Western Digital has launched a new storage system aimed at professional photographers and videographers with demanding workflows. The SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE™ Modular SSD Ecosystem uses NVMe portable SSD ‘mags’ which can be connected to a camera or computer via a portable enclosure, or a multi-drive desktop enclosure. The resulting set-up is designed to give super-fast and ultra-reliable data transfer with the convenience of being able to easily swap between SSD mags.(opens in new tab)
At the heart of the PRO-BLADE system is the aforementioned PRO-BLADE SSD Mag. At first glance this takes a similar form to a conventional NVMe-based portable SSD, though the PRO-BLADE mag isn’t designed to be used as a standalone storage device – it must be paired with one of the accompanying PRO-BLADE enclosures. Each SSD mag can withstand a 3-meter drop and has 4000lb crush resistance and is available in 1TB ($179.99), 2TB ($289.99) and 4TB ($599.99) capacity options. Expect availability in June 2022.
If you want to use your PRO-BLADE SSD Mags on the go, you’ll need to team them with a PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT portable SSD enclosure. This allows a single SSD mag to slot in and connect to a USB-C compatible camera or computer. The PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT enables you to swap between SSD mags so multiple drives can be carried with the minimum of weight and bulk. The PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT can be purchased as a bare enclosure for $69.99. Alternatively, it can be had complete with a 1TB SSD mag for $239.99, 2TB for $359.99 or 4TB for $659.99. Shipping is due to commence in June.
But to really unleash the full power of the PRO-BLADE system, you’d need the PRO-BLADE STATION desktop SSD enclosure. Where the PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT makes do with a 20Gbps USB-C connection, the PRO-BLADE STATION gets a full-on 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 link. Combine that with the four SSD mag slots and there’s the potential to simultaneously transfer 4K, 8K or even 12K footage in real time and make super-fast copies. Of course, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got one seriously fast internal SSD (opens in new tab) in your computer to ensure the PRO-BLADE’s speed isn’t bottlenecked. Pricing of the PRO-BLADE STATION desktop SSD enclosure has yet to be revealed, with availability scheduled for late 2022.(opens in new tab)
In addition the launch of the PRO-BLADE system, Western Digital also announced the world’s fastest SD card, but don’t get too excited. This is the world’s fastest UHS-I SD card, meaning it’s still some way short of the speed you could get simply by buying a UHS-II card instead (UHS-I vs. UHS-II explained (opens in new tab)). But for cameras which only support UHS-I SD cards, the new 200MB/s SanDisk Extreme PRO cards are sure to be very appealing, offering an appreciable speed boost over the previous generation of 170MB/s Extreme PRO cards.
Availability is slated for June 2022, and the cards will come in capacities ranging from 64GB ($18.79) up to 1TB ($279.99).
All PRO-BLADE products will be available to buy soon from B&H (opens in new tab)
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