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Dated: Mar. 28, 2013

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The new Modern UI (ex Metro) interface of Windows 8 really shook up the IT world, because for some it is a revolution, and for others it is a total failure. No matter what the public thinks, manufacturers rushed to get Windows 8 certificates for their devices. One of the first ones who came in our hands was the Kingston USB 3.0 flash disk called the DataTraveler Workspace. At first glance it looks completely logical that every USB transportable memory works on the Windows 8 operating system, but the Workspace actually is not the common transportable disk. Its use is closely related to the new function that is offered by the Windows 8 Enterprise, meant for business users, called the Windows to Go.

The idea that the operational system is placed on the USB disk, and no matter what computer you plug it in, have your personal desktop, installed apps and data. Working at home with this disk means comfort, unlike carrying a laptop, and if a computer fails, it is enough that the USB drive is put in another computer and keep working. And with all that, safety is certain, because no data are left on that computer.
In order to give good performances, Kingston has placed a SandForce SF-2241 controller and a SATA3-USB converter, which actually makes it a miniature SSD. BIOS recognizes it as one  - as a hard drive, and next to the BitLocker encryption, this drive supports the TRIM and SMART functions, that are rarely seen on any device of this type. The test version has a capacity of 32 GB, but just installing Windows leaves 17 GB of free space. There are models with more capacity on the market, of course with a larger price.
Windows to Go  DataTravelerThe first starting of Windows on a new machine takes a few minutes. In that time, the OS automatically installs all necessary drivers and prepares the system for start up. Every next start on that machine, thanks to the SSD controller, takes just 7 seconds! We couldn’t achieve the declared bandwidth of 250 MB/s, but with 210 MB/s when reading and around 190 MB/s when inputting, this drive really gives an excellent impression in everyday work.
Those performances carry flaws with them. The aluminum mask overheats, and with its thickness the DataTraveler Workspace can be in the way of other USB ports. Also, the Windows to Go function is supported only in the Enterprise version, which distances regular users from this device. As the portable version of Windows 8 is simple to make on every portable device with more than 16 GB of space, you could say that it lessens the value of this gadget. Still, if you find the idea of a mobile OS interesting, thanks to the raw speed of the DataTraveler Workspace, it is an excellent choice.

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