SanDisk Ex­treme Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive

HWM (Singapore) - - Test - by Kenny Yeo

Even in the age of cloud stor­age, USB flash drives are in­cred­i­bly con­ve­nient to carry data around. The main draw­backs of flash drives how­ever are se­cu­rity, theft and some­times, plain for­get­ful­ness. Most people we know have mis­placed a drive or three over the past few years and haven’t re­ally thought much about it, but if you rely on a flash drive to carry im­por­tant per­sonal data, you might want to en­sure that if you ever lose it, the per­son that picks it up can­not sim­ply plug it in and see all your files.

SanDisk’s Ex­treme Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive serves two pur­poses. Firstly, the flash drive fea­tures a gen­er­ous 128GB of stor­age and SanDisk claims per­for­mance of 260MB/s reads and 240MB/s writes are pos­si­ble.

And speed is some­thing that the SanDisk Ex­treme Pro USB 3.0 has in spades. We achieved se­quen­tial read and write speeds of 263MB/s and 238MB/s re­spec­tively, which were very close to SanDisk’s claims. We also timed how long it took to copy a 15GB folder con­tain­ing hun­dreds of pic­tures and a cou­ple of high-def­i­ni­tion videos and found it to be pretty brisk, tak­ing just 238 sec­onds - just un­der four min­utes. In com­par­i­son, a USB 3.0 1TB por­ta­ble hard disk drive usu­ally takes around five and a half min­utes.

And on the se­cu­rity front, the disk comes pre­loaded with SanDisk’s Se­cureAc­cess soft­ware that pro­vides 128-bit AES en­cryp­tion and pass­word pro­tec­tion. Mac users will be happy to know that SanDisk of­fers a Mac-com­pat­i­ble ver­sion of this soft­ware too. It is pretty easy to setup and once in­stalled, cre­ates an en­crypted folder within the flash drive. Sav­ing files is sim­ply a mat­ter of drag­ging and drop­ping files into this folder, which will au­to­mat­i­cally be en­crypted. Re­triev­ing them how­ever re­quires the use of the soft­ware.

Per­for­mance and fea­tures aside, the Ex­treme Pro USB 3.0 comes with an alu­minum cas­ing and is slightly larger than a stan­dard AA bat­tery. It fea­tures a re­tractable USB con­nec­tor, which helps shave off its length slightly, how­ever, we found it to be a lit­tle chunky. This be­comes prob­lem­atic when us­ing with smaller note­books and de­vices that have their USB ports close to one an­other, mak­ing it a tight fit if you have mul­ti­ple USB de­vices to con­nect.

Un­like the rest of SanDisk’s flash drive se­ries, the Ex­treme Pro USB 3.0 will only come in one size, which is the 128GB vari­ant. While the drive does fully deliver on both per­for­mance and se­cu­rity fronts, it does com­mand a con­sid­er­able pre­mium over reg­u­lar USB 3.0 drives, to the tune of $269 to be ex­act.

A switch re­tracts the con­nec­tor to pro­tect it from daily wear and makes it more por­ta­ble.

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