DRAM module and flash memory player Adata revealed a tiny USB flash drive with a big name. It's the "DashDrive Durable UD310 USB Flash Drive," which we'll go ahead and refer to as DashDrive from here on out. Shaped and themed like a sparkling gem, the DashDrive is rugged thanks to a special manufacturing process that makes it both water and impact resistant.
You're a Maximum PC reader: there's a decent chance that you have the biggest, most badass custom build in town, full of water-filled tubes and blazing-fast GPUs and spiffy low-profile RAM kits. After dropping all that dough and spending all that time on your PC, plugging a standard flash drive into its USB 3.0 port just won't cut it. If our disco-tech feature got you in a musical mude, maybe Alkotabeats' flashy TR-808 flash drive will tweak your tune. It's modeled after the paradigm-breaking drum machine that's so awesome, Kanye named an album after it.
Thumb drives are cool and all, but hey, let's face it – most of the memory sticks out there aren't exactly eye-pleasing. If you're the kind of person who likes a little flash with your USB drive, look no further – there's a steampunk-inspired thumb drive making the rounds on the Internet that's sure to catch the eye of every geek you know. If the polished brass(?) exterior doesn't do it for you, maybe its security will; the Steampunker flash drive includes an actual, working mechanical combination lock to keep prying eyes out of virtual diaries.
Most computer users have probably found themselves at the wrong end of a malware-infected USB flash drive at least once. In fact, as US Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III recently revealed, even the mighty US military has firsthand experience of the damage a rogue USB flash drive can cause. Their ubiquity has made portable storage devices the ideal carriers for computer worms. But how popular exactly are they among malware authors? Panda Security's research arm PandaLabs claims to possess the answer.
The security company estimates that a quarter of all new worms use portable storage devices to spread themselves. It arrived at such a high estimate after surveying more than 10,000 small and medium firms. "Much of the malware in circulation has been designed to distribute through these devices," said Luis Corrons, the technical director of PandaLabs, in a statement. "Not only does it copy itself to these gadgets, but it also runs automatically when a USB device is connected to a computer, infecting the system practically transparently to the user."
You can probably stop trying to cram that external hard drive into your pocket. Kingston may have just solved your portable storage woes with the DataTraveler 310. The 310 is a standard USB flash drive, except it has 256GB of storage. The DataTraveler 300 is a nearly identical unit sold only overseas. The 310 finally lets American buyers get in on the fun. It will be plug and play on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
This is the first flash drive of its size to ship in the US. As such, the DataTraveler 310 commands a premium. The MSRP is going to be $1,108 at launch, but you might be able to find a deal. Well, “deal” is relative here. You’re still looking at paying around a grand for portable storage; granted it is a lot of storage. The DataTraveler 310 could hold 54 uncompressed DVDs or more mp3s than you can shake a stick at.
Can you think of a reason you’d need this much storage on your keychain? Note, “because it’s cool,” is not an acceptable reason. Is there a price at which you’d run out and pick one of these up?
Defense company Lockheed Martin usually focuses on building advanced aircraft, missiles, and bits of spacecraft. This makes their newest venture all the more baffling. Lockheed Martin is partnering with IronKey to deliver a line of super secure USB thumb drives. The so called “IronClad” USB keys will apparently come with a custom software package you won’t find anywhere else.
IronKey flash drives have been available for some time using 256-bit AES encryption along with an additional layer of 128-bit AES hardware encryption. Details on how the Lockheed Martin version will differ are a bit nebulous right now, but it will reportedly include IronKey encryption, built-in virus protection, at least 8GB of storage, and security oriented network applications. No pricing is available yet, but considering that a regular 8GB IronKey goes for around $150, we can probably assume this won’t be an impulse buy.
Are your USB 2.0 gadgets starting to feel a little slow? Well, luckily USB 3.0 controllers are about to enter mass production. Genesys Logic plans to start churning out the faster controller chips in the first quarter of 2010. Expect to start seeing it around later next year. Genesys expects to turn a profit almost immediately.
USB 3.0 was approved by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group last November. The new technology uses a 0.13µ process instead of the 0.18µ process used in USB 2.0. Early indications are that the 3.0 standard is capable of up to 10 times the speed of current USB technology. USB 3.0, or “SuperSpeed USB” as it’s also known, is expected to make up a quarter of the market by 2013.
A-DATA today unveiled a new line of colorful USB flash drives with a swivel design case the company claims will keep the USB connector free from harm.
"Unlike conventional swivel-designed USB flash drives, the unique asymmetric outer casing of C903 protects the USB connector and serves as a lock mechanism to prevent the connector from sticking out due to constant turning and wearing," A-DATA stated in a press release. "The same design enables users to turn and store the USB connector properly in place with much of an ease."
The case comes constructed with a glossy metallic finish wrapped around either a bright red or blue USB stick, with initial capacities available up to 32GB.
In what we hope becomes a trend, another manufacturer this week has stepped up to the storage plate with a 128GB USB flash drive, this one from Edge Tech. The company will make an official announcement next week, but has given us the skinny on their fat capacity drive.
Dubbed DiskGO, Edge Tech says its 128GB thumb drive can store approximately 85,000 photos, 128 hours of video, 32,000 MP3s, or over a million documents. Keeping all that data secure is a combination of a "rugged aluminum casing" and CryptArchiver Lite encryption software. The Lite version allows users to encrypt up to 25MB of data using 128-bit AES encryption, while the full version ups the ante to 32GB and either 256-bit AES or 448-bit Blowfish.
But what some might find far more appealing than its feature-set is the price. Edge Tech has priced the 128GB DiskGO at $390, which is about $150 less than Kingston's recently announced DataTraveler.
You can pre-order the DiskGO direct from Edge Tech, with shipments to start on July 31st.
USB flash drives are meant to do a very simple job. Try telling that to manufacturers who apparently regard them as a canvas that should, from time to time, tolerate their whimsical artistic and technological cravings. Our beautiful planet has been blessed with USB flash drives of various ilks, be it the radical or the rank outrageous.