The world of flash drives continues to change and, for the most part, many features we might like to see still aren’t present in today’s solutions. Simple software security that allows a secure folder to store sensitive data, apart from the normal storage area where we can throw daily data, comes to mind right away. And what about lifespan? Even today we wonder just how long our flash drive will really last and what type of performance drop we might see along the way. And then there is the issue of speed….
SanDisk has tried to change all of that with their new SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive and, taking a look at many of its features, someone seems to have finally been listening to what the consumer asked for. Our review will get into much more detail about things such as a very easy to use SanDisk Secure Access Vault, along with amazing speeds and a very well-built device, but perhaps the best thing SanDisk has included for consumer confidence is a lifetime warranty on the Extreme Pro. Thats right…a flash drive that will last as long as its owner and one that is 60x faster than any USB 2.0 flash drive.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive is only available in the 128GB capacity and can be found at the $150 price point. It is capable of performance up to 260MB/s read and 240MB/s write, includes SanDisk Secure Access 128-bit AES encryption software, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems. In fact, the drive comes already formatted for both.
SANDISK SECURE ACCESS
The SanDisk Extreme Pro Flash Drive has Secure Access 128-Bit AES encryption software included, this easily being one of our favorite features. Installation is very easy and, once installed an icon of a vault appears in your menu, and directory listing. Clicking the vault will then bring up the password page:
Once the vault is opened, it then opens to an area where you can drag and drop any file, each being encrypted immediately for your security. One can even create folders to better organize their files:
EXTREME PRO CONSTRUCTION
One of our favorite things about the SanDisk Extreme PRO is that it is virtually indestructible. In their design, SanDisk surrounded this flash drive with a single piece of solid aluminum ensuring that it would not be physically damaged anytime soon.
In addition, there are no lids to lose as the USB 3 connector can be hidden away with a simple sliding of the switch on top of the device.
ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256MB and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
Listed specs for the Extreme Pro are 260MB/s read and 240MB/s write, both speeds of which have been surpassed in ATTO. It will be interesting to see how the device performs while transferring incompressible data as we might see in media files.
CRYSTAL DISK BENCHMARK VER. 3.0 X64
Crystal Disk Benchmark is used to measure read and write performance through sampling of highly compressible data (oFill/1Fill), or random data which is, for the most part, incompressible. Traditionally, LSI SandForce controlled SSDs did better with highly compressible data than that of incompressible data. Let’s take a look at the results, compressible on the left and incompressible on the right.
The compressible data results on the left confirm what we saw in ATTO Disk Benchmark, while that on the right demonstrates that the SanDisk Extreme is capable of amazing performance even with the toughest of data.
REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
In checking the price and user opinions on the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Flash Drive, we discovered something that you don’t often see; its user reviews are all top-notch, every buyer awarding this drive with a 4 or 5 star rating. In fact, the only knock anyone seems to have is the fact that it is priced at around the $150 mark…and I guess that can be expected when purchasing a flash drive or any similar item. When you examine all that this drive offers, however, we might think that price is just a bit lower than what we would have expected.
Take it’s warranty for instance. Lifetime limited warranty for ANY flash device is just about impossible to find, and for SanDisk to place it on the Extreme Pro, they definitely have to have confidence in their product. From there, we also finally get a ‘user friendly’ way to secure our data with SanDisk SecureAccess and without the requirement to encrypt the entire drive. If you want to have complete 128-Bit AES encryption of your sensitive data, simply enter your password to open the Vault and drag and drop any files that need protection. If they don’t, the drive functions as any other would. Simply, you have regular storage space and secure folders within that area.
It is not often that we speak of any solid state device without highlighting speed. The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB 3.0 128GB Flash Drive is 60x faster than a USB 2.0 flash drive and capable of transferring media files at 260MB/s read and 240MB/s write. That says much for the caliber of this device as it means that only premium NAND flash memory was used, unlike a few others that have used asynchronous memory, dropping write performance significantly when transferring media files. The Extreme Pro was built for having your media on the go.
From a personal vantage point, I work a lot with sensitive files and this has become my favorite flash item as of late. In fact, our company has seen the purchase of several of these, based solely on the simplicity and value of the encryption software alone. Accounting for this, its lifetime warranty as well as capacity and the SanDisk Extreme Pro receives our Gold Seal.
Check Out SanDisk Extreme Pro Flash Drive Pricing at Amazon