Lamar from Los Angeles writes:
Are solid state hard drives available as external storage units? If so, which would you recommend?
Solid State Disks, (Also known as SSD’s) use very fast memory chips which have no mechanical parts to store information. This allows the drives to be very fast and very low power. You can use a solid state hard drive as an external hard drive, usually by purchasing an external enclosure. The downside to doing so is that most external enclosures are USB 2.0 and would limit the speed of your solid state disk.
However, if you have a USB 3.0 port on your computer, or an eSATA port, you can buy a compatible external enclosure (make sure it says USB 3.0 or eSATA) and you should see all the performance and speed the drive is capable of.
As far as recommended drives, the balance is usually between reliability (SSD’s only have a limited number of times each memory cell can be erased/written) and speed. If you’re looking for the fastest drives, look at drives such as the Crucial M4 256 GB or OCZ Vertex 3 or 4. If you are looking for the most reliable drives, Intel’s SSD drives score the highest for long term reliability.