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SanDisk today announced that its iXpand Flash Drive is now available in a larger 256GB storage capacity for $279.99, expanding upon existing 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities available for between $49.99 and $129.99.

sandisk-ixpand-connect-wireless.jpg

The iXpand Flash Drive connects to the Lightning port on an iPhone or iPad to provide the device with up to 256GB of additional storage space through the SanDisk iXpand Drive app. It has a USB-A port with USB 3.0 speeds for quickly transferring files to and from another iOS device, Mac, or PC.

MacRumors reviewed the second-generation iXpand Flash Drive last year and noted that it was a worthwhile purchase for those who need expanded storage, although the new 256GB size is on the expensive side.

SanDisk also introduced its Connect Wireless Stick in a larger 256GB storage capacity for $279.99. The wireless flash drive enables wireless storage and transfer of files from one iPhone or iPad to another iOS device, Mac, or PC over a password-protected Wi-Fi network. It has a USB 2.0 port.

Both external storage solutions are available now at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, and select other retailers in the United States and elsewhere.

Article Link: SanDisk Launches 256GB Flash Drive and Wireless Stick for iPhone and iPad
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,922
2,301
Forget that it is USB 2.0. While this product offers streaming of content and connection to mobile devices that don't have USB like an iPhone, AirDrop and Handoff will do much of the same.

Do I really need a flash drive I have to remember to charge? They're already ultra portable. Is plugging it into a laptop that big of deal. Bluetooth headphones, tablets, phones, laptops, watches. I don't need something else to charge.
 

Ihatefall

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2010
144
14
I have the sandisk connect 64GB wifi USB stick and I love it. It's a lot faster to put movies on it then on my ipad. Up to 3 people can watch different movies at the same time. I gifted the 32GB to 3 different friends I know with kids. They all love it. They can turn it on for road trips and traveling, no more fights between kids. I keep mine in my backpack incase I get stuck somewhere unexpectedly.

That being said that 256GB version is super expensive especially considering that the 200GB version is only $99! (At the Apple Store, $84 today on Amazon!). It can still do watch movies while charging too, and I always have a battery pack with me too.
 
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ducati899

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2016
4
1
If i'm not mistaken... having it a USB 3.0 instead of 2.0 wouldn't make it any faster just cost more. The speed will still be limited to the storage type read/write speeds...which for a standard flash drive is around 100mb/s
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,735
16,410
Central U.S.
If i'm not mistaken... having it a USB 3.0 instead of 2.0 wouldn't make it any faster just cost more. The speed will still be limited to the storage type read/write speeds...which for a standard flash drive is around 100mb/s
Sorry, you are mistaken. USB 2.0 has a theoretical top speed of 480mbps, or 60MB/s. In real world use, however, they're typically around 35-40MB/s. Most mid-range flash storage nowadays is in the 80-120MB/s range, with 300-400MB/s being around the fastest current available (SSDs go well beyond that, but that's not relevant here).

USB 2.0 is inexcusable in 2017, but I think only the iPad Pro 12.9" and maybe the iPhone 7 Plus has USB 3.0 speeds over Lightning. However, it won't be long until everything else gets that kind of speed, and it's not like USB 3.0 is cost prohibitive at this point. Especially in a $279 product!

Any more I find Sandisk to be the worst value. I've been researching micro SD cards for my Nintendo Switch and it seems like Samsung and Lexar are the best bang for the buck if you want higher capacity and faster speed. I was really surprised by Lexar! Back in the day they were way overpriced.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,362
2,872
256GB and USB 2.0 should never co-exist in the same product, unless it has USB 3.0 and 2.0 for backward compatibility. Who thought that adding wireless at the expense of USB speed was a good idea to do?

I have three of the Connect sticks up to 64GB capacity. They max out at 10MB/s write speed via USB. Yup, you read right. Adding USB 3.0 would be the proverbial 'putting lipstick on a pig' since the NAND chips used are so low budget and slow. The wireless bit works well, if slowly, otherwise. Fine for uploading small images but not much fun for large sized files. I honestly do not see the value in high storage capacities until Sandisk beefs up the wireless and I/O speeds considerably.
 
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ducati899

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2016
4
1
@macduke thank you for the correction. What weckart has stated above is what I was trying to get at. But i very much agree, for over $200, is quite ridiculous.
 

MDJCM

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2009
189
80
UK, South
I don't really get these, you have to use the typically clunky manufacturer apps.

This won't be any use to me until iOS has integral support for extended storage via lighting.
 
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kildraik

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2006
884
1,148
I have the black one. I really like them. They serve purpose, useful for the tbMBP if you don't car to dongle it up all the time.

+1 on lack of USB-C.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,554
Sorry, you are mistaken. USB 2.0 has a theoretical top speed of 480mbps, or 60MB/s. In real world use, however, they're typically around 35-40MB/s. Most mid-range flash storage nowadays is in the 80-120MB/s range, with 300-400MB/s being around the fastest current available (SSDs go well beyond that, but that's not relevant here).
If the purpose is storing music and videos that you can watch, then USB 2.0 is plenty fast enough. Very few movies take even 2 MB/s. And if I fill a 256 GB drive with movies from my Mac, I'm not going to wait for it to finish even with USB 3.0. I'll start the copy and do other things. Eventually it's done.
 

sudo1996

Suspended
Aug 21, 2015
1,496
1,182
Berkeley, CA, USA
If i'm not mistaken... having it a USB 3.0 instead of 2.0 wouldn't make it any faster just cost more. The speed will still be limited to the storage type read/write speeds...which for a standard flash drive is around 100mb/s
I don't think the bottleneck is the flash memory. I've seen USB 2.0 push at most 50MiB/s (bytes, not bits). For whatever reason, it's always slower than that on flash drives. I've seen USB 3.0 flash drives push 80MiB/s, and they have much faster read/writes when plugged into USB 3.0 slots instead of 2.0.
[doublepost=1488277760][/doublepost]
Just in time for apple to remove lightning as it's port.
Watch them replace it, but not with USB-C.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,663
893
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
If the purpose is storing music and videos that you can watch, then USB 2.0 is plenty fast enough. Very few movies take even 2 MB/s. And if I fill a 256 GB drive with movies from my Mac, I'm not going to wait for it to finish even with USB 3.0. I'll start the copy and do other things. Eventually it's done.
Yes, but with UHD 4K becoming a thing even on smaller devices, that's likely to change in the near-ish future.

I don't think the bottleneck is the flash memory. I've seen USB 2.0 push at most 50MiB/s (bytes, not bits). For whatever reason, it's always slower than that on flash drives. I've seen USB 3.0 flash drives push 80MiB/s, and they have much faster read/writes when plugged into USB 3.0 slots instead of 2.0.
[doublepost=1488277760][/doublepost]
Watch them replace it, but not with USB-C.
Yeah, didn't we here recently something about an "Ultra Accessory Connector" (UAC)...??
https://arstechnica.co.uk/apple/2017/02/apple-uac-port

"smaller than Lightning or USB-C, that could be used to charge devices or transfer data."
 
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MacBH928

macrumors 604
May 17, 2008
6,574
2,734
Why do you need 256GB on iPad? thats equivalent to more than 64HD movies , enough to last you a movie a day for 2 months.
 

wilsonlaidlaw

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2008
432
63
Why no USB-C version. Since Apple has seen fit to foist this on folks like me who had to buy a new Mac after the last one died, they should be leaning on the accessory makers to bring out USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 devices. SanDisk used to be bleeding edge company but just look at the horrible device they produced for a USB-C SD card reader. What goon signed that one off. Luckily for me Kiwibird makes a far neater and more usable device but there only seemed to be a choice of two. I would like a fast USB-C stick for photo library storage as my annual RAW image/Capture One libraries seem to work out at just over 200GB per annum. USB 2 is too slow.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,735
16,410
Central U.S.
@macduke thank you for the correction. What weckart has stated above is what I was trying to get at. But i very much agree, for over $200, is quite ridiculous.
No problem. Sometimes people forget how freaking slow USB 2.0 really is. It was released 17 years ago! I remember it was still fairly new in the first PC I built when I was a kid back in 2002 because I think only some of the ports were USB 2.0 and I had to buy a PCI expansion card to get more. And now I'm getting PTSD flashbacks of that horrible machine, lol.
[doublepost=1488298720][/doublepost]
If the purpose is storing music and videos that you can watch, then USB 2.0 is plenty fast enough. Very few movies take even 2 MB/s. And if I fill a 256 GB drive with movies from my Mac, I'm not going to wait for it to finish even with USB 3.0. I'll start the copy and do other things. Eventually it's done.
It's not really about consuming content as much as it is about how long it takes to fill it with content. If you're loading up 256GB worth of movies for a trip, at a best speed of 35-40MB/s, that will take you 109-125 minutes. That's still a lot of video, so for people who just load it up once and forget about it, it might be fine. But USB 3.0 controllers and faster flash isn't exactly expensive nowadays. Even this well reviewed, high end 256GB flash drive in a premium enclosure that does 400MB/s read and 180MB/s write is only $89, and you can fill it in 24 minutes. Or they make a 512GB version that does 250MB/s read for only $224 and 256GB of it could be filled in 17 minutes. You get twice the storage space and six times the write speed for $55 less. And MFi isn't going to cost anywhere near $55 per unit. Or the $190 markup over the 256GB version. It's a massive ripoff, and they should be ashamed for selling a super slow USB 2.0 device for that much money. If it was way cheaper, then I could maybe understand. Maybe. But in 2017 it saves them pennies to use USB 2.0.
 
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