EMC subsidiary Iomega has announced the creation of a pocket-sized external SSD storage solution with hardware encryption, write speeds said to be twice as fast as a 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, and a special feature to help protect the unit if dropped. The new unit also benefits from SuperSpeed USB connectivity, hardware data encryption and a long usage lifespan.

Packaged in a 1.8-inch form factor and enclosed in sexy metal casing, the MLC NAND Flash of Iomega's new external Solid State Drive is said to have a data read speed of up to 265MB per second and a write speed of up to 215MB per second. All of the unit's power needs are supplied by the computer to which it is connected via a USB 3.0 interface, that's reported to be ten times faster than USB 2.0. For those who haven't yet upgraded to SuperSpeed USB, the drive is backwards compatible via an optional converter.

With 4.35 x 2.72 x 0.37-inch (110 x 69 x 9mm) dimensions and weighing in at just 0.24 pounds (108g), Iomega's new drive enjoys pocket-friendly portability and features a Drop Guard Xtreme II feature to help protect the drive from any accidental drops from up to 10 feet (three meters). There's also 256-Bit AES hardware encryption and a bundled protection suite that includes Trend Internet Security suite (for PC) or Micro Smart Surfing (for Mac), Iomega's own QuikProtect backup solution or Roxio Retrospect and v.Clone virtual image technology.

With a claimed 1.2 million hour lifespan, Iomega's new external SSD solution will be available from early November in 64GB (US$229), 128GB (US$399) and 256GB (US$749) capacities.