So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Corsair Flash Voyager (CMFUSB2.0-32GB)
- 30GB of usable storage capacity, water and shock-resistent, ships with encryption software
- Expensive, TrueCrypt can't encrypt the entire drive
While it is expensive, the 32GB Flash Voyager is robust and offers a convenient way to carry more data than ever before in your pocket or on your keychain.
Price$ 429.00 (AUD)
Corsair's latest Flash Voyager product is a little marvel. It's a thumb-sized USB device that can supply no less than 30GB worth of storage capacity (that is, formatted capacity) and it's encased in a rubber shell that makes it virtually impervious to knocks and accidental drops.
Furthermore, Corsair claims that splashes of water and other liquids won't damage it, as long as you remember to leave the cap on the USB plug. We can attest to that. We submerged it in a glass of water (while the cap was firmly in place) and it survived. We threw it around the office like a footy and bounced it off a few walls (yes, the rubber casing does make it bounce), and it survived that too.
Physically, of course, the Voyager has no moving parts, so unless you really come down on it with brute force and actually breach the case or crack the USB connection, then it probably won't die. Still, it's a device that needs to be treated with respect, especially as it will hold so much of your data.
Its large capacity makes it perfect for anyone who needs to carry large amounts of data from job to job (or from work to home), but who doesn't like the bulkiness of even the smallest external hard drives. It's also a very neat solution; it derives all its power from a single USB port, so extra cables aren't required to make it work, which makes it ideal for use on a notebook, especially. There is a caveat to its rubberised design; on some systems it can encroach on the space of an adjacent port, but for this reason, a USB extension cable is supplied in the package.
So far, if you're thinking that this USB flash drive might be just what you're looking for, you better consult your bank manager first. It costs $429, which is a lot to pay for the convenience of a compact USB drive.
For security, the Voyager ships with TrueCrypt software, which allows you to create encrypted volumes of up to 4GB for storing any data which you don't want other people to access. Before they can be used, these volumes need to be mounted in Windows (using the TrueCrypt software) each time the Voyager is plugged in to a computer. Once mounted (using a password), data can be dragged and dropped to the volumes. The mounted volumes disappear from the system when the Voyager is unplugged.
If you're going to be transferring a lot of personal data on the Voyager, then using the TrueCrypt volumes to encrypt your files is a good idea as it means your data will be innacessible without a password if the Voyager is ever lost.
Moving on to performance, the Voyager put up a fast showing in our tests -- we clocked the Voyager's write speed at 5.05MBps and its read speed at 24MBps. Even with these fast results, Windows Vista didn't recognise it as a Readyboost-capable device. Then again, if you can afford a Voyager of this size, you probably already have a fairly large dollop of RAM installed in your systems, on which Readyboost probably won't make a difference.
Overall, the 32GB Flash Voyager makes it easy to carry over 30GB worth of data in your pocket. It's a robust device, which is water and shock resistent, and also ships with encryption software. It's an expensive drive, there's no denying that, but its cost per formatted gigabyte of $14 is similar to speed-comparable 8GB and 16GB models.
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