Corsair 8 GB USB 2.0 Ultra Rugged Flash Survivor Drive
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The Corsair Flash Survivor is an extremely durable, water resistant, drop-tested flash USB memory drive. By design it is perfect for transporting valuable data such as personal files, photos and applications without having to worry about damage or loss of data due to the elements. Encased in extremely strong CNC-milled, anodized aircraft-grade aluminum;Water resistant to 200M through the use of a EPDM waterproof seal;Protected from vibration or impact damage through the use of a molded shock-dampening collar;Plug-&-Play with any USB 2.0 certified peripheral computer port (backward compatible with USB 1.1).
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They have discontinued this drive because they can't get the chips anymore.
The bigger drives (over 8 gig ) use slower chips. Get this puppy while you can!
No, it is not. In chasing after that lower price point, 90% of USB flash drives on the market today have become cheap junk, made for pennies with bargain-basement components, and not designed to be rigorous. They're throwaway trinkets, and this becomes obvious in the transfer speeds, physical endurance, and data quality.
I regard data integrity of prime importance, whether it's a word-processing document or a file of viral sequence data, and I've had one-too-many flash drives go bad on me, resulting in hours of problem-solving from having my data corrupted. Now I can't help but regard those throwaway USB flash drives as anything but junk.
Worse than junk, actually ... especially in the case of silent corruption, caused by el cheapo flash components going bad, and you don't know that the file is compromised until the next time you use it. Add file-synching between different computers and you have a recipe for disaster. The more you learn about the design and make-up of commodity flash drives, the less you can trust them.
The 8GB Corsair Survivor GT is different in that it's a quality tool. It's made of durable materials with the finest electronic components on the market. If moving data around is a routine part of your job, you should at least be aware of the finest tools available, and the benefit they bring. If you find lost/corrupted data unacceptable, then you shouldn't use cheap junk, period.
(Note that I am talking about the 8GB Corsair Survivor GT. The "GT" (identified by the red label) is the important part; this indicates the product line with higher performance and longevity through superior components. Don't get this confused with the regular (blue-label) Survivor models. Also, it is useful to note that the "GT" models in sizes of 16GB and greater are really no different than the non-GT models. This is the highest-capacity "true GT" model available.)
In a nutshell, there are two reasons why this flash drive is special:
-- The rugged, waterproof housing. Not that big of a deal, when you get down to it; not only does Corsair sell other Survivor models (in even greater capacities), but you can always buy a waterproof match container at your local camping store, and use it to protect a flash drive and other items, and you effectively have the same thing. But still, having it in one integrated unit is nice and convenient, and when Corsair claims that this is a rugged unit built to endure immersion, impacts, stress, temperatures, etc., it's not marketing hype. This is the real deal.
(Similarly, you should check out the 8GB Corsair Voyager GT if you want the same drive in a different form factor. Personally, I regard the Survivor as superior to the Voyager, because of its form factor. The GT was made ruggedized with a thick rubber skin, which makes it fat and oversized. As such, it won't plug into crowded USB ports without using the included extension cable. The Survivor, once removed from the metal housing, is of normal width, and I haven't had any problems with space issues when plugging it in.)
-- The components. This flash drive is the last of the generation that will use dual-channel SLC (single-level cell) NAND flash chips. Not only are they considerably faster than other (MLC) flash chips, but their lifespan is roughly 10 times as long, in terms of write degredation.
Those two factors combine to form what I believe is the finest USB flash drive anywhere.
Unfortunately, there will be no more USB flash drives made using SLC flash memory chips -- anywhere, by anyone -- because it is no longer financially tenable. This 8GB model is the last of the line, and Corsair has been very up-front about this: all future models, including the GT line, will be made with MLC NAND chips. You will not find any flash drives, anywhere, with a larger capacity using this technology.
As such, this product has been discontinued, which explains its high price. Someday it will no longer be commercially available, and it will only be seen in the proud, possessive clutches of their owners' hands. At that point, good luck trying to find one.
After my tirade, if you still argue that flash drives are a disposable commodity, then I won't try to convince you otherwise. If, however, you have the need (or inclination) to use the finest tool for the job and ensure your data integrity beyond all doubts, then here you go: you won't find a better data-transport device anywhere, and there probably won't be a better one on the market for quite some time.
It's fast, it's capacious, it's rugged, it's well-built. They offer a 10-year warranty. I can't think of much more to say.
(Cons: This review wouldn't be complete without mentioning some of this device's caveats. It's a bit large. It's a bit heavy. The rubber bumpers don't stay adhered in place for very long, and I can see them falling off under the circumstances of heavy use or bad luck. Its round, cylindrical form-factor makes it prone to rolling around when placed on a flat surface; to solve this issue, I would recommend attaching the beaded "dog-tag chain" that's included; not only can you wear it around your neck like a unselfconscious ubergeek, but it will keep that sucker from making any unwanted moves.)
Quite well, actually. Older keys can deliver great speeds with medium and large files but are painfully slow when transferring small ones. The Survivor GT, however, is speedy with all file sizes in both reading and writing tests. So if you need to copy that PowerPoint presentation off of Salazar's laptop before the building explodes, this is the thumb drive for you. The Survivor GT handily beats the original Flash Voyager GT in all our read and write tests.
We also tested the Survivor by dunking it in boiling water, freezing it, flinging it against a concrete wall, burning it with a butane torch, dropping it down four flights of stairs, and attaching it to a car muffler during a lunch outing, and it, well, survived. It didn't look pretty in the end, but the data was still intact.
Not all is perfect with the Survivor though. Our unit, like others from Corsair, didn't include any bundled encryption software, although it is supposed to ship with TrueCrypt freeware. Other small problems: one rubber grip wasn't glued on the unit, and the device made an annoying squeaking noise when closing - not good if two dozen ninjas are parked inside the room you're about to enter. Still, if speed and durability are your top concerns, we can't imagine getting a key that's any tougher than this baby.
Verdict: 9 out of 10
I am still using it but I wish I would not waste my money. Recently when my friend heard this story and saw the drive, he chocked on his food at the moment I told the price.