One would expect devices encased in solid gold to pay absolutely no mind to pricing concerns, but Kingston's Data Traveler GE9 are odd in the fact that they actually do pay mind.
At the risk of sounding biased, the new USB flash drives units from Kingston are outright bizarre in their choice of design and performance elements.
Their exterior is made of solid gold, which would suggest a high price regardless of storage capacity and performance.
The use of gold, and 24-carat gold no less, would also go well with flash drives that pull all the stops, including high performance.
High storage capacity would also be expected from such things, although the very small size does somewhat explain why 8 GB and 16 GB are the only ones to select from.
Oddly, though, the products, as discovered by Expreview
, are actually much cheaper and weaker than one would have expected.
Besides the conventional capacities, they have prices, in Chinese Yuan, equivalent to $8 / 7 Euro for the 8 GB model, and $14 / 10 Euro for the 16 GB one.
They also have support for only USB 2.0 and below, and this is the strangest thing yet. USB 3.0 would not be so hard to include at this point, or even expensive, not to mention that the use of gold for purely decorative purposes would normally make the cost issue a completely moot point.
Nevertheless, Kingston's Data Traveler GE9 is precisely this: a gold-wrought, cheap and small USB stick (small enough that it can go right in a USB port as it is), but one that is in no way high performing. On that note, Expreview tested it and squeezed 19.15 MB/s when reading and 5.14 MB/s when writing.
So far, we only know of availability in China, but we imagine Kingston will send some shipments to other areas sooner or later.