Corsair's first USB 3.0 flash drive is still a champ of durability and overall performance, but real world write speeds have become lax and the 32GB model competes too closely with its non-GT cousin.
USB 3.0 is finally closing in on the mark of ubiquity, appearing in even the cheapest of Dell laptops. So let it be known that Ye Olde USB 2.0 is officially boring and dead now, and so are the days of waiting for files to transfer at a snail's pace. Flash drives with USB 3.0 interfaces are available here and now, and many crank the write speeds to just under 40MB/s. But this still isn't good enough for you, is it? Still nerve-wracked by progress bars? Well, "feast" your impatient eyeballs on the second generation of USB 3.0 flash drives, starting with Corsair's Flash Voyager GT 3.0. An in-depth review awaits you after the jump.
I find I have to constantly remind myself that Corsair's unique rubber-encased drives are not toys, but profess-OH LOOK THEY BOUNCE! Yes, not much has changed in the way of Corsair's ever-durable drives. The new Flash Voyager GT USB 3.0 is practically identical in all but color and internals to the 32GB Flash Voyager GTR reviewed from last year. Same hardness, same bounciness, same lint attraction, same water resistant cap that's easily lost but freely replaced. It's a design that's held up well for over five years now.
Make no mistake, this is a tall order of a flash drive, employing the same 4-inch form factor of Corsair's previous 32GB designs. At 5/8 of an inch thick and one inch wide, the drive allows for neighboring USB devices to be plugged into horizontally-adjacent ports, but it's a tight squeeze. Vertically stacked ports are right out.
It's for this reason that I'm perplexed that Corsair didn't opt to include their usual niceties of a lanyard and USB extension cord. You can order a USB 3.0 extension cable for next to nothing, but Corsair should have picked up the tab since this is a premium flash drive we're talking about.
As far as durability is concerned, if these drives had a collective memory, it would surely be warped and twisted from being subjected to toddlers, thrown from buildings, baked alive on a pizza, tormented by high-velocity soapy water, and somehow surviving through it all over and over again. In fact, the only time in recent memory that a Flash Voyager has failed on me may not have even been caused by laundry day as was originally suspected in my Flash Voyager GTR review, but an annoying firmware bug that was later identified by the masses after the review was completed. Oh, there was also that one time I crushed the life out of the original Flash Voyager GT with an SUV. (The Flash Survivor GT was more apt to surviving that test...)
Still, my point stands that this is a generally durable design if you're a generally decent human being. The USB 3.0 variant of the Flash Voyager GT looks to be no different, having made it through two laundry cycles and still refusing to crack. I'll need to think of some more devious means of torture for future articles.
If for some reason the drive still manages to die under your less-torturous watch, Corsair has you covered for a good five years under warranty, and their support team have always done an outstanding job any time I've called for a bad stick of RAM. But don't think this excuses you from going without backups! Though I've yet to encounter any firmware bugs like what plagued the 32/64GB USB 2.0 GTR drives, and hopefully there aren't any to encounter, I don't want to be responsible for your anguish if your data magically goes poof. Practice safe hex.