Drobo’s new storage solution sure is “Mini,” lets you carry 8TB on the go

by Felix Esser

posted Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM EDT

When it comes to storage, bigger is better quite objectively -- at least as it concerns the amount of data that a storage device can hold. For the device itself, on the other hand, smaller and lighter can be very important. If you're a working photographer or an enthusiast who regularly takes huge amounts of photos on location, Drobo might just have what you need.

The storage specialist's latest offering is the Drobo Mini, which -- as its name suggests -- is a much more compact and portable variant of their desktop-class storage arrays, and yet, comes with a capacity of up to 8TB. While it is smaller than most other drives with such a high capacity, it still isn't quite what we'd call pocketable. Thanks to its four 2.5" drive slots, the largest-capacity 8TB version is each equipped with 4x2TB Samsung Spinpoint drives and weighs in at about 3 lbs -- something to consider when you're already carrying a full camera setup.

If you're not so much about maximum storage space but rather prefer maximum speed, the Drobo Mini can also be fitted with SSD drives. The Mini is available in 1, 2 and 4TB versions all utilizing fast and shock-resistant SSDs, which is great for lugging around on-location. The Mini is also RAID capable, which means that you can mirror your data between the individual drives, either for extra speed or for extra data safety. In addition to that, the Drobo Mini also works smoothly with Apple's Time Machine backup solution.

Because the Drobo Mini is extendable and features easily exchangeable drives, it's easy to upgrade it with drives of a higher capacity or higher speed rating. Drobo claims that this will not compromise your RAID setup, which is something that can easily happen when data is stored across multiple drives and one of them is exchanged.

The Drobo Mini needs an AC power supply, though, which adds a bit of additional bulk when carrying it in your backpack -- and making it not quite as 'portable' as the typical bus-power portable drives. In case of a power outage, the drive has its own built-in battery that'll keep it running even without an AC connection. For quick data transfers, the device comes with both a single USB 3.0 and dual Thunderbolt connectivity.

The Drobo Mini 8TB is available now for $999, but you want to bring your own drives, an empty version is available for $449. To find a retailer, please check Drobo's website.

(via pdn)