SanDisk's vice president of product marketing, said in a statement.

SanDisk also announced the Extreme 500 Portable SSD, a USB 3.0-attached drive that can deliver throughput speeds of up to up to 415MB/s -- still more than four times that of a portable hard disk drive.

The Extreme 500, which at 2.98-in x 2.98-in x .42-in is half the size of the Extreme 900, offers capacities of 120GB, 240GB and 480GB, with retail prices of $99, $149 and $239, respectively.

SanDisk also announced its highest capacity 256GB Ultra USB 3.0 thumb drive, with transfer speeds of up to 100MB/s. The SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive retails for $199.

Finally, SanDisk announced its new 128GB Ultra Fit USB 3.0 thumb drive, a stick that's less than one-inch in length but can still store up to 16 hours of full HD video.

Smaller than a dime, the Ultra Fit USB thumb drive design provides read speeds of up to 130MB/s and can transfer a full-length movie in less 40 seconds. The drive retails for $119.99.

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