Western Digital's SanDisk division today announced it's shipping its fastest USB flash drive ever -- the 256GB SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive.
The new drive sports data read speeds of up to 420MBps and write speeds of 380MBps, which are close to internal solid-state drive (SSD) speeds. The company said a user could transfer a full-length, 4K movie to the drive in less than 15 seconds using a USB 3.1 computer port.
With a price tag of $180 ($1.42 per gigabyte), the company is marketing the high-end thumb drive to creative professionals, tech enthusiasts, "or anyone who creates and shares massive files."
The drive also comes in a 128GB version for $80.
The thumb drive features a new, clean design with an aluminum metal casing and a retractable connector.
The 256GB SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive will be available in late January at Amazon.com and Best Buy.
"The combination of SSD performance and a compact USB form factor offers the ultimate performance and convenience for moving files easily and quickly," Sven Rathjen, vice president of marketing for WD's Client Solutions Business Unit, said in a statement. "With its increased capacity and blazing speeds, the SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive is our sleekest, most powerful SanDisk USB device yet."
The thumb drive also comes natively with SanDisk's SecureAccess software, which offers 128-bit file encryption and password protection.
The SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.1 Solid State Flash Drive is supported by Windows Vista and higher, and Mac OS X v10.6+ (a software download is required for Mac systems).