Little USB memory sticks are two a penny these days, it seems, almost falling out of cornflake packets. But they are not all created equal. If you're going to trust potentially irreplaceable data to them, it makes sense to choose wisely and find a reliable brand.
From memory specialist Corsair we have its smallest flash drive yet, the Flash Voyager Mini, available in 4GB and 8GB capacities. We tested the 4GB version of the Flash Voyager Mini, a truly small USB drive weighing less than 6g. It measures only 33x20mm and is 9mm thick.
It's so small, in fact, that we lost our sample twice before it resurfaced in time for testing!
The Flash Voyager Mini, like the full-size Voyagers, is crafted with a soft rubber outer cover. This makes it annoyingly irresistible to dust, picking up all kinds of fluff if you so much as show it a pocket, but at least it provides a degree of protection from the elements. Corsair bills the Flash Voyager Mini as being water resistant.
In its black and blue livery, with white and yellow logos and writing, it's a smart little number that falls easily between forefinger and thumb when plugging in and out of USB ports.
It's actually a capless design, with the electrical contacts business-end retracted into the rubber shell when not in use. A thumb slider catch on the underside pushes the USB plug out, a plug that omits the traditional rectangular metal cowl.
In our tests, the Flash Voyager Mini 4GB showed average read/write speeds, falling somewhere between the company's own standard and GT Voyagers. Using HDTach 3, we measured a typical read speed of 18.9MB/s and writing at 10.6MB/s. Random access time was just below 1 millisecond, at 0.9ms.