High-performance storage for PC and Mac (August 2016)

While cloud storage has appeared just in time to offer free (or at least cheap) and easy access to gigabytes of storage space, many like to keep their data close to hand. Here are some of the best storage devices money can buy that will help you keep your data safe and organized.
Topic: Storage
1 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet


Got a lot of data that you need to carry with you or keep close to hand? Read on!

Whether you have a few gigabytes to store, or many terabytes to wrangle, this selection of professional storage devices for PC and Mac systems has you covered.

Here are devices ranging from tiny "James Bond" style USB flash drives no bigger than a fingernail, to huge 48TB desktop monster drives.

See also:

      Samsung Portable SSD T3
      2 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      Samsung Portable SSD T3

      Weighing in at 51 grams and roughly the size of a business card, the Samsung Portable SSD T3 features shock-resistant exterior metal body, internal support frame and optional AES 256-bit hardware encryption.

      Samsung's V-NAND technology also means that this drive is capable of data transfer rates of 450MB/sec.

      Price: From $105 for 250GB.

      OWC ThunderBay 4 mini
      3 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      OWC ThunderBay 4 mini

      The OWC ThunderBay 4 mini is a high-performance RAID-ready storage device that fits in the palm of your hand.

      It features dual Thunderbolt 2 ports let you connect any display that your computer can support, including 4K displays, and you can also daisy-chain up to six ThunderBays to a single Thunderbolt port.

      Storage options from 500GB to 8TB available, in both HDD and SSD.

      Price: From $580.

      SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD
      4 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD

      The SanDisk Extreme 900 portable SSD delivers up to 9x faster speeds than a portable hard drive, with read and write speeds up to up to 850 MB/s.

      The drive comes in capacities from 480GB to 1.92TB.

      Price: From $279.

      G-Technology G-Drive mobile USB-C
      5 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      G-Technology G-Drive mobile USB-C

      The G-Technology G-Drive mobile USB-C is a fast portable drive featuring a USB Type-C port geared towards users looking for speed, a sleek design and Time Machine compatibility.

      Inside its thin, beveled aluminum case is a high-performance 7200 RPM hard drive with versatile USB Type-C connectivity for up to 1TB of video and photo files. Since the drive features USB-C connectivity, it is easy to set up and bus-powered, so there's no need to carry an external AC power supply.

      Price: $115.

      4TB Samsung 850 EVO
      6 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      4TB Samsung 850 EVO

      This drive will set you back a whopping $1,499. The 4TB Samsung 850 EVO sounds like a lot, but it works out at less than $0.38 per GB, which is actually pretty reasonable for a high-end SSD. That said, compared to the 500GB version of the 850 EVO, you are paying a premium of about $0.05 per GB.

      According to the spec sheet, this drive is capable of read and write speeds of 540MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively, making it the perfect choice for anyone who has to juggle a lot of data.

      Price: $1,499.

      7 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2

      The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 is engineered to excel for applications such as backup, audio/video, photography, data management and more.

      It comes preconfigured, plug and play ready in RAID-5 mode (high performance w/redundancy), you can easily change among its RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, span, and independent modes for the best combination of speed, capacity, and redundancy to meet any need you have.

      Storage options from 4TB to 32TB.

      Price: From $499.

      10TB Seagate Barracude Pro
      8 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      10TB Seagate Barracude Pro

      The new Barracuda Pro is the first consumer desktop drive to hit the 10TB mark. The data is crammed onto seven platters, and it has a rotational speed of 7,200rpm, giving it a sustained transfer rate of 220MBps. Impressive for a hard drive, but it's nothing to write home about when it comes to the performance offered by SSDs.

      The drive is also energy-efficient, consuming just 6.8W during seek operations and 4.5W at idle.

      The drive comes with a five-year warranty.

      Price: $534.99.

      9 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      G-Tech G-SPEED Studio XL

      The G-Tech G-SPEED Studio XL with two ev Series Bay Adapters* is a flexible, 8-Bay Thunderbolt 2 solution that delivers colossal capacity and fast transfer rates for demanding video workflows.

      The integrated Bay Adapters accommodate all ev Series drives, enabling cross-functionality with the Evolution Series for enhanced workflow and productivity.

      Capacities range from 18TB to a whopping 48TB!

      Price: $2,800 for 18TB, to $5,000 for 48TB.

      10 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0

      Store up to 128GB is something not much bigger than your fingernail.

      Not only are these drives great when you want to pack the maximum amount of storage into the smallest space possible, but they are also work great as additional storage for tablets, smart TVs and car stereos where low-profile is paramount.

      I have a few of these, and other than the fact that they are easy to misplace/lose, there's not much wrong with them.

      Price: 128GB for $35.

      11 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      OWC Drive Dock

      The OWC Drive Dock is the ultimate, high-performance bare drive access tool. For creative workflows, backup, or other tasks requiring constant access to multiple drives.

      Two drive bays accommodate both 2.5" and 3.5" drives and can access a drive in each simultaneously. Each bay features its own independent power switch and LED activity monitor. Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports deliver extreme-speed data transfers, and support daisy-chain expansion with up to five additional Thunderbolt devices. Drive Dock also includes a USB 3.0 port for versatile compatibility and the auto-switching internal power supply is compatible with any dual prong cable.

      Price: $245.

      OWC Envoy Pro mini
      12 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      OWC Envoy Pro mini

      The OWC Envoy Pro mini is an ultra-portable, SuperSpeed bus-powered external SSD storage solution built around OWC's Aura Pro SSD, which is a fast SSD capable of transfer rates of up to 500MB/s.

      Elegant, light, and strong, the Envoy Pro mini offers full-sized desktop-class SSD performance in the ultimate go-anywhere storage companion.

      Price: From $98 for 120GB.

      13 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      OWC Envoy Pro EX

      Small, thin, light, beautifully designed, and packed with super-fast storage, the OWC Envoy Pro EX external flash drive is ideal for any professional looking to augment the internal storage.

      And despite being an external drive, the OWC Envoy Pro EX is fast enough to keep up with the most demanding of tasks.

      Price: Starting at $165 for 240GB.

      14 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      VisionTek 240GB USB 3.0 Pocket SSD

      The VisionTek USB Pocket SSD looks like any other high-capacity flash drive with a USB 3.0 connector, but on the inside it is a full-blown Solid State Drive (SSD) featuring a high-performance SandForce controller.

      Yes, this is a pocketable SSD.

      This means you'll experience up to 455MB/s reads and up to 440MB/s writes, which is as quick as some internal SSDs currently available.

      All this technology is housed in a tough aircraft-grade aluminum enclosure.

      Highly recommended!

      Price: $174.99.

      15 of 16 Kingston

      Kingston DataTraveler microDuo

      A tiny drive that even James Bond would be impressed by! The Kingston DataTraveler microDuo not only connects to Windows/Mac/Linux PCs, but also works with Android 4.0+ devices that feature USB OTG support, allowing you to access the storage, which in turn allows you to expand the storage on your smartphone or tablet.

      Price: Ranging from $12 for 16GB to $30 for 64GB.

      16 of 16 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      NewerTech miniStack MAX

      The NewerTech miniStack MAX puts the diverse functionality of a high-capacity hard drive, Blu-ray/CD/DVD optical drive, SD card reader and USB powered hub into a single elegant aluminum finish enclosure.

      Ideal when you want to maximize desk space or reduce on cable clutter.

      Storage options from 0TB (add your own drive) to 6TB.

      Price: From $168.

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