The gold and black packaging for the Flash Voyager GS series gives some indication of the premium nature of the drive inside, but colour-scheme aside Corsair are quite understated have chosen quite an understated design. The front is not plastered with performance numbers, certifications for exact technological features or other lurid claims; instead they present a more restrained layout in common with other products in the Corsair brand.
Were it not for the name of the SKU and golden colour-scheme you’d be justifiably be worried that it would get lost on the shelves against the often garish alternatives which may offer lesser speeds at the same price. Thankfully it encourages you to pick it up and take a look at the back, which is where Corsair hit you with the number-hammer.
Dominating the rear are Corsair's own performance values, and whilst impressive they’re less important than the chart itself. By including their performance claims in an easy to digest manner you begin to look more closely at the competition within arms reach (literally or figuratively) and comparing speeds rather than merely cost and capacity.
Also obviously important is the 5 year warranty, but it’s noteworthy that this is the norm for Corsair Flash Voyager pen drives. The drive still uses MLC NAND rather than the faster (and more expensive) SLC, so it's a testament to Corsair's own binning process and assembly standards that they should expect such a drive to last for so long.
Removing the Voyager GS from its packaging we can immediately wallow in the exceptional brushed finish. The metal enclosure has added to the overall weight of the drive, making it noticeably heavier than other pen drives, although not to the extent that it becomes problematic.
In terms of size the Voyager GS is a little wider than many at 28mm, wide enough that the enclosure may start to interfere with adjacent USB slots and attached devices (depending on the layout of your backplate or front panel I/O). On the other hand if your USB slots are aligned vertically the 8mm thickness will pose no problems as that’s barely more than the overall footprint of a USB slot.
At the rear of the drive is a key-ring loop which doubles as an anchor point for the removable cap. The cap is tightly attached to the front and so should protect the sensitive USB plug quite well, but a relatively loose fit to the rear will mean that you won't want to keep the cap there for extended periods for fear of it popping off and getting lost. Although the chassis doesn't have a unibody design the key-ring loop appears to be well fixed to the drive.
A subtle blue LED on the rear of the drive indicates when it's plugged in, flashing when the drive itself is being accessed. The LED is dimmer than some other competing solutions, and so shouldn't distract the user when it's in operation.
So, from a first impressions perspective Corsair hit it out of the park. The Flash Voyager looks the business, exudes quality and has a couple of key convenience features often overlooked. Performance is of course crucial, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying great aesthetic design when it's in evidence.