SANDISK EXTREME PRO USB 3.0

THE SANDISK EXTREME PRO has a lot of hyperbole in its name, but one glance at its specs and you can see it's a fitting title. First, at 128GB it's the largest-capacity USB key we've ever tested. Second, the drive's specs claim it performs more than twice as fast as USB 3.0 keys we've tested in the past, which typically top out at around 110MB/s for read and write speeds.

This bad mother is rated at 260MB/s read speeds, and 240MB/s write speeds, which is ludicrous for a USB key. Third, to show how serious SanDisk is with this model, it's only available in the 128GB capacity, because how extreme can a 64GB key really be-know what we're saying? On the software front, the drive comes with a data-encryption tool named Secure- Access, which is an executable that creates a 128-bit AES encrypted volume. You keep the executable on the key (or anywhere, really), type in your password, and the volume opens.

When you close the window, the data is safe; if you forget your password, you'll have to wipe the drive, as there's no recovery. In addition to these righteous features, this key has the perfect body style in our opinion: it has no cap, a tough aluminum shell, a sturdy loop for your keychain, and a rocker switch to deploy the key. We love it, and wouldn't mind if all future USB keys were built like this. In testing, the Sandisk came close to hitting its peak speeds in our real-world file copy tests, and definitely hit them in synthetic benchmarks.

The key choked a bit on some of the larger video files we had in our test folder, but averaged around 175MB/s or so during the 14GB transfer. That's blazing fast, and the fastest USB key we've ever tested. In the end, this key's killer speed, huge capacity, perfect chassis, and handy encryption software make it the total package. We honestly can't think of a single thing to criticize.

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