USB flash drive reviews

Which flash drives will withstand the rigours of daily life?
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

02.What to buy

Our recommendations for this test take into account performance, reliability and toughness, plus our assessment of value for money. We’re recommending only those drives that actually survived complete (not those that had squashed USB connectors and needed fixing manually, as this may not always be possible). So, only one of our top 10 performing drives makes our preferred list: the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0. This was also the only USB drive at time of testing to support USB 3.0 (see Table for both USB 2.0 and 3.0 figures for this drive). Note that its performance was scored on its USB 2.0 results only, for direct comparison with the other drives, but it still topped the chart. And while a little pricier than some, it managed to survive our ruggedness testing even though it’s not classed as ruggedised.

Six other drives also survived our testing, but required a little manual intervention to get them working – a flat-bladed screwdriver was needed to open up each USB connector before they could be plugged into a PC. However, their data survived intact. See the Durability table on the next page for a full listing.

Though the Comsol FlashIT secure drive was a good performer and survived all our tests, it was also the second-most expensive drive on test. However, it does have automatic hardware-based encryption for security and is highly recommended where data security is vital. Similarly while the Kingston Data Traveler Vault Privacy scored high on the chart, and survived all the ruggedness testing, it was also the most expensive unit on test by a wide margin. The Corsair Survivor is listed in our table as surviving the toughness tests, but this was the third unit tested. The two previous units died during performance testing (see Survivors that didn't, next page), so this model didn't make our recommended list.
 

Sign up to our free
e-Newsletter

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

 

5 CHOICE buys

Kingston Datatraveler Ultimate 3 0

Scored 89/100 | $11489%

Good points:

• Fastest drive even under USB 2.0
• Even faster using USB 3.0
• Survived our toughness tests

Bad points:

• Becomes quite warm when used with USB 3.0

 

Lacie CooKey

Scored 70/100 | $8770%

Good points:

• Online backup software included
• Solid metal construction
• Survived our toughness tests

Bad points:

• Nothing to mention

 

PQI Intelligent Drive i812

Scored 70/100 | $6170%

Good points:

• Small size
• Survived our toughness tests
• Lifetime warranty

Bad points:

• Slow at copying multiple small files

 

Shintaro Key Pocket Disk

Scored 65/100 | $4265%

Good points:

• Solid metal construction
• Hollow part of key could be clipped to a carabena or chain
• Survived our toughness tests

Bad points:

• Does not ship with a carabina or chain
• Maximum capacity only 8GB

 

Lexar Jumpdrive Firefly

Scored 61/100 | $4361%

Good points:

• Very compact
• Cap surprisingly strong and protective
• Survived our toughness tests

Bad points:

• Cap can be chained, but the key itself can't

 
 
 
Your say - Choice voice

Make a Comment

Members – Sign in on the top right to contribute to comments