The age of extreme portability is here. As things get smaller and storage media become cheaper, we may expect faster and more spacious storage drives which will be easier to carry around. Drobo, a company known for their quality hardware, has recently announced the launch of their newest products—the Drobo 5D and the Drobo Mini. Both of these storage units have ‘Thunderbolt’ support, which roughly translates into hellishly fast data transfers.
Between the two, the Drobo Mini is probably the most versatile. It is exceptionally portable at only 7.3X7.1X1.8 inches. The cuboid houses two 2.5 inch drive bays. The drive bays have a new pop-out mechanism for loading and unloading drives with ease. The Mini also has a mSATA Solid State Drive bay which has a new feature called the Drobo Accelerator which caches data for faster access to most used data. At the back of the device you will find the legendary Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 port. There are two Thunderbolt ports in case you want to ‘daisy chain’ drives. The Mini is the ideal companions for people on the go. Drobo obliges us by providing in-the-box thunderbolt cables and onboard support for auto-repopulation and BeyondRAID drive redundancy. The pop-out mechanism of the drive bays makes it possible to hot swap drives with apparent ease. The front of the Mini is beset with 3 LED lights that show drive activity, drive space and notify users if a drive gets corrupted.
The Drobo 5D, on the other hand, is a portable monster in its own right. It has five 3.5inch drive bays, a USB 3.0 port and two Thunderbolt ports. It also comes with the same onboard features and cables. Drobo has put in the Drobo Accelerator in the 5D as well. Both the Mini and the 5D come with fans that serve as cooling units for prolonged use. Drobo has remarked that both these units run far quieter than any other product they have put in the market. The Mini and the 5D are all set to be launched in July with the Mini being priced under $650 and the 5D at under $850.