As with many of my predictions in the past years, most come true. None more pleasant than the death-knell tolling of USB 2.0 flash drives. I am sure anyone reading this owns or at least has used one at some point.
Although useful for moving small files (and definitely having exterminated the last vestiges of floppy disks and total failures such as the Zip Disk fiasco *shudder*), anyone who owns a USB stick over 2 GB has quickly realized the same thing… moving large amounts of data quickly becomes a painfully long process.
As I stated back in early 2009, the advent of faster connection technologies such as the much-anticipated USB 3.0 or the snazzy eSATA meant that soon we could move beyond these USB 2.0 devices and truly have useful, portable, fast drives.
eSATA beat out USB 3.0 to the punch and we have the Kanguru e-Flash which is not only an eSATA stick (the very first of its kind) but retains the legacy USB connection on the opposite side.
Though it has been out for a while now, the prices have dropped (a little) and I bought the 32GB verison for $99 at Tiger Direct and found the 64GB stick for around $180 on pricewatch.com
As many sites have already written reviews long ago on the Windows use (which doesnt sound all to appealing for several reasons) I’ve decided to direct attention towards my having used it on a Linux system. Apparently on windows, there is a strange situation where Windows is too stupid to realize the drive is a removable stick (instead recognizing it as an internal drive), so Kanguru had to ship Hot Swapping software to emulate the same effect.
In Linux, the use of the drive is as seamless as anything else; Automounting and un-mounting work the same regardless of which technology is being employed.
I did manage to connect the eSATA to my computer and the USB side to my laptop which I was able to get working (I have no idea under what situation this would be useful) but I had a very bad feeling about possible ramifications to the data on the stick. (I should note I had created two separate partitions to mount).
Although I imagine the speeds may vary depending on your Operating System and the quality of your eSATA or USB cards, the results were frankly unsurprising.. a massive speed increase when using eSATA – Almost 2x the write speed.. where I was able to get a sustained transfer rate just shy of 30MB/s. The read speed was less impressive only coming in slightly over 30MB/s (30-32) for reading.
What was a little strange, however, is that the USB on the stick actually seemed faster than my other USB sticks, which seems to support what other reviewers have said when talking about the e-Flash.
This stick is a little pricey, however, it retains the portability of other Flash drives, has backwards-compatibility for legacy USB inputs, and is definitely faster. I had no problems whatsoever reading Blu-Ray ISO rips from the e-Flash when I had it connected through eSATA into my O! Play Media Player. I am now a very happy camper. Hopefully soon we will see some more competition so we can enjoy price drops to a more reasonable level.