Don’t mistake that 1TB SSD for a snack — smallest ever solid state drive that's barely bigger than a thumbnail debuts in Japan

Buffalo SSD-PST1.0U3-BA
(Image credit: Buffalo)

This tiny device looks more like a receiver for a USB mouse or a small flash drive than a high-speed SSD, but that’s exactly what Buffalo is set to launch in November.

Priced at roughly $125 (based on an 18,800 yen retail price), the SSD-PST1.0U3-BA is setting new standards for the smallest SSDs. It measures just 14.6 x 28 x 8mm (protruding just 17mm when plugged into a device) and weighs 4.5g, also making it the world’s lightest, according to the manufacturer - so although eating it by mistake might be a stretch, these dimensions make it dangerously easy to lose.

Compatible with USB-A 3.1 port, from which it draws power, the SSD is being sold in 1TB as well as 500GB and 250GB models, which are already on sale, according to PC Watch. Unfortunately, none of these devices are available outside of East Asia.

The world’s smallest SSD, but how fast is it?

Buffalo’s tiny SSD boasts read speeds of 600MB/s and write speeds of 500MB/s, according to CrystalDiskMark (CDM) testing by Buffalo. This means it comes nowhere near the speeds recorded by the fastest external SSDs out there, but does exceed the speeds reached by some of the fastest external hard drives

When it comes to SSDs, the 2TB model of the SanDisk Professional PRO-G40 SSD, for example, is the fastest we’ve tested at the time of writing and hits speeds of more than 3,150MB/s for reads and 2,700MB/s for writes. 

The tiniest SSD we’ve tested that you can buy today, the Kingston XS2000, reached speeds of 1,062MB/s reads and 999MB/s writes via CDM testing (ed: the advertised 2000MB/s sequential read/write speeds can be reached by connecting the XS2000 external SSD to a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 port). 

By contrast, this weighs nearly five times as much as the Buffalo device and measures 13 x 32 x 67mm.

As far as hard drives go, the SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE Desktop, for example, can hit speeds of up to 280MB/s.

Indeed, its minuscule size is perhaps more the appeal than its data transfer speeds – as well as 1TB storage capacity. This means it’s undoubtedly in with a shout of being one of the best portable SSDs you can buy today. If you live in the right part of the world, that is.

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Features Editor, ITPro

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Features Editor for ITPro, CloudPro and ChannelPro. He oversees the commissioning and publication of in-depth and long-form features, including case studies and op-eds, across a breadth of topics in the B2B technology space. He also contributes to a vareity of other publications including The Week Digital and TechRadar Pro. Keumars joined ITPro as a staff writer in 2018, and has expertise in a variety of areas including  AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation, as well as public policy and legislation.