Corsair offers USB stick that plugs straight into smartphone or tablet

USB OTG standard shows future of portable drives

Corsair has become the latest storage vendor to offer smartphone and tablet users a flash stick that can be plugged straight into their devices using the USB On-The-Go (OTG) standard.

Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, the Flash Voyager Go USB 3.0 is a neat way for mobile owners to beat the fact that an increasing number of devices come without an external Micro SD card slot for backup or offline storage.

USB OTG has been around for a while but it is only recently that flash drive vendors have started supporting it in the most convenient way of integrating both micro-USB Type A or B connectors (for mobile devices) with a standard USB 2.0/3.0 connector for a PC. Previously, users had to hitch a drive up using a USB-to-micro USB converter cable.

Along with the OS (Android, iOS but not yet Windows Phone), the mobile device also has to support the USB OTG standard; a few now do (for instance some Samsung handsets and Google's Nexus 5), but a surprising number of relatively recent devices don't (stand up Google's Nexus 4). A full list of compatible devices can be found here.

Corsair's isn't the first USB OTG drive by any means - Sony announced a drive line with this capability last month - but the message that consumers can now buy flash drives in this simple form has yet to seep into public consciousness.

"The Flash Voyager GO provides Android device users with one stop, immediate, cost-effective transfer and storage," said Corsair's product manager for USB drives, Jeannie Khoo.

Many users would use the drive to easily transfer files to and sometimes from PCs, she said.

In time it looks as if many if not all consumer flash drives will become dual-purpose in nature, embracing the OTG standard as a mainstream requirement that won't come with a price premium.

Indeed, judging from the Flash Voyager Go, it looks as if any premium is already small or even non-existent; the 16GB will be on sale from this month for $19.99 (around £12-£15), the 32GB for $29.99 and the 64GB for $49.99.

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