The MacBook Airs are wonderful machines, let down only by the still-small storage offered by today’s SSDs. Worse, whilst external Thunderbolt drives are finally trickling into stores, they’re neither cheap nor plentiful.
Alas, Elgato’s rather awesome-looking Thunderbolt SSD drive combines the worst of both worlds — a high price and low capacity. Then again, I imagine this things is fast enough to burn a hole in your desk.
The Thunderbolt SSD comes in 120GB and 240GB sizes, capacities which may remind of the external pocket drivers of three to four years ago. And they will cost $430 and $700 respectively, prices which seem to have been sent forward from the last decade. The speeds, though, are from the future, clocking in at up to 270MB/s. That would let you transfer a movie to your MacBook in just a few seconds.
But why bother transferring? The bus-powered drives are so fast and so silent (no fans, not moving parts whatsoever) that you can just plug them in and use them as if they were internal drives. Photographers especially will be able to store their huge RAW libraries on these drives, swapping them in as appropriate (apps like Lightroom will keep track of offline parts of your catalog).
And they will be swapping them in and out. The Elgato drives have one port only, with no passthrough, so you’ll either be using them alone, or at the end of your Thunderbolt daisy chain. Both drives are available now.