Drobo Mini with SSD
Fast, protected, portable storage that grows with your needs
The basic idea of a Drobo is to buy a drive enclosure then slot disks in as you need them. Your data is protected (depending on configuration, one or two disks can fail and you can replace them without losing a single bit) and once it’s full, pop out the smallest, replace it with a bigger one, and increase your storage without missing a beat.
Drobos are available in different sizes and with different abilities. This Mini one costs about £285 bare, and you can slot up to four 2.5-inch drives, hard disks or SSDs into it.
We tested it with four 512GB SanDisk X300s SSDs, a 2TB bundle available in the US but not yet in the UK. Adding these four drives yourself adds £720 or so to the cost, but you don’t have to add them all at once. Alternatively, wait; Drobo’s bundle pricing starts at £722 for 1TB, and we hope they start selling directly soon because it’s a terrific little drive that’s solid and well designed.
You lose space for the redundancy (four 512GB drives equate to about 1.3TB) and a little performance, too – we peaked at 530MB/sec over Thunderbolt (half that on USB 3.0), and you can add an mSATA SSD card to speed things up further – but the benefits of redundancy and organic capacity increases more than make up for this. Christopher Phin
Like all Drobos it’s expensive, but it’s a sound investment – especially for creative pros working on the move.
It’s not pocket-sized, but wouldn’t be onerous to carry
when working on the go.