VisionTek is not who most of us think about when it comes to portable memory devices because we know them as the maker of AMD-based graphics cards. VisionTek actually has a wide range of products including SSDs, PCIe SSDs, memory, tool kits and other useful gadgets. Jumping into the portable storage arena is going to be tough as everyone under the sun makes some sort of low cost device to carry around important documents or media. The fact that VisionTek is using NAND flash with a Sandforce controller to reap some impressive performance may just give them a leg up on most competition. The pocket size portability is another check mark in VisionTek’s favor. The USB 3.0 external drives used for comparison data both had long cables, the size of the drive itself was too big to easily fit into a pocket and sure as heck can’t go on a key chain. There may be a few other solid state USB drives out they perform slightly faster than VisionTek’s models but none offers the rugged outer casing to protect valuable date from be crushed or breaking away from your key chain.
All in all it is a good drive even though we could not get it to hit the advertised speeds. The smallest of the bunch packed the biggest performance punch, although at the price of getting a little toasty. We have yet to see a perfect portable storage solution but we are getting closer. VisionTek needs to work on venting the heat build-up inside the casing. Over time and steady use the heat may cause some problems. We have no data to support that it will but adding to a customers peace of mind is never a bad thing, especially since it won’t cost much if anything to cut some slits in the case to vent off any build up. I do not like the rubber cover; it will vanish within one week of me using this drive. I know this because only one of my other drives has the cap. It is a shiny gold one I got as a gift. Magnetic cap with a tether. Please find a better name for this drive. Having exactly what the item is as the name gets tiresome to repeat any time the drive is referenced. Make it the VisionTek “Blaze” or “Lightning” or almost anything else related to speed. Small tweaks can be made to this drive to make it easily one of the best on the market.
Finally we get to price. VisionTek has listed the MSRP for the 120GB drive at $109 and the 240GB model at $174. Comparing apples to apples is not easy as there are only a few USB 3.0 SSDs available. The best match up is Corsair’s Voyager, priced at $107.99 and $219.99 for the 128Gb and 256GB models. Speeds and prices are fairly close to the VisionTek model but it comes in the standard cheap plastic casing vs. the sturdier aluminum housing. The noticeably shorter two year warranty weighs against the VisionTek USB Pocket SSD as 3-5 year warranties are the most common. Overall VisionTek is offering a good value with great speeds that will make storage and transfers of your important files must faster than any standard USB flash drive. W2G on this device was just as smooth as having the OS installed on an internal SSD. We gladly give the VisionTek USB 3.0 Solid State 120GB drive PureOverclock’s Great Hardware Award.