USB thumb drives might not be catching up to conventional SSDs just yet, but some companies are certainly pushing the envelope. Case in point: Corsair's Flash Voyager GT, a king-sized thumb drive with a whopping 128GB capacity and, supposedly, nearly double the performance of competing solutions.
Corsair boasts about using a "revolutionary design that employs a unique dual-controller architecture to achieve [single-level-cell]-levels of performance using [multi-level-cell] NAND flash memory." The firm is, however, quick to add that the speed of the USB 2.0 interface and operating system overhead are limiting factors. Not surprising, then, that it quotes top transfer speeds of 32MB/s for reads and 25.6MB/s for writes.
The drive is available right now at Newegg for $399.99 shipped. The same retailer lists a 128GB Data Traveler thumb drive from Kingston, but that product is only rated for up to 20MB/s reads and 10MB/s writes. A $389.99 Patriot drive isn't too far off in terms of read speed, though—210X the performance of a single-speed CD-ROM, or 30.8MB/s.
We should note that $400 is pricier than many Serial ATA SSDs with identical capacities and higher rated speeds, including Corsair's own. But funnily enough, the Flash Voyager GT carries a 10-year warranty, considerably longer than the one-, two-, or three-year warranties of most consumer SSDs.