Review: Flash Voyager GT -- the fastest, cheapest flash drive yet?

Corsair has the competition beat on price

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TrueCrypt also allows you to choose the size of the volume to be encrypted in either kilobytes or megabytes. This is a nice feature for reserving disk space for specific tasks, such as encrypting a small contact list, personal medical data, or bigger files with photos or video, while at the same time leaving other files on the drive in the clear.

I created a 1GB volume with TrueCrypt. It took about one and a half minutes to generate. I then ran a speed test to the volume by downloading a 1GB folder with 303 files made up mostly by high-resolution photographs and half-dozen small videos. That took four minutes and 30 seconds. It was roughly the same amount of time it took to download the same folder onto the IronKey drive.

I found it interesting that the "GT" model of the Flash Voyager only comes in a 16GB model, while the standard Flash Voyager comes in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models. The company did not readily offer an explanation for that, though I suspect they figured that if someone wants the added speed of this device, they'll likely be downloading a lot of files.

Corsair's Flash Voyager GT has the competition beat on price. A 16GB Flash Voyager GT retails for just $169.00, while a 4GB IronKey Secure Flash Drive lists for $149. But, keep in mind that you're paying for SLC memory and a higher level of security with the IronKey.

The Flash Voyager and Flash Voyager GT are enclosed in an all-rubber housing, which makes the drive water-resistant and also gives it a nonslip, comfortable feel.

The Flash Voyager GT is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME, Linux 2.4 and later, and Mac OS 9 X. The drive is also ReadyBoost compatible, which is supposed to allow you to add memory to a system through the flash drive in order to improve performance. It has a 10-year warranty, and like most quality flash drives these days, it also comes with a sturdy lanyard and a USB extension cable.

Overall, I think the Flash Voyager is an extremely fast, quality flash drive that's easy to use, has good security, and is very inexpensive compared to competing products.

Flash Drive Speed/CPU Utilization Comparison (Windows XP)

  Burst Speed (MB/sec) Average Read (MB/sec) CPU Utilization (+/- 2%)
Corsair Flash Voyager GT 31.0 30.7 16%
Corsair Flash Padlock 15.9 15.4 5%
Corsair Survivor 25.1 23.6 4%
Imation Pivot Plus 16.7 16.1 8%
IronKey Secure 31.0 29.6 22%
Kingston DataTraveler Secure 20.2 13.2 10%
Lexar JumpDrive Secure II 15.9 15.5 7%
SanDisk Cruzer Professional 24.8 13.4 4%
Testing software: Simpli Software HD Tach

Price, Capacity and Security Comparisons

  Capacity tested Capacities available Price (MSRP model tested) Encryption type
Corsair Flash Voyager GT 16GB 16GB $169.00 256-bit AES
Corsair Flash Padlock 1GB 1GB,2GB,4GB $29.99 None
Corsair Survivor GT 8GB 4GB,8GB,16GB,32GB $129.99 256-bit AES
Imation Pivot Plus 1GB 1GB,2GB,4GB,8GB $69.99 256-bit AES
IronKey Secure 4GB 1GB,2GB,4GB $149.99 128-bit AES
Kingston DataTraveler Secure 8GB 1GB,2GB,4GB,8GB $327.00 256-bit AES
Lexar JumpDrive Secure II 1GB

256MB,512MB,1GB,

2GB,4GB
$29.99 256-bit AES
SanDisk Cruzer Professional 1GB 1GB,2GB,4GB $54.99 256-bit AES

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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