128GB thumb drives have finally reached mainstream with the recent announcement of the SanDisk Extreme Pro. Its fairly compact form factor – measuring at 2.79″ x 0.84″ x .45″ – is relatively small for a drive this size. Like the original, the mammoth drive adopts retractable USB connector with a convenient thumb slide but this one comes with aluminum chassis, inherently making it more durable than its plastic sibling.
On the capacity and performance side of the equation, the storage abilities of the Extreme Pro have been doubled from 64GB to a very impressive 128GB and at the same time, the read and write performance has been boosted to 260MB/s and 245MB/s respectively. To put this in perspective, this is approximately the same impressive read speed as Corsair’s and Kingston’s flagship drives but with noticeably higher write performance than the rest.
Compared to Super Talent’s Windows To Go-certified RC4 (rated for 320MB/s), the Sandisk lags behind in terms of read speed. Unlike the RC4 SandForce controller, the Extreme series has proven to be able to keep itself in a non-degraded state and keep from getting ‘slow’. In other words, the SanDisk is not some short term synthetic benchmark queen and rather is meant for real world scenarios and real-world performance. While 128GB of lightning speed is very droolworthy, the budget busting asking price of $199.99 (even backed by lifetime warranty) means this model will not be found in many people pockets.