Thunderbolt drives offer faster read and write speeds, although they do come with a rather hefty price tag attached to them. However if you’re in the profession that would require those fast read/write speeds, then Drobo might be another manufacturer you’ll want to take a look at. The company has recently announced their new Drobo 5D and Mini storage solutions, both of which come with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 for faster data transfers. Based on Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology, these drives allows users to mix and match hard drives with different capacities and spin speeds, and are apparently capable of selecting the appropriate RAID level to balance the capacity which we have to say sounds pretty useful.
The 5D is the desktop version and will come with two Thunderbolt ports and 1 USB 3.0 port that allows the connecting of up to five hot-swappable 3.5” drives for your Mac or PC. It also comes with a mSATA SSD for data-caching along with variable fan speed to keep your drives cool. Next is the Mini which is portable version of the 5D. While it will also feature a mSATA SSD, the Mini will only be able to support up to four hot-swappable 2.5” drives. It too will come with two Thunderbolt ports and a USB 3.0 port for connectivity, along with a power plug and a couple of vents for the variable-speed fans. So how much will these bad boys cost you? According to Drobo, pricing is expected to start under $650 and will come included with a Thunderbolt cable. Availability remains unknown and is expected to be announced in July.