USB flash drives have been getting bigger and bigger in recent years. But memory manufacturer Corsair has blown the limits of reality out of the water with the staggeringly massive 64GB flash drive dubbed the Flash Voyager. But what would you need a 64GB pocket drive for? Well there are several reasons, but we decided to go with backing up and swapping out our 60GB PlayStation 3 hard drive for a 320GB upgrade. Here's how it went.
First up you have to format the Flash Voyager so it's fluent in the language of FATA32, which is all the PS3 can read. Pop the Voyager into your tower of power and hit format.
If you're on a PC you'll see nothing but a set of blank options. The format utility built into XP can't format FAT32 above 32GB so you'll need a separate utility. We had no problem using a Mac though.
Once our rubber encased Voyager was speaking the right language it was time to fire up the PS3. Go to System Settings and down to Backup Utility. You'll see a message saying "Insert storage media at save destination", which basically means plug in your external hard drive to copy your PS3's innards across.
I've got a 500GB external drive with my PC's contents already on there but I would have had to format it to FATA32 if I wanted to use it here.
The Flash Voyager is immediately recognised and after two minutes of the PS3 preparing itself, the process begins, estimating that it'll take two hours and 43 minutes to back up all content (about 50GB). Once that's done we formatted the 60GB PS3 drive so we could try and sell it on - no need for it now. Surprisingly that process took nearly three and a half hours.
Now for the hard part, which has nothing to do with fancy technology. Getting the bloody screws off the case surrounding the PS3 hard drive was a nightmare. I reckon that because the PS3 had been sweating away for around six hours by this point the thread in the screws got a little warm. And we all know that a PS3 can heat an OAP's flat in winter for free.
So using a tiny screwdriver only wore out the thread until it vanished. We had to go in with wire clippers and physically grab and rotate the screw heads before we got the bugger loose.
After (lightly) screwing our new 320GB drive into the case and slotting it back into the PS3, copying over nearly 60GB of backed up info from the Flash Voyager took only 57 minutes. Job done.
While quite expensive compared to an external hard drive the Flash Voyager did everything we asked it to. It's rubberised exterior makes it resistant to shock with Corsair telling us it'll survive being dropped, stood on, splashed, shot and even a session in the washing machine.
Hardware sites have even been known to boil and freeze them. A bit extreme if you ask us but it's good to know that your photos and tunes would survive a new ice age.
Storing movies and music is most likely what you'd use it for. The firm reckons you'll get 16,000 songs (128kbps MP3s) or around 300 hours of DiVX-type compressed video, or 24 hours of DVD-quality video on the 64GB monster.
You can store and run games from them too, check out PC Gamer's findings with the smaller 16GB model here. Plus you can install and run operating systems from them.
So a 64GB Flash Voyager (with a 10-year guarantee ) will set you back around £120 if you look for the best deal. Expensive. But worth it. If that's out of your reach though there are smaller options, all as equally durable.