Patriot opened up its treasure trove of flash-powered goodies at CES 2016, including a new PCIe SSD, 2.5" SSD, thumb drives and an external SATA enclosure. Let's take a closer look at its USB arsenal.
Supersonic Mega USB
The Supersonic Mega USB is perhaps one of Patriot's most compelling new USB offerings due to its hefty capacity options, USB 3.1 (Gen 1) connection and relatively low price. The Supersonic Mega comes in 128, 256 and 512 GB capacities for a reasonable price of $49.99, $89.99 and $229.99, respectively. The copious amount of storage allows users to lug around an incredible amount of data in a small package, and with 380/70 MBps of read/write performance (brought to you courtesy of its USB 3.1 goodness) the Mega will provide enough speed to get data on and off the drive relatively quickly.
The $229.99 sticker price may seem shocking for a USB drive, but there are very few options that offers as much high capacity, and many of the competing offerings from reputable companies command a higher price point. For instance, the 512 GB Corsair Flash Voyager weighs in at $304.13 (295/170 read/write MBps) and the Kingston HyperX Predator 512 GB drive retails for $385.91 (240/160 read/write MBps). Both of these USB challengers feature the USB 3.0 interface and offer faster write speeds, but slower read performance. However, it is hard to beat Patriot's $0.44-per-GB price point.
Gauntlet 4 USB Type-C SSD Enclosure
The Patriot Gauntlet 4 storage enclosure accepts any 2.5" form factor SATA storage device. The enclosure is bus-powered, so users will not need to bother with the hassles of searching for an external power connection. The enclosure supports USB 3.1 (Gen 2) to provide the maximum throughput, which is particularly well suited for SSDs.
The Gauntlet 4 comes with both microB to Type-A and MicroB to Type-C cables, which will allow broad compatibility with other devices. The simple aluminum enclosure (with an ABS drive tray) is plug-and-play and offers up to a 16 percent increase in read performance and a 22 percent increase in write performance in comparison to the previous-generation Gauntlet 3 product. Speed will naturally vary according to the type of storage device in the enclosure, and the Gauntlet 4 will be available at the end of Q1 for a mere $39.99. The increased speed of the USB 3.1 Gen 2 and the Type-C connection is a great addition to the portable enclosure market.
Patriot's Viper USB thumb drive packs the USB 3.1 punch, albeit at Gen 1 speeds. The Viper comes in 64, 128 and 256 GB capacities for $34.99, $54.99 and $94.99, respectively. Patriot positions the rubber-clad Viper series for both the professional and casual gamer, which is a somewhat odd distinction that is presumably derived from the fact that the Viper color scheme matches Patriot's new gaming PC products.
Patriot did not list the actual features that qualify it as more gaming-capable than other products, and there is no performance information, but the company included the statement that the USB stick offers "the perfect trifecta of speed, mass storage and value for all gamers."
Patriot also announced its new Supersonic Magnum 2 series, which sports speeds up to 400/300 MBps read/write, but little other information, including capacity and cost, is included.
The Supersonic Mega USB will be available on January 18 and the Viper USB will bring its gaming prowess to the market at the end of Q1.