Perhaps this is what USB 3.0 was invented for. Storage maker OCZ Technology has announced a new external drive that combines solid state drive (SSD) with SuperSpeed USB 3.0.
OCZ makes some impressive claims for the new marriage of the two technologies in its new Enyo Portable drive, quoting the ability to transfer a 6GB DVD in 20 seconds, or back up 1 Terabyte of data in 47 minutes.
Sold in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, the major drawback for now is price. These units cost US$229.99, $409.99 and $819.99 respectively, a huge premium on their slower spinning rivals. UK prices have yet to be announced.
The USB 3.0 interface is starting to appear on conventional 2.5 inch and 3.5 inch HDDs for external use, but SSDs are far faster depending on which one is used and what for. There are barriers, however, including the speed of the interface to which USB 3.0 drive is attached. The first-generation ExpressCard interface found in many laptops is not always a good match Techworld tests recently found.
At least one hybrid drive has already appeared from Seagate that combines some flash memory for fast booting with a conventional hard drive for data storage. A much cheaper design, these could yet emerge as a rival market segment to pure SSDs using USB 3.0.