Gear + Equipment

4 Tiny Drives with Serious Capacity [Tech Tuesday]

June 4, 2015

By RF Staff

Whenever I hear an argument about Cloud backup versus localized storage, I think of the old adage that a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. Sure, you can have both, but I'd much rather transport my images on a small hard drive or flash drive than be dependent on accessing a fast broadband connection in the field.

There are plenty of portable storage options available, and we're happy to hear that SSDs have been consistently making their way out of computer enclosures and into the realm of external options.


My latest obsession is SanDisk's new Extreme 900 Portable SSD. The rugged drive offers transfer speeds of 850MB/s, which SanDisk claims are nine times faster than portable HDDs. Better yet, it comes with both USB Type-C and Type-A cables, which is great news for photographers who picked up a MacBook despite its single Type-C port. It's cross-platform compatible right out of the box and measures a compact 2.98 x 2.98 x 0.42 inches. This little square drive is available in 480GB, 960GB and 1.92TB capacities (MSRPs of $400, $600 and $1,000, respectively) and comes with a 3-year warranty.


If you're willing to trade off some features—including capacity and speed—to save a bundle of cash, check out SanDisk's Extreme 500 Portable SSD. Transfer speeds drop to 415MB/s (read) and 340MB/s (write) and the drives maxes out at 480GB, but the cost savings are tremendous with the 120GB, 240GB and 480GB, priced (MSRP) at $100, $150 and $240, respectively.


If flash drives are more to your liking and packing style, SanDisk's new 256GB Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive's claim to fame is its 256GB—SanDisk’s first-ever USB device at such capacity. Not surprisingly, the flash drive's 100MG/s transfer speed can't compete with those of the new SSDs, but this drive is sufficiently fast for images (although 4K video shooters need to go with the SSD). It's a little pricey with an MSRP of $200, but street pricing will be less.


SanDisk's Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive takes the idea of diminutive to a whole new level. The company upped the capacity of this award-winning, smaller-than-a-dime USB flash drive to a maximum of 128GB. With transfer rates of up to 130MB/s, this Lilliputian device is really fast for its size. You can pick one up for an MSRP of $120. Just don't drop it; it's so tiny, you may never find it again.