Drobo Mini with SSD

Fast, pro­tected, por­ta­ble stor­age that grows with your needs

Mac Format - - RATED - £1,005 (as tested) Man­u­fac­turer Drobo, drobo.com Con­nec­tiv­ity 2x Thun­der­bolt, 1x USB 3.0 Di­men­sions 187.2x44.6x180mm Weight 1kg with­out drives Drive fail­ure data pro­tec­tion Stor­age grows or­gan­i­cally Quiet and cool-run­ning Ex­pen­sive

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.

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