We’ve done the entire VisionTek road warrior kit review in sections, but we are going to score it in four different ways: each product individually and as a cohesive kit. So lets start with the 60 GB Go Drive.
VisionTek 60 GB Go Drive
The VisionTek 60 GB Go Drive is the perfect complement to the road warrior kit. During internal operation and with the DriveXpander, it hit its rated speed of 550 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write. Of course that speed dropped some when it was in the Wallet Drive, but that’s to be expected, as no USB 3.0 external enclosure we’ve seen ever reaches its theoretical speed. With its road-ready toughness built in, combined with blazing fast speed, the VisionTek Go Drive is a great choice for on the move data portability. When it comes to choices for desktop operations, the Go Drive series with its DuraClass and DuraWrite technology extending its lifespan by up to 20x is an excellent choice. You’re not limited to a 60 GB version, as Go Drives are available in up to a 1TB capacity and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better choice in current SSD technology.
The VisionTek DriveXpander is a handy tool for the average road rarrior. It utilizes an empty PCI-E slot to provide an external bay to dock any 2.5-inch form factor drive. That opens up a lot of possibilities and makes this one versatile tool in a road warriors tool kit. Unlike USB 3.0 solutions, it allows the drive to reach its full speed potential without opening the chassis or resorting to more expensive, hard-to-find eSATA ports. Let’s face it, laptops are a premium item for thieves, especially when the people carrying them are on the road, not to mention the occasional coffee spill or dropped laptop. If your mission depends on that data and OS, it’s a small investment to have a backup plan. Part of that plan is the VisionTek DriveXpander allowing you to use Windows To Go for both your OS and data, then un-dock the drive and move it to the Wallet Drive and carry two copies of your OS and data. The DriveXpander is an excellent addition to any portability-based kit, but it does take up a PCI-E slot and leaves one SATA cable and power cable trailing across your system to the PCI-E port, so it’s Gold Award level performance wise, but we have to award it Silver Award for the trailing wires and taking up a PCI-E Slot, and not using PCI-E as it’s method of data transmission.
The Wallet Drive is an excellent, stylish choice for USB 3.0 external enclosures. The Wallet Drive provides USB 3.0 functionality and avoids the geekyness of external enclosures with hard plastic shells. In the boardroom or on the go, it’s sure to stand out in the crowd of hard plastic enclosures. Speeds were as good as any USB 3.0 enclosure we’ve seen, and the dongle is attached so it’s right there when you need it. The open-ended design of the Wallet Drive does cost it a few points for potential dust intrusion, and since it’s an all in one design, a little care will need to be taken with its handling so it fits in the SIlver Award category.
The Entire VisionTek Road Warrior Kit Together
This road warrior kit has proven to be both inexpensive, versatile and scalable, making it a must have for any true road warrior. Sure you can go to the cloud, but that exposes your data to some pretty undesirable vulnerabilities. Non-mission-critical and data you don’t mind anyone looking at can be stored on a cloud platform, but mission-critical and “your-eyes-only” material are better suited for carrying on your portable device or portable drive. Every day we hear about data vulnerabilities, cyber warfare and corporate espionage, and the number of threats just keeps growing. You can toss the terms “data integrity” and “security” around like a shuttlecock at a badminton game, but when you’re at the boardroom meeting or with a client, what counts is being prepared. When you’re in the hot seat and you have to tell the client or boss “I can’t connect to the cloud. We better have coffee and call IT.”, it’s not a laughing matter. If your data is on the drive in your pocket and can be accessed from any computer, that’s security the cloud can’t buy you.
There are limitless possibilities with a good road warrior kit. You can use Acronis to backup your laptop hard drive on a primary boot partition and have a secondary Windows To Go partition, or just store a copy of your presentation software and carry your data.
Get home and remove your Go Drive From its Wallet Drive and insert it into the DriveXpander and sync data in a few seconds. Sure, you can get some of this functionality from a thumb drive, but ask any professional how long a thumb drive will last as a boot drive, and they will tell you that the NAND flash and controller in an ordinary thumb drive won’t stand up to the rigors of Windows To Go for long.
The Bear Facts: When it comes down to data integrity, security and portability, the VisionTek road warrior kit we designed is hard to beat both price-wise and from a versatility standpoint. When it comes to your vital programs and data, don’t get rained on by the cloud. Carry your mission-critical data safely in your pocket and know that your presentation will come off without a hitch.