,

AKiTiO Palm RAID Review – The Fastest Portable Drive EVER

Bought a Macbook Pro or an iMac a while back, and now you’re wishing now that you had splurged for a bigger SSD? Or maybe you have just ran out of storage on your Mac? Sure, you can easily pick up an ordinary external hard drive, but if performance and portability are of utmost importance, you’ll really want to check out AKiTiO’s Palm RAID. This bus powered portable hard drive uses Thunderbolt to connect to your Mac, and it also has not one – but two 256GB SSDs inside of it that are set up in a RAID configuration.

AKiTiO has designed the Palm RAID to be extremely compact. So much so that it measures just 4.72 inches x 3.11 inches x 0.55 inches. This is truly a pocket friendly drive that won’t weigh down your bag. It’s pretty amazing that they have been able to pack in 2 drives into such a small enclosure, but that is the beauty of SSDs for you. But not only is it pretty sweet how compact the device is, but it is also sporting a beautiful design that matches your aluminum MacBook Pro to a T.

We also absolutely love the fact that they have designed the drive so that the Thunderbolt cable is tethered to it and tucked inside using a magnet cable holder. This is of course super convenient since it means you don’t have to worry about bringing along a Thunderbolt cable with you. Furthermore, the design also packs in a heatsink for passive cooling that allows the drive to run quite cooly. It’s also fanless and noiseless.

When it comes to performance, the Palm RAID blew us away. We ran benchmark tests on the drive while it was set up in its out of the box RAID 0 configuration. When we  tested the drive with AJA’s system test, we saw write speeds of 441 MB/s and read speeds of 514 MB/s. When testing with BlackMagic’s Disk Speed Test, we saw 236.7MB/s write speeds and 689 MB/s read speeds. What do all these numbers mean? That this is the fastest external hard drive we have EVER tested.

Verdict

We’ve seen the concept of stuffing two drives into a small portable hard drive before, most recently with Seagate’s Backup Plus Fast Portable Drive. But that drive was still bulkier than the Palm RAID, and while it was fast, it’s not nearly as fast as the Palm RAID. Overall, we AKiTiO’s Palm RAID is one extremely well designed portable drive. We also absolutely love how the thunderbolt cable is secured inside the drive’s casing, and that it offers such incredible performance in a petite form factor. It’s really hard to believe that there is a RAID set up inside. Overall, if you need extra storage for your Macbook on the go, and don’t want to compromise on performance – then this is it!

Unfortunately the great design and blazing fast performance of AKiTiO’s Palm Raid comes with a high price – it retails for $649. That price does give you two 256GB SSDs in a RAID configuration, so the pricing isn’t unreasonable, but unfortunately it places the drive out of reach for many users.

Buy it!

The Good: The fastest portable drive we have tested to date! Compact and lightweight design matches the Apple aesthetic perfectly. Built in thunderbolt cable. Raid configuration. Blazing fast read and write speeds. Fanless and runs pretty cool. No power supply required. You can choose to format between Raid 0 or Raid 1.

The Bad: Thunderbolt cable is a bit short. Pricey. Not boot camp compatible