Samsung launches external solid state drives

Samsung  Solid state external storage  is very small and very fast -- but  you have to pay a hefty premium for this

Bangalore, September 20 2017:  The age-old  debate over  hard drive-versus- solid state drive  has been settled --or so we thought.  After a decade of both options,  solid state drives using Flash memory  has  pervaded into almost all arenas  of storage where  magnetic hard drives ruled.   Portable computers, all-in-ones and tablets  have switched to solid state -- which allows them to be smaller and lighter.  Hard drives with a  magnetic disk spinning element were always prone to easier damage.  But one has had to pay a price for  the smaller form factor of Flash-based storage products which GB  for GB are still  costlier than HDD or hard disk drives.

Which is why external storage -- the sort you plug into PC or laptop -- has largely remained HDD territory You  can buy a one terabyte external drive for about  Rs 4000, a 2TB for Rs 6000.  Now it seems there is a market for  external ( and highly portable)  solid  state storage. Samsung has just brought to India its Portable SSD or solid state drive series, T5,  with 4 capacities : 250 GB, 500 GB, 1TB and 2TB.

For starters, the storage  devices are   much smaller than equivalent hard drives --  about the size of a credit card and weighing just 51 grams. A HDD would weigh 100-150 grams.  The real differentiator is not size but speed: The T5  claims a transfer speed of 540 MBPS with all four models-- which  3 to 4 times faster than any HDD.  And the contents can be secured with AES 256-bit encryption.   With Windows and Mac PCs the SSDs contain the necessary software. If you are using the storage with Android phones or tablets, you have to download the software.

The storage unit  uses a Type C USB port, but two cables are provided: Type C-to-Type C and Type C-to-micro USB so you should be able to use with all current devices. But one must remember the claimed   data transfer speed will be degraded  if you don't connect  a device rated for the latest USB 3.1  speeds.

The question is -- how much is high speed data transfer worth it to you? Because  the 1 terabyte T5 costs Rs 40,000 and the 2TB costs Rs 80,000, while the 250 GB and 500 GB models are priced respectively Rs 13,500  and Rs 21,000.(check the online sellers for  significant discounts, though)   For the highly compact  form and the high speed  data rate you are asked to pay 5-10 times the cost of  a hard drive of equivalent capacity.  Insane? Maybe not. Samsung is an early player in the external solid state business and if past experience is any guide, the per-GB prices will tumble as more players explore the market.