SanDisk increases MacBook storage with USB-C external SSD

SanDisk Extreme 500 and Extreme 900 external SSD

SanDisk unveiled its Extreme 900 portable solid state drive (SSD) at Computex 2015, one of the first high capacity external drives that will play nice with the USB-C connector on Apple's latest 12-inch MacBook. The Extreme 900 is also compatible with existing notebooks and desktops with a full-sized USB Type-A connector.

"The SanDisk Extreme 900 Portable SSDs are all about performance and capacity. Available in up to 1.92TB, the new drives features transfer speeds nine times faster than a portable hard drive, giving users a significant advantage when they are working with 4K video, taking detailed high-res photos or creating large graphics files," SanDisk said in a statement.

Encased in an aluminum design, the Extreme 900 has fast read and write speeds, going up to 850MB/s. The drive ships with both USB-C and USB Type-A cables so you can migrate and access your data between newer systems – like the MacBook and Chromebook Pixel – and existing systems will full-sized USB ports – like the MacBook Pro and Air. Compared to traditional hard drives with USB-C connectors, like the Porsche Design Mobile Drive from LaCie, SanDisk's advantage is that SSDs offer faster speeds and more durability.

Extreme 500 SSD

In addition to the Extreme 900, SanDisk is also releasing a more compact Extreme 500 Portable SSD. While the Extreme 900 drive comes with capacity approaching 2TB, the Extreme 500 is available in up to 480GB capacity, or roughly a quarter of the maximum storage of its bigger counterpart.

Built for portability, SanDisk claims that the Extreme 500 is roughly half the size of a smartphone and comes with rubber bumpers and a metal ring to allow it to clip to a bag, making it more rugged for mobile users in the field.

The Extreme 500 has data transfer speeds of up to 415MB/s.


The SanDisk Extreme 500 will be available in capacities of 120GB ($99, £65, AU$130), 240GB ($149, £97, AU$195), and 480GB ($239, £156, AU$313). The SanDisk Extreme 900 will be available in 480GB ($399, £261, AU$522), 960GB ($599, £392, AU$784), and 1.92TB ($999, £653, AU$1,307) capacities.

Both drives will come with a three-year warranty and will be available worldwide.

Smallest USB 3.0 flash drive

In addition to the portable Extreme 500 and Extreme 900 external solid state drives, SanDisk also showed off what it considers to be the smallest USB 3.0 flash drive. The compact offering is available in capacities of 128GB and 256GB, with both models barely protruding from the USB port that it plugs into.

With the compact design, users can likely leave the diminutive flash drives plugged into their laptops, Ultrabooks or tablets while traveling without fear of damaging the USB port. As the drives are always plugged into a system, this saves time and also mitigates concerns that the drives may become misplaced or lost while in transit.

The 128GB SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 flash drive are priced at $119 (£78, AU$156) while the 256GB SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 are priced at $199 (£130, AU$260). Both drives are available worldwide.