Western Digital announces SanDisk Pro-Blade modular SSD system


At its ‘What’s Next Western Digital Event,’ Western Digital announced new products under its SanDisk Professional brand, including a modular SSD ecosystem and faster memory cards.

Looking first at the modular SSD product, the SanDisk Pro-Blade. The system utilizes PCI Express 3.0 NVMe SSD technology to provide users, like photographers and videographers, a fast, flexible way to handle their files.

The SanDisk Pro-Blade modular SSD system. From left to right, Pro-Blade Station, Transport and SSD Mag.

The Pro-Blade system incorporates three main components, and it all starts with the compact, sleek Pro-Blade SSD Mag. The Mag is SSD storage in an aluminum cartridge with a custom, durable connector. The Mag comes in three capacities, 1TB ($180), 2TB ($290) and 4TB ($600). The storage magazine is sturdy enough to withstand a 3-meter drop and 4,000 pounds of force.

The SanDisk Pro-Blade SSD Mag is an NVMe SSD inside an aluminum case with a custom connector. The SSD Mag comes in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacities.

To use the Pro-Blade SSD Mag, you must connect it to either the SanDisk Pro-Blade Transport USB-C SSD enclosure or the SanDisk Thunderbolt 3 Pro-Blade Station desktop SSD enclosure. Let’s look at the Transport first. It holds a single Pro-Blade SSD Mag and is designed for portable, on-the-go use. You can easily hot-swap SSD Mags and connect the Transport to different cameras with a USB-C port. The Transport ships with a 20Gbps USB-C cable and supports up to 2,000 MB/s read/write speeds.

The SanDisk Pro-Blade Transport SSD enclosure, shown here with an SSD Mag inserted, works on a USB-C interface.

If you want even more performance, the Pro-Blade Station is for you. It’s designed to be used on your desktop, although it still promises a relatively small footprint, and it holds up to four SSD Mags. The Pro-Blade Station uses Thunderbolt 3 technology with a 40Gbps interface. This faster performance allows real-time 4K/8K/12K video editing.

The SanDisk Pro-Blade Station is a desktop SSD enclosure that holds up to four SSD Mags and uses a faster Thunderbolt 3 interface.

The Pro-Blade SSD Mag and Transport will be available next month. You can purchase the Transport and a 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB SSD Mag for an extra $60 on top of the price for just the SSD Mag. The Transport can be purchased without storage for $70. The Pro-Blade Station is expected to ship later this year, and pricing for the four-bay enclosure has not yet been announced.

SanDisk also announced new UHS-I SD and microSD cards plus a new card reader.

Western Digital also announced new SanDisk Extreme Pro SD and microSD cards. The UHS-I cards promise speeds up to 200MB/s, making them the fastest UHS-I SD and microSD cards on the market. Capacities range from 64GB to 1TB at prices from $20 to $330. WD announced a new SanDisk Professional Pro-Reader SD & microSD device alongside the cards. This new card reader will cost $50 when it and the new cards hit store shelves next month.

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