USB flash drives have become an essential accessory for everyone, including people who have nothing to do with computers in their everyday life. Flash drives are offering rapid read/write compared to other storage media, they are highly portable and can be plugged into a simple USB port found in any laptop, computer or electronic device.
Memory specialist Corsair has recently released the Corsair Flash Voyager family of USB drives and today we have in our labs the newest member family, the Flash Voyager Mini.What makes them different in the already populated market of USB flash drives? Well, they are rugged, stylish and certainly ultra-portable as you can see in the picture below. Let's move on and have a closer look to the device.
The Flash Voyager Mini utilizes a cap-less retractable connector plug which easily opens with the flick of the thumb. Corsair has also carefully designed the rubberized housing of the drive in order connect and disconnect from any computer easily. The device is utilizing the Chip-on-Board, or COB assembly technology, wherein the chip is directly mounted on and electrically interconnected to its final circuit board, instead of undergoing traditional assembly or packaging as an individual IC. This makes the new Flash Voyager Mini extremely compact in size - almost the size of a coin:
The Flash Voyager Mini is available in capacities of up to 32GB:
Part Number / Density:
- Plug & Play functionality in Windows® Vista, XP, 2000, ME, Linux 2.4 and later, Mac OS 9, X and later
- Lanyard and USB extension cable included
- Ten year warranty
2. A closer look
The Corsair Flash Voyager mini 32GB retails online for € 95. This is as much as you should spend for the Corsair Flash Voyager GT 32GB flash drive and almost double the price of other competitive flash drives.
Below you see the retail package of the Flash Voyager mini 32GB drive, which is simple enough. The hard plastic shell cannot be opened and it should be cut to get the drive out.
The drive's design is cool and its's size is just 3.5cm x 2cm (L x D):
The connector plug is hidden inside the rubberized housing of the drive. As a result, no cap is required to protect it. The connector plug opens easily with the flick of the thumb. The length of the drive with the connector retracted is 4.5cm:
The Flash Voyager Mini offers durability and it is sturdy enough to be carried about in a pocket, as a key fob, or on a lanyard.
We ran our read/write benchmarks in the following PC:
- Intel i7-920
- Asus P6T Deluxe with 1914 bios
- 3x1GB Crucial PC3-12000 @ 1333MHz (7-7-7-20-1T)
- Seagate 7200.12 500GB 7200rpm
- Windows VISTA x64 SP2 with all latest updated installed
First we used the HD Tach v18.104.22.168 software. This is a popular low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.
We ran the full bench benchmark, which tests every sector of the drive. Full bench uses varying zone sizes for different device sizes to minimize the number of zones benchmarked. The software provides graphics with the average reading/writing performance of the drive. The software reported a very good 30.8MB/sec speed for reading.
Another benchmark utility, the The HD Tune Pro 3.50, confirmed the previous result. This time the drive reached the 29.3MB/sec average speed while reading:
Moving ahead, we used the CrystalDiskMark software and got 27.58MB/sec in the sequential reading and 13.07MB/sec in the sequential writing tests:
Finally we used the ATTO Disk Benchmark tool, which measures the storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. The software uses files ranging from 0.5MB and up to 8MB.
As you can see in the software screen shot below, an 8MB file was written at 14MB/s and read at 27MB/s. Of course, the performance drops as the files used for the tests become smaller:
Corsair continues to release quality products and the Flash Voyager mini is not an exception. This drive will hold up to 32GB of data and its ultra-compact size (4cm length) will make you forget you are holding it in your hand.
What we also require from such a tiny flash drive is a good build quality and of course, a good performance.The Flash Voyager mini had them both. It' rubber outsell keep it safe no matter if you drop it or accidentally step on it. The USB connector does not protrude from this protection, as it is retractable and well secured into the main body of the drive. This design is very convenient since there is no removable cap that can be easily lost. But most importantly, the reading/writing performance of the drive is very high, rated at ~30MB/sec for read and ~15MB/sec for write.
Corsair's 10-year warranty for the drive result to a very attractive USB flash solution.
So what we have here? A high-quality and sturdy product, with great performance/design and yes, high price. The Flash Voyager mini would cost you as much as the larger Corsair Flash Voyager GT 32GB. However, it's more compact and offers almost the same performance.