We've seen some funky USB thumb drives before, but never have we smelled one that didn't carry the scent of anything other than plastic and electronics. That all changes with Maxell's Armoa USB Flash Drive line, a colorful collection of USB thumb sticks that, should the need arise, will give your nose a whiff of something other than silicon.
Now that third-party USB 3.0 chips from the likes of NEC and VIA are appearing on nearly every new motherboard, it's high time device makers jump on the SuperSpeed bandwagon. Super Talent says it has, introducing a new line of USB 3.0 flash drives the memory maker says will cost about the same as USB 2.0 thumb drives.
Super Talent is serving up a free speed boost to RAIDDrive owners via a new firmware update that makes the already fast drive even faster. Can you guess the caveat?
According to Super Talent, the new firmware unlocks additional performance potential that allows the drive to hit up to 370MB/s, but it has to be connected to a second generation USB 3.0 host controller, like Fresco Logic's FL1009 chip.
Unlike other USB 3.0 controllers, such as the NEC chip that's so prominent, Fresco Logic's FL1009 part makes full use of PCI Express 2.0 x1. Fresco Logic claims its USB 3.0 allows each port to sustain full bandwidth, resulting in ultra fast transfers above and beyond what you'd normally see with USB 3.0.
LaCie is touting what it claims is the smallest SSD USB 3.0 drive around, the FastKey. Living up to its name, LaCie's FastKey boasts up to 260MB/s transfers, enough to scoot 1,000 MP3 or five DiVX files in under a minute, the company claims.
"With most flash drives, transferring a large number of photos and MP3 files can take a few minutes," said Luc Pierart, Business Unit Manager, Personal Storage, LaCie. "With the FastKey, transferring small files is immediate. You can back up or share your music and photo libraries as you head out the door."
The peppy device is also easy on the eyes with what appears to be a brushed aluminum casing. It's also capacious, coming in 30GB, 60GB, and 120GB capacities, each one with AES 256-bit software encryption included.
There's still room for innovation in the USB thumb drive market, as Verbatim just proved with its new Store 'n' Go Clip-it USB drive. Use it as a tiny USB key to store digital files, and as a paper clip for your hard copies.
"We’re very excited to launch the Clip-it USB drive, a unique and ultra-convenient way for consumers to consolidate their digital files and paper documents at home and in the office," said Mark Rogers, Verbatim Product Manager, Flash. "The new unit makes it easy for users to keep all of their data in one place, and, with its diminutive size and light weight, the Clip-it is a great option for physically sending and sharing files."
At least in terms of capacity, Verbatim is taking a one size fits all approach by only offering the new drive in 4GB, though you do have five colors to choose from, including pink, green, blue, orange, and black. The drive will be available at the beginning of December for $20.
Attaching a USB flash drive to your keychain isn't exactly a groundbreaking concept, it's just that most models don't look like they actually belong there. That's not the case with Super Talent's new KeyDrive.
Super Talent molded its KeyDrive so that it will look right at home dangling from any keychain, and it's small enough to remain inconspicuous. And don't feel like you have to baby the KeyDrive from accidental drops or inclement weather, because it's also sturdy.
"Making a drive that mimics an actual key and fits on your keychain is a natural fit. We took it to the next level by making the drive metal, rugged, lightweight, and water-resistant," Super Talent said.
The KeyDrive is available in Silver or Nickel color in 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. No word yet on pricing.
Good news for secret agents and anyone else who has a need to keep their data both portable and secure - Corsair has gone and doubled up the capacity of its Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive to 16GB.
Previously only available in 8GB, the Flash Padlock 2 sports a couple of security safeguards, including a user-defined PIN. A user's PIN can range from four to ten digits, while the data inside remains scrambled with 256-bit AES encryption. It should also be noted that the PIN is hardwired to the drive, so there's no special software to install, allowing you to unlock the drive on any USB-equipped PC, be it Windows, OS X, Linux, and even game consoles.
Corsair didn't say when the 16GB version would be available or for how much, though we'd guess it to command around $100. For reference, the 8GB version sells for around $55 street.
Yanko Design is known for conceptual products that represent outside-the-box thinking, some of which are brilliant while others are downright outlandish. We'll let you be the judge of which category the Concrete USB thumb drive falls under.
Crafted from cemet, the capacity also represents the drive's weight in grams. These would come in three varieties, including 64GB (64g), 128GB (128g), and 256GB (256g), any of which would be enough to store a whole bunch of data and smack a would-be robber across his temple if he tries to hijack your sensitive documents.
Who knows if this will ever make it to market, but if it does, be careful not to leave it dangling from your PC's USB port where gravity would take its toll.
All of a sudden we feel woefully inadequate waving around our 16GB and 32GB thumb drives. That's because Corsair on Thursday launched what it claims is the the world's fastest high capacity USB flash drive, the 128GB Flash Voyager GT.
"High performance is a key requirement for super-high capacity flash drives, such as the 128GB Voyager GT, simply because it is able to store such a large volume of data," said John Beekley, the VP of Applications at Corsair. "The 128GB Voyager GT is nearly twice as fast as other high-capacity flash drives, which means less time waiting for your music, video, or office files to copy to and from the drive."
According to Corsair, the MLC-based drive can hit read speeds of up to 32MB/s and write speeds of up to 25.6MB/s thanks to the Voyager's dual-controller architecture. The company also says you're more likely to run into bottlenecks with your USB 2.0 bus or OS system overhead before the drive loses its pep.
All that speed and capacity doesn't come cheap, however. The 128GB Voyager GT is available now with a street price of around $400.
For those of you that are looking to carry around every piece of information that you might ever need (and most of your family photos) around with you in your pocket, Kingston has got the thumb drive for you.
With the recent introduction of their 256GB thumb drive, you’ll be able to take a plethora of files around with you everywhere you go. The drive itself packs a transfer speed of up to 20MB/sec and a read speed of 10MB/sec. And, if you’re using Vista, it also supports Windows ReadyBoost.
Though, this beast is only available in Europe and the UK for a whopping £565.67 ($931.60) upon custom order.