"the new Thunderbolt drive has read speeds of up to 380 MB/s and write speeds of up to 340 MB/s"
So for all the R&D they put into this, how does it compare price-wise to a standard SATA III SSD with better performance? It'll be interesting to see what the cost ends up being.
Well, presuming the largest target audience will be Mac users, as it's not a common interface on Windows PCs yet, it may not matter how the drive is engineered under the hood at all. Your concern about it's lackluster performance is preaching to the choir for those to whom it would matter, and for the technologically ignorant, it's an SSD and it connects via Thunderbolt, which will make it an automatic purchase for some users looking to justify the expensive port on their Mac.
Reading those 380/340 MB/s numbers, it sounds like its a Sata 3Gbps inside or just a SSD driving incapable of hitting more than that. I would get a DeLock external (2.5" Sata 6Gbps <--> Thunderbolt) housing, http://geizhals.de/delock-externes-gehaeuse-42490-a999568.html
...and stuff it with the meanest SSD you can find instead. 512GB 840 Pro or Evo or thereabout in equivalence and spacial need. 6Gbps should hit the limit at 768 MB/s and you get to choose the internal SSD and pick it to your IOPS needs.
Though a Tbolt enclosure should really be a Sata 12Gbps(when/if it comes out or equivalent) inside so it can use the full 10Gbps of the Thunderbolt interface. So far SAS 12Gbps exists but those disks seems way out of enthusiast money range and even forcing the issue seems infeasible compared to a regular ole SSD, not to mention the SAS12 disks wouldn't match the performance of the SSDs anyway, if the reported numbers are correct for writes.
Lightning ports are platform independent. If there was a practical use for Lightning ports, that wasn't just an expensive duplication of functionality we already have, it would likely be very popular by now. We already have external interfaces that exceed what this particular SSD device is offering, so what is the need for the extra cost of the Lightning interface? There's probably enough people who have interest in mainstream graphics cards running over a Lightning interface, but I have a suspicion there are technical reasons it's not happening yet.
"Despite the theoretical 10 Gb/s connection speed, the new Thunderbolt drive has read speeds of up to 380 MB/s and write speeds of up to 340 MB/s."
The hell? Thats a flop. Intel should show something good to justify and populate pcs with standart because right now it looks like sh*t infront of competitors.