Gary Gerber, a senior product marketing manager at IronKey, points out that unless a USB drive is Windows-certified, Microsoft won't support it. Then you have to consider that not every USB flash drive is made to take the I/O per second (IOPS) that is required of this drive. And NAND flash wears out fairly quickly without special firmware to extend its life.
"This thing is acting as your hard drive. Unlike a normal flash drive, where you might write and read a file to it now and then, you're constantly reading and writing to it," Gerber says. "In fact, this thing actually runs faster than a lot of internal hard drives. You can conceivably speed up your computer by using it."
The IronKey Workspace is also notably lacking the administrative management features that other Imation drives offer. For example, Imation delivers the ability for administrators to remotely control access to or delete data on its Stealth Zone flash drives, a feature that it hopes to include later this year on the IronKey Workspace drive.
Additionally, this drive can't be used for external storage, meaning you can't create a separate partition for data storage, and you can't run your computer's native OS and store data on it. That functionality, which Imation calls "cross-over storage," is currently available on Imation's Stealth Zone flash drives and will be available in the second generation of the Workspace W300 flash drive, Gerber says.
Good quality drives
Admittedly, I've always been partial to IronKey's USB drives. They were the first to use 256-bit AES encryption, and the flash drive cases are one piece of seamless metal, so you can't pry them open to have your way with the high-end flash chips inside. I have successfully broken into other USB drives and bypassed hardware-based security to access the data.