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Meet the world’s first sub-$100 1TB portable SSD

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Buffalo Technology announces a surprise SSD launch. 

Buffalo Technology, a specialist Japanese data storage company, is probably the last SSD vendor we’d expect to release the first external SSD with a 1TB capacity for less than $100. Nonetheless, the company, best known for its high-end Terastation NAS devices, has planned the SSD-PG1.0U3B. cheapest external SSD

How much does it cost?

Its cost at $99.99 is valid only on Amazon.com for US customers.

The problem is that Amazon is selling it at the cost of all people around the world with an account on Amazon.com and this is the UK as well as Australian customers at a cheaper cost of $163.49 (or equivalent in local currency). cheapest external SSD

Price includes shipping (and the cost of couriers) but it does not include local taxes, which in the UK can add 20 percent to your cost.

What do you get for your money?

The drive is positioned as the ideal complement to Sony’s PS4 and PS5 gaming consoles. A USB Cable (Type-A), a USB Type A-to-C adapter, a quick setup guide with a warranty statement, and a game console guide are included in the box. cheapest external SSD

In terms of warranty, it has a two-year warranty that can be extended to three years by registering with Buffalo. We’re not sure why this is set up this way, other than to collect information from the user. cheapest external SSD

The drive itself is relatively small, measuring 11.7 x 7.5 x 1.3cm and weighing just over 90g. It appears to be made of hard plastic and boasts a shock-resistant, rugged design with enhanced drop protection. Buffalo has effectively turned an internal SSD into an external one. Clever! The use of shock-absorbing material explains why it passed the stringent MIL-STD 810G 516.6 procedure IV test in the United States, allowing it to withstand four-foot drops.

However, it is not waterproof, so it does not have an IP67 or IP68 rating. It does not include any software (no cloud storage, file sync, no antivirus, or Adobe Creative cloud trials). Because the SSD-PG1.0U3B is exFAT formatted, it can be used with Windows right away.

Just keep in mind that it uses a flat USB connector rather than the more recent USB Type-C connector for a reason.

So, what’s the catch?

There is a significant catch, and that is that it is a relatively slow external SSD drive with top read speeds of 340MBps, which is far less than what competitors can achieve (more on that later).

Write speeds are likely to be even slower. That is not a bad thing in and of itself (and significantly faster than even the fastest external hard drive). Just make sure your expectations are appropriately adjusted. One minor point is that its formatted capacity is around 930MB, which is less than the advertised 1024 (or 1000) GB. Still, the $100 per TB barrier has been broken, and that is what matters.

How does it stack up against the competition?

There is plenty of competition in the $100 to $110 price range, and the majority of them are objectively better than Buffalo’s 1TB external SSD. At $101.99, Inland, the own brand of popular US retailer Microcenter, is the next cheapest; it has a smaller form factor and is about 60% faster. Pioneer follows at $103.99 (for a slightly smaller 960GB drive), and Silicon Power rounds out this trio of low-cost options at $104.99.  With a smaller footprint and nearly three times the performance of its Buffalo rival, the PNY Pro Elite is our preferred low-cost top dog.

Large capacity external SSDs are the way to go if you want to reduce the price per TB even further. Netac is the current price leader, charging an almost unbelievable $91 per TB.

What happens next?

While other core components (processors, GPUs, and memory) have seen their prices rise (and rise) as a result of the ongoing chip shortage, SSDs are one of the few that have seen a downward trend, which we believe will continue as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays approach. We wouldn’t be surprised if low-capacity internal SSD and hard disc drives were priced the same.

Trendforce reported in September 2021 that “shipments of consumer electronics such as smartphones, Chromebooks, and TVs have been below expectations during this second half of the year.”
At the same time, “demand for retail storage products such as memory cards and USB drives remains sluggish,” before adding that “contract prices of client SSDs will fall by 3-8 percent quarter over quarter.”

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