There is no doubt that USB 3.0 is, currently, the fastest interface available for external storage devices, but it is still not very widespread and, as such, there wouldn't be many situations where the extra speed could be taken advantage of. Knowing this, Active Media Products has built a pair of flash drives that use the less speedy but significantly more widely available eSATA interface, which essentially makes the two new devices eSATA/USB 2.0 combo flash drives.
The two glossy black drives measure 80 x 29 x 11 mm (3.1 x 1.1 x 0.4 inches) and go by the rather self-explanatory names of P16G-ESATA and P32G-ESATA. Obviously, they have 16GB and 32GB storage capacity, respectively. As for actual data rates, the maximum achievable read speed, when using the eSATA interface, is 100MB/s, whereas the maximum writing speed can reach 55MB/s.
The devices are also plug-and-play ready and have no moving parts (for added reliability). The two models are equipped with USB 2.0 connectivity (through a Mini USB 2.0 port), which will allow them to interface with any gadget supporting it. This doesn't include just desktops or laptops, but also certain media players, NAS products and external docking stations.
"There are millions of laptops out there with eSATA ports that can take advantage of this performance," said Jerry Thomson, VP of Sales at Active Media Products. "eSATA flash drives are a great storage solution for people who need faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0 can offer, yet still need the portability of a USB flash drive."
End-users might be glad to hear that the two units have already been made available through online retailers. On Amazon, for instance, the 16GB P16G-ESATA has a retail price of $69.95, whereas the 32GB P32G-ESATA has an MSRP of $109.95. Each comes with its own USB cable.