One the major purchases I made prior to studying abroad in 2006 was a brand new iBook. To transfer my music and files from my parent’s desktop, I bought the biggest flash drive Best Buy carried…and it wasn’t even one gigabyte. While the devices of a decade ago didn’t have a lot of space, they were certainly much more easily compatible. Recently, we wrote about how many laptop manufacturers cut out CD ROM drives to save money, space, and weight. In the never-ending quest to make devices lighter-faster-thinner, many manufacturers are also switching to USB-C ports, creating a need for a USB-C dual drive.
What is a USB-C?
USB-C is essentially a tiny physical connector (well, tiny for now). Traditional USB ports fit type A connectors. You know, the one where you try to insert it, turn it around to try again, and realize you had it right the first time somehow? Those ports don’t fit on other devices which can utilize USB connections, like smartphones, digital cameras, etc. This gave rise to the micro, or mini, connectors, which is now culminating with the USB-C as the standard.
But now we’re entering a kind of limbo when it comes to USB drives. What if I want to transfer files from my phone, which contains a USB-C port, to my computer, which only utilizes USB-A?
SanDisk to the rescue with the USB-C Dual Drive
SanDisk announced at Computex 2016 that their new USB dual drive can connect computers to smartphones (or any enabled device) via USB-C and USB 3.1. The drive is relatively fast (150MB/s) and inexpensive with a 16GB starting at $19.99. With 44% of mobile phones expected to have USB-C connectors in the next few years, as well as the new MacBook Pros, it’s a safe investment. From the press release:
“With its reversible connector, impressive speeds, and multi-purpose potential, USB Type-C is a game-changer,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of SanDisk product marketing, Western Digital. “More Type-C devices are entering the market and through our Type-C mobile drives, we can offer consumers a complete line of mobile storage solutions. The new SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C flash drive now provides more than twice the capacity and offers the flexibility to quickly and conveniently move photos, videos and files between devices, as well as the freedom to expand device capacity.”
So, realistically, there are options for me in the aforementioned scenario, and dual drives aren’t particularly new concepts. What’s special about this USB-C dual drive is the design and functionality–just slide the notch to whichever side you want to open, and back to the middle to retract–and its capacity. Topping out at 128GB, it’s a far cry from the closest competitor at 64GB.
Physical incompatibility is now a non-issue when it comes to data transfer thanks to SanDisk’s USB-C dual drive. Now we just need to figure out how to package it…!