With AMD and Intel both fully (and finally) embracing the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 standard, it's almost impossible to pick up a system saddled with just USB 2.0 ports, especially with third-party companies like NEC and Marvell picking up the slack. That's good news, because USB 3.0 peripherals are quick becoming commonplace. One of the newest USB 3.0 products is Patriot Memory's Supersonic Rage XT, a high-performance thumbstick built around a compact form factor.
Hard drive prices may be skyrocketing, but USB keys are almost a dime a dozen these days. Maybe that’s why people lose them so much; apparently, folks drop memory sticks at major rail lines by the literal bucket load. Misplacing all that data doesn’t sound smart, but security vendor Sophos recently tested an auction lot of 50 lost USBs on Sydney railways, and their findings show that losing those sticks may have been a good thing after all – since most of them were riddled with malware.
Geeks don't accessorize quite the same as norms. Matching your shoes with your shirt places you at the top of the fashion totem pole at most computer conventions. That being said, everybody likes a bit of flair every now and again, and geeks are no different. When you want to draw admiring "Ooohs" and "Aaahs" out of your tech-loving pals, you can pull Mimobot's new retro Transformer USB drives out of your pocket and rest easy knowing you're sporting the Gucci of the gadget world.
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.
Why lug around a USB 2.0 flash drive when you could slip a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 stick onto your keychain? Oh, your PC isn't equipped with a USB 3.0 port? Point taken as we shake an angry fist at Intel and AMD. Still, at some point USB 3.0 ports will become commonplace, so if you're the type that likes to think ahead, a USB drive like Kingston's DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 (DTU30G2) is about as future proof as you can get at the moment.
Sure, that USB drive in the shape of a panda bear is cute, but can it protect your data from evil forces roaming the universe with nothing better to do than stir up trouble? Maybe Mimoco's new line of Green Lantern USB drives can. We don't know if these new thumb drives contain any special powers, but they do have something your current USB drive doesn't.
Before you scoff at the $130 price tag for a mere 4GB of portable storage, consider that, in a pinch, you could jam LaCie's silver-plated "Galet" into a werewolf, instantly killing the beast before it has a chance to chew on your face.
That isn't the intent, of course. Instead, LaCie and Christofle set out to create "an elegant object for your digital belongings." The two companies did that by creating a pebble-shaped USB key individually hand-crafted in France and "plated with precious silver through Christofle's 150 year-old silvering process." After that, each one is inspected to make sure it's both smooth and polished.
"The spirit and philosophies of Christofle and its luxury brand, combined with the technical expertise of LaCie, have come together to transform a universal technology into an object that is as beautiful and simple a treasured piece of jewelry," said Luc Pierart, Business Unit Manager, Consumer Peripherals, LaCie "Each time you open it, its mystery is revealed – an elegant USB key."
The Galet is available now and includes a gift box. It also includes LaCie's Private-Public software with password protection.
Designer Wonchul Hwang has come up with a novel design for a rechargeable AA battery. Unlike other batteries, this one pulls double duty as a 4GB USB drive.
The idea here is that it's primarily a USB drive, one that you presumably keep hooked to your computer most of the time, but can serve as a AA battery in a pinch. What's more, it's a rechargeable battery that's juiced every time you plug it into your PC's USB port.
"Students or office workers mostly carry a memory stick," Hwang explains. "If a memory stick could be used as an emergency battery, its use would be versatile, ranging from cameras to lanterns to speakers and other devices in outdoor activities."
View the schematics here, and then hit the jump and tell us whether you think this is a novel idea or about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
Active Media on Tuesday launched a 22-caliber silver bullet shaped USB 2.0 flash drive, which would have made a groovy stocking stuffer for gun collectors. Where was this one a month or so ago when the holiday shopping season was in full swing?
Well, it's here now, and it's "rugged, reliable, waterproof, dustproof, small enough to comfortably fit on your keychain, and is a classical icon of form," said Active Media's VP of Sales, Jerry Thomson.
There's also a 50-caliber gold bullet USB drive available, and like the silver bullet, it too is a USB 2.0 device. Both are available in 4GB ($14) and 8GB ($21) capacities and include a "strong steel keychain and clip for attaching the drive to a backpack or keyring." Gun powder not included.
Corsair on Thursday announced its new 64GB Flash Survivor USB drive, which the company claims is the "most rugged high-capacity flash drive on the market." And by the looks of things, they're probably right.
Encased in CNC-milled, aircraft grade aluminum, Corsair says the new drive is pretty much indestructible. Each unit comes molded in a shock-dampening collar and EPDM seal, providing water-resistance up to a depth of 200 meters. Corsair notes that reviewers have dropped, baked, boiled, microwaved, and even run over the Survivor with an SUV in an attempt to show just how durable the drive really is.
"The new 64GB Flash Survivor takes the industry's most popular rugged USB drive and takes it to the next level, with a huge amount of storage space, plus best-in-class performance," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. "The 64GB Survivor is ideal for storing and transporting your music, videos, pictures, and other important files, safe in the knowledge that your data will be safeguarded inside the Survivor's protective shell."
The drive is available now with a street price around $170. To help justify the cost, Corsair says each drive comes bundled with a USB extension cable and dog tags, and comes backed by a 10-year warranty.