Solid State Flash is slowly replacing hard disks in external storage — but there's a price to pay — literally!
Most of the new generation Netbooks and slim laptops launched last year, used solid state drives (SSD) based on the same Flash storage that you find in USB sticks and phone micro SD cards. The advantage is a much-reduced size and weight plus superior data transfer speeds. Now SSD technology is increasingly offered as an alternative to hard disks in external portable storage devices — and they bring the same twin advantages of superior speed and reduced footprint, but at what is at present, a stiff price.
We have been trying out WD's My Passport SSD range of external drives and the shrink in size compared to a hard drive of equivalent capacity is dramatic. The 256GB size is only slightly bigger than an ATM card — and a centimetre thick. It comes with a Type C connector socket to the latest USB3.1 standard and if your companion device is also Type see, a transfer at 540MB/s is promised. The cable provided, has an adapter so that you can still connect the older Type-A devices and is backward compatible to USB 2.0 standard. This will degrade the transfer speed, though.
WD has built-in software for AES data encryption and file back up. My Passport SSD is a very handy piece of hardware if you are on the move and need to quickly transfer or backup files from camera, laptop etc. There is some variation between MRP and the asking price of the four capacities and these seem to be the best prices: 256GB (Rs 12,000), 512GB (Rs 14,300), 1TB (Rs 39,000 – Rs 40,000) and 2TB (Rs 47,200). You must really need the superior speed and the compactness — otherwise you must forget that a HDD-based 2TB drive costs just Rs 6,000. The price gap will narrow, but not any time soon.