Flash drives used to offer enough space to carry around a few documents or a bit of music, but now you can keep a lot more on a tiny USB stick. In fact, SanDisk is showing off a prototype flash drive at CES 2018 that could store a gigantic media library without breaking a sweat. The new USB Type-C stick includes a whopping 1TB of storage.
Looking at this device, it seems unassuming. The shape and size are the same as other flash drives the company makes (all the easier to lose). However, it contains more storage than any commercially available flash drive. A terabyte of storage is more than you get with a lot of laptops, and this drive should be extremely fast when and if it ever comes out.
The as-yet-unnamed drive has a USB Type-C port, which some of the most popular laptops now rely on instead of older USB-A ports. Many Android phones have also moved to the Type-C standard, making this drive a perfect way to access a ton of files on the go. SanDisk also announced a small “Ultra Fit” USB flash drive that is a better fit for phones as it barely sticks out of the port. However, that drive tops out at 256GB. That’s impressive, but it’s not one-terabyte impressive.
The Type-C plug on this drive is reversible, and it supports the latest USB 3.1 specification for a theoretical throughput of 10Gbps. The storage inside this drive won’t be that fast, but at least the USB connection won’t be a bottleneck.
SanDisk’s other larger 1TB drive retails for $400.
Since this is not yet a consumer product, SanDisk has opted to keep potential pricing under wraps. We can at least work out a ballpark from its other new products. For example, SanDisk also announced new versions of its Extreme Portable SSD devices (see above), which have a maximum capacity of 1TB as well. However, these are not intended to fit into the same tiny form factor as the prototype flash drive. The 1TB version of that device costs $400. With the added difficulty of cramming NAND chips into the tiny flash drive, we can safely assume it will be even more expensive than that.
Without official release details, you might still have time to save up for the (probably exorbitant) cost of SanDisk’s first 1TB flash drive. It might look a bit different than this, but prepare yourself for sticker shock in any event.