The Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is magic!
Bus-powered portable drives, those that don't need a separate power adapter to work, are not new and have been in the market for years. But the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD is the first made specifically for Macs and for now can only work with Macs.
For this reason, like many thing Apple-made, it changes everything all over, again.
For one, it's by far the fastest bus-powered portable drive on the market, though not at all the fastest among Thunderbolt storage devices. Secondly, it's super-expensive at $700 for 240GB (or $450 for 120GB).
While souped-up pricing and performance of Thunderbolt devices are, again, not new, the fact that the Elgato uses Apple's standard Thunderbolt cable, which by the way you'll have to pay another $50 for, is just really over the top. This is because the cable is really long, all 6.6 feet, which means there's no way you can put this portable and compact drive near a laptop without having an excessive amount of cable running all over the place.
It's ironic that the cable itself is almost bulkier than the drive itself, hence, defeating the portability of the device.
But if you're looking for a really fast portable storage device to use with your new Macbook Air or Macbook Pro on the go, that's how much you'll likely have to put up with. The fact that Macs generally don't support USB 3.0 means that you have no other options.
For more information on how the drive stacks up against other Thunderbolt storage devices, check out the full review of the Elgato Thunderbolt SSD drive.