At CES, huge storage in tiny flash drives is practically a tradition, and once again, SanDisk has delivered with a prototype of a new 8TB portable SSD, the biggest external SSD ever made. But despite that huge amount of storage, the 8TB drive is also comparatively tiny — it can easily fit in your pocket, just like any other external SSD.
Of course, stuffing huge amounts of memory into a tiny package is SanDisk’s bread and butter: just look at last year’s CES prototype, a mere 4TB external SSD that was similarly palm sized. And while the drive itself isn’t for sale, it does offer some impressive specs, with support for the SuperSpeed USB transfer protocol at up to 20 Gbps.
And while the 8TB drive is just a prototype, it’s the sort of experiment that could lead to products later down the line. Just look at SanDisk’s other big CES announcement: the 1TB SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C flash drive, which the company plans to sell later this year.
SanDisk first showed off an ultra-tiny 1TB USB-C flash drive two years ago at CES 2018 as a prototype to show what was possible in such a small form factor. Two years on, and that product is finally real — with an extra USB-A port attached that allows the 1TB drive to be used with nearly any type of computer.
Is it useful? It might be if you’re the type of person who needs to carry around massive amounts of data in a tiny package (or a spy who needs to smuggle the Death Star plans to Yavin 4). But even if it’s not the most practical product ever made (especially considering the likely exorbitant price tag), it’s still impressive to see that much storage crammed into such a small device.
There’s no price or release date for the new Ultra Dual Drive Luxe — SanDisk is only saying that it’ll be available “later this calendar quarter” — although given the price of flash storage, it seems safe to say that the drive won’t be cheap whenever it does launch.