SanDisk set to release the fastest USB 3.0 stick ever

SanDisk’s new Extreme Pro USB 3.0 drive isn’t for the faint of heart

SanDisk’s Extreme Pro USB 3.0 flash drive hasn’t hit the Australian market yet, but the company is touting it as one of the fastest such devices on the market.

It claims that it will be able to achieve solid state drive-like results of up to 240 megabytes per second (MBps) when writing data from a USB 3.0-capable system running Windows 8.1 (though also compatible with Mac). It will be able to read data at 260MBps.

The drive itself feels heftier than a traditional USB stick (we had a chance to hold it briefly), and it has a spring-loaded mechanism that allows you to easily extend and retract the head. The only available capacity for the Extreme Pro USB 3.0 will be 128GB, and it is very much a product for serious users. How serious? It will cost $300.

Australia and New Zealand country manager for SanDisk, George Saad, said in a statement that the Extreme Pro USB 3.0 drive “offers world-class performance for technology aficionados who demand high-speed, durability and a peace of mind their files will be safe”.

To that end, the Extreme Pro USB 3.0 drive is encased in aluminium for durability purposes, and it comes with SanDisk’s SecureAccess software, which provides 128-bit AES file encryption. SanDisk told us that up to 65 per cent of its customers want the ability to secure their data, and this software addresses that need.

Like many other SanDisk products, the Extreme Pro USB 3.0 will be backed with a lifetime warranty.

SanDisk will also be releasing a dual-head drive at around the same time as the Extreme Pro. The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive has two heads on it, one which can plug into your desktop PC or laptop, and another end that has a Micro-USB head, which can be plugged in to smartphone.

It works on all smartphones that support the USB OTG standard (On-The-Go), and it can be used to facilitate quick and easy file transfers between computers and phones, and is even useful for phone-to-phone, tablet-to-tablet or phone-to-tablet transfers (handy if you use multiple devices).

George Saad said the Ultra Dual USB Drive “provides a simple and convenient way to offload and backup files from smartphones and tablets” and that the new drive integrates SanDisk’s Memory Zone app, which can help users manage and free up space on their device.

The SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive will be available in 16GB for $50, but SanDisk said it expects most users, especially those who use a phone without a microSD expansion slot, to be interested in the 64GB capacity, which will cost $100.

Both products will be available from SanDisk’s usual stockists and channel partners in the next two weeks.

Compatibility: Visit the SanDisk Web site to find out if your smartphone or tablet will support the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive.

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Elias Plastiras
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