Kingston launch world's first 256GB thumb drive

Is that a whopping 256GB USB flash drive in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? The huge flash drive is in Kingston Technology's pocket as they are set to launch the highest capacity USB thumb drive available on the market this week, with their DataTraveler 300 device. Whether the demand for such a device exists remains to be seen.

The flash drive includes password protection functionality - through their Password Traveler software - which can protect of up to 90% of its capacity, and it is apparently enhanced for use with Windows Vista's ReadyBoost feature. Kingston state that the 256GB of storage space is equivalent to that of 10 Blu-ray discs, 54 DVDs, or 365 CDs - "that's one album for every day of the year, and it demonstrates how far flash technology has developed," says Kirsty Miller, consumer product marketing manager for Kingston Technology Europe.

If you want to fill it up and transfer 152,384 of your 5 megapixel photos to the device then the transfer speeds of it offer you 10 MB/second write speeds or 20 MB/second read speeds through USB 2.0, although USB 3.0 would seem to make more sense when handling data of this size. It is currently only available in Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and Africa and will cost about £565.67 (excluding VAT) for those in the UK, according to TechRadar, although Kingston say that the device is built to order only. The price includes a five year warranty and 24/7 support.

"The Kingston DataTraveler 300 is ideal for netbook users who want to extend the limited capacity of their machines," Kingston claim, presuming that people will spend a lot more on a store device than they did on their actual netbook. "It can also be used by business consumers who work with large databases, or even designers who need to transfer large graphic files from one place to another."

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£565.67 = $1337.12 NZ Dollars there's a saying in New Zealand for absurdities like this and it goes YEAH RIGHT my partner just bought a new HP dv6-1204AX for 1500 bucks (320GB 7200rpm HDD) 2GB Ram 512MB ATI video and an AMD Athlon x2 2.16GHz i think this makes more sense than an over priced slow behemouth like that USB drive

HAHA LOL ya know i didn't even realise that till you pointed it out only thing is though that was just an US to NZ rate exchange the actual price for these here would be much more than that

"Is that a whopping 256GB USB flash drive in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

Made me laugh out loud.

This is really amazing. I didn't expect to see them this big. I would love one, but the cost is just prohibitive. I'm curious to see how this impacts laptops in the future though. If they could make the hard drive this small, but have that much space, can you imagine? It would give them the ability to include more cooling or what not too...

over the years I've lost a lot of flash drives, would not want to buy this one just to lose another. The external drives will do me just find.

I have the same experience, of the THREE 1 GB drives I bought last year, two failed...and 1GB of storage is not even close to 250GB .

The manufacturer of those drives? That's rather funny, because it was Kingston.

Compare the USB connector of an USB stick to your Thumb, and then look at the picture of this one.. this is hardly a 'Thumb' drive.. no flame intended tho :P

kingco said,
Correct! Maybe a maximum of 16GB. If you need more space then you just need a 2.5' portable hard drive.

Well, I have a 320GB portable HDD and a 64GB thumbdrive and they both serve different purposes. You can't compare the two as the thumbdrive is not only more resistant to shock and other external factors, it is also A LOT smaller and thereby more portable.

Asking for USB 3.0 support doesn't make sense, guys. 10MB/s is way below USB 2.0 (HS) bottleneck anyway. I get around 25MB/s with my external HDD on USB 2.0 (HS). I guess the hardware (NAND, I suppose, in flash drives) wouldn't support all that speed.

Omkar� said,
Asking for USB 3.0 support doesn't make sense, guys. 10MB/s is way below USB 2.0 (HS) bottleneck anyway. I get around 25MB/s with my external HDD on USB 2.0 (HS). I guess the hardware (NAND, I suppose, in flash drives) wouldn't support all that speed.


I guess a lot people just want to ride a scooter on a 8 lane freeway. hooray!!

A USB3 version would use faster flash and have a higher transfer rate. It'd up the price of course, but thinking that the only thing they'd change would be the usb interface and not use faster flash is stupid.

The idea behind the device is great, however, why not wait for USB 3.0. Also, remember devices like this always start out at a high cost because of the initial startup factor. I remember the first HDD I bought for my Mac Plus back in 1989 $425.00 for 40 Mbit; now days you can find with just a little shopping a 1 Tbit HDD for around $80.00 to $110.00. Ain't computing fun!!!!!!!!

Why USB 3.0 when the device doesn't even max out USB 2.0? I suppose they could make it USB 3.0 and charge even more for the same speed.

Rail Grinder said,
After taking months to fill it up with data, imagine finding out one day that you lost it.

Quite true, how many secret can you put onto 256Gb?

Rail Grinder said,
After taking months to fill it up with data, imagine finding out one day that you lost it.

lol that would be hard to swallow...

Everybody knows that you should never put important data on flash drives for a longer time, so who buys these drives? Obviously clueless noobs...sigh

soldier1st said,
same and it should add usb3 support by that time.

what does usb3 do when the internal transfer rate is only 10/20?

leo221 said,
what does usb3 do when the internal transfer rate is only 10/20?


Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

GP007 said,
Internal rate is only that because it's a usb2 device. It can't go faster anyways.

A USB 3 device will give you speeds like a normal internal drive would.

usb3 is a highway, if your car cant speed, highway cant help you...

How about adding new features like a "read only switch" so I could plug it in any computer. are there any USB flash drive that have that feature

nozen09 said,
How about adding new features like a "read only switch" so I could plug it in any computer. are there any USB flash drive that have that feature

Why would you need that?

If the manager software that handles the password is any good, it should give you the ability to set it to be read-only.

Or you can set the volume to be read-only after you copy over things from your PC.

Max� said,
Why would you need that?

As dead monkey suggested, there are many reasons for read-only switches. Many of them are the same reasons why they had read only tabs on VHS tapes and floppy discs... to prevent accidental erasure, overwriting, etc. In addition to the prevention of your stick being infected by viruses from PCs you have no control over.

I'll wait for it here in the US and see how much. I find it much better than a hefty external drive for sure.

Not really, compare that against 256gb of any other sort of memory chip on the market :-)

One brand of 256gb SSD for example is £439 ex VAT on overclockers.

Miniaturisation and the USB interface components could easily account for the extra on top of that.

TCLN Ryster said,
One brand of 256gb SSD for example is £439 ex VAT on overclockers.

But it's going to be A LOT faster than this USB Key....

256Gb in a small package is neat, but it's slow and quite expensive.

Unless they come out with a USB3.0 version later. Even at USB 2.0 speeds, sure it's slow, but then again if you're using this you aren't in a rush either.

My first USB Pen Drive was 64MB. I remember thinking wow, so many floppy discs on such a small device.

SK[ said,]I remember thinking wow, so many floppy discs on such a small device.


Now you can think, "Wow, so many USB keys on one device!":D.

For me, the first one I ever bought was 128mb with a voice recorder. I lined up for them on a black friday just to get them for cheap.

exactly... way overpriced im sure especially when you can get a 1TB (or more) hard drive for fairly cheap nowadays.

even though it's not portable... who really needs THAT MUCH (256GB) for portable storage? .. i figure 32GB should be 'enough' for transferring most stuff on a USB memory stick thing.

Yeah, but tech is always overpriced when it's new. Remember when SSD's for laptops first popped up. They were ridiculously expensive. My buddy just a new machine a month ago and he got a 160 gig SSD upgrade for a little over $100. It'll come down in time.

£565.67 (excluding VAT) <<<<-------- Why for gods sake?...................Nice idea, well done, but NOOOOOOOO WAY am i going to buy this for my netbook

Yes, prohibitively expensive at this time .. if I may suggest to Kingston, moving the decimal point to make it £56.56 .. then sales might start to increase !

lol, yes I think you might be better off with a SATA docking station and a 2TB hard disk... or maybe even a second laptop for that money.

Green Canaries said,
?565.67 (excluding VAT) <<<<-------- Why for gods sake?...................Nice idea, well done, but NOOOOOOOO WAY am i going to buy this for my netbook


Give it a couple of years and when they develop the terabyte and 1.5 terabyte you maybe able to pick em up for a pony.

Minimoose said,
In case you have to move what? Uncompressed video? :P



I have 160GB of just mp3's. If I count videos (xvod and h264) I can fill this thing up right away. And I doubt I' m the only one.

It's nice to have a small and quick way to copy loads of data that a USB stick can give you. Sure it costs alot now, but it'll drop in time.

GP007 said,
I have 160GB of just mp3's. If I count videos (xvod and h264) I can fill this thing up right away. And I doubt I' m the only one.

It's nice to have a small and quick way to copy loads of data that a USB stick can give you. Sure it costs alot now, but it'll drop in time.


Yeah. I've got about 100 gigs of music, and well over a terabyte of uncompressed video on my homeserver. Not to mention full images and backups of 3 pc's.

The cool thing about it is the size, though. 256 gigs in the palm of your hand. You know that big, rack mount server with 16 drive bays and it's own cooling system that you use to host your media? Well in 5-10 years all 24 terebytes of that data will fit into a box no bigger than my homeserver. I love the minaturization of tech, w00t!!!

GP007 said,
I have 160GB of just mp3's. If I count videos (xvod and h264) I can fill this thing up right away. And I doubt I' m the only one.

It's nice to have a small and quick way to copy loads of data that a USB stick can give you. Sure it costs alot now, but it'll drop in time.

it's not that quick at 10MBps write it'll take you wee while to fill it

The only good thing about this is the smaller drives become cheaper. But with at least 4 "spare" USB drives from 2-8GB I think it is safe to say you don't need all this space.

GP007 said,
Not that long imo. But then "long time" is relative.

umm.... 256000MB / 10MB / 60 secs / 60 mins = 7.1 HOURS

a 6x blueray burner can write at 27MB/sec, almost 3 times faster to use a spinning disc and a laser.

iow its kind of slow. ;-)