VisionTek's new USB 3.0 thumb drive has SSD performance

There are speedy USB 3.0 thumb drives, and then there's VisionTek's newly announced Pocket SSD. Apparently, the drive's "aircraft-grade aluminum" housing conceals a SandForce controller backed by enough flash chips to hit 455MB/s during reads and 440MB/s during writes—you know, about the same level of performance as a proper SATA SSD.

Those speeds don't come cheap, of course. VisionTek quotes MSRPs of $109.99 for the drive's 120GB incarnation and $174.99 for the 240GB model. To put those figures in perspective, Crucial's 2.5" MX100 256GB drive can be had for just over $110 at Newegg.

Still, the convenience of having SSD-like performance in a thumb drive can't be overstated. As VisionTek points out, the Pocket SSD can even be loaded up with Windows 8.1 and used as an "office-on-the-go" solution. (You'd probably want to follow these steps to make the Win8.1 installation portable first.) And, because the drive has a standard USB 3.0 interface, it should work happily on older, USB 2.0 systems at reduced speeds. Pretty nifty.

Both the 120GB and 240GB flavors of the Pocket SSD are available from VisionTek's website.

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