What's this? Just another USB 3.0 thumbdrive at IDF 2012? Not quite. You're looking at Kingston's DataTraveler Workspace, a storage device that incorporates bona fide SSD technology not usually found in thumbdrives -- like a bunch of ultra speedy flash memory and a SandForce controller that supports TRIM and S.M.A.R.T commands. As such, it shares more in common with Kingston's line of SSDs. It's not really designed for data storage -- instead, it's meant to be used as a certified Windows To Go fixed drive, "a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 workspace on a specially configured, bootable USB drive".
The idea is that corporate IT can deploy these thumbdrives to employees who can then run a secure, managed instance of Windows on a variety of PCs with a bootable USB 2.0 (or faster) port. Another interesting feature of Windows To Go is that Kingston's DT Workspace thumbdrives can be removed for up to 1 minute without crashing Windows -- the OS simply alerts the user to "keep the USB drive plugged in" and continues where it left off. Pricing remains a mystery, but the device will be available for business customers in 32, 64 and 128GB capacities when Windows 8 launches. Until then, you're invited to peek at the gallery below and to watch our hands-on video past the break.