As a practical matter, working with large files using traditional notebooks is becoming more problematic. Most device manufacturers these days seem to assume that everybody has a robust connection to the Internet available. As a consequence, they are building PCs using drives that, while faster than ever, don’t have much storage space available.
At the 2016 CES event this week, Samsung unveiled an external solid-state drive (SSD) capable of storing up to 2TB of data locally that can be accessed on average at rates of 450MB per second via a USB interface.
Rather than trying to work with large files over Internet connections that are often spotty at best, Richard Leonarz, senior product marketing manager of memory and storage at Samsung Electronics America, says the Samsung Portable SSD T3 provides access to Flash memory that is not only a lot faster than traditional internal or external magnetic storage, Flash memory is a lot more resilient in that if the drive drops for some reason the data on it doesn’t wind up suddenly being lost.
In a lot of cases, having a 2TB external drive based on Flash memory might even eliminate the need to upgrade a PC altogether. Samsung has not officially set pricing for the Samsung Portable SSD T3 that is due out in February. But for even a couple of hundred dollars, many end users may opt to buy one themselves in order to enhance the computing experience being provided on the devices owned by the companies where they work.
While the size of files might currently be an issue limited to certain types of people working with graphics-intensive files on the road, Leonarz notes that as 4K content becomes more commonplace, many more people are going to encounter challenges with trying to interact with data over the Internet. As that becomes a more vexing issue, Samsung is betting that demand for storage that goes beyond what comes in the typical PC device will increase considerably.
Obviously, at the CES conference, there were all kinds of leading-edge technologies that have the potential to transform the way we work and play. But from a practical perspective, it may very well turn out that access to affordable external SSDs could be the one that makes the most immediate difference to the average person.