Even my friends who don’t normally follow the storage business are atwitter over an Engadget report that Buffalo has unleashed a 100 GB behemoth flash drive upon the world. Geeks everywhere are probably salivating to take the thing apart (yes, I’m looking at you, Tory) … unfortunately, they’ll have to wait. The catch is that Buffalo is only releasing the product for now in its home country of Japan.
According to company reps, the $1,000 asking price for the credit-card sized USB accessory makes it less than cost-effective to import right now. (If you just can’t get enough flash memory, there are 64 GB monsters roaming North America.)
The Engadget comments section also contains an interesting discussion of the merits of such a large flash drive. In the Engadget screenshot, the card looks like a behemoth, but the post says it’s about the size of a credit card. Still, it launched a spirited discussion that I think asks some pertinent questions, namely, “would it not be more practical to just buy a $300 travel drive?”
At this juncture, and at this price point, certainly. But Moore’s law waits for no man, and the price of a 100 GB card will come down. Hence the other questions that this announcement begs: at what capacity and price point does a mechanical drive become more practical than a solid state drive? How will that equation change over time? It’s something we in the storage market are going to have to examine more closely in the coming year.