SanDisk goes big on capacity and small on form factor

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SanDisk's new Extreme 500 and Extreme 900 lines of portable SSDs

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SanDisk, whose flash memory offerings are usually in the form of memory cards and SSDs for laptops, desktops and enterprise applications, has now expanded into the portable SSD market. Its new Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 lines of portable SSDs were revealed alongside its highest capacity USB flash drive and the world's smallest 128 GB thumb drive at Computex in Taiwan.

With no moving parts, solid-state flash memory has obvious advantages for portable hard drives that are likely to be subjected to their fair share of rough and tumble, so it's no big surprise to see that SanDisk has put the technology into its line of Extreme 500 rugged drives.

Available in capacities of 120, 240 and 480 GB, the drives measure 2.98 x 2.98 x 0.42 in (75.7 x 75.7 x 10.7 mm) and sport a rubber bumper that helps make them shock resistant up to 800 G at 0.5 m/sec. Featuring a USB 3.0 interface, they offer sequential read/write speeds of up to 415 and 340 MB/s, respectively.

But these numbers pale in comparison to the larger Extreme 900 models, which come in 480 GB, 960 GB and 1.92 TB capacities and boast maximum transfer speeds of 850 MB/s. They feature a USB 3.1 interface and come with cables for both full-sized USB Type-A and the new Type-C ports.

Also at Computex, SanDisk revealed its largest capacity USB flash drive, the SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive, as well as the "world's smallest 128 GB USB 3.0 flash drive", the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive. The former packs 256 GB of storage capacity, with SanDisk claiming transfer speeds of up to 100 MB/s, while the latter packs 128 GB of storage capacity into a tiny, low profile form factor. This marks a doubling of capacity in the form factor that was initially launched last year.

The Extreme 500 drives will be priced at US$100, $150 and $240 for the 120 GB, 240 GB and 480 GB models, respectively, while the 480 GB, 960 GB and 1.92 TB Extreme 900 models will sell for $400, $600 and $1,000, respectively. Meanwhile, the 256 GB Ultra USB 3.0 is priced at $200, and the 128 GB Ultra Fit USB 3.0 is priced at $120.

Source: SanDisk

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