Companies like Kingston normally source their flash chips from OEMs. Long story short: they buy flash chips from other companies, use it in their flash drives, slap their company name and logo on, and sell it.
Of course, this is all virtually invisible to us consumers, but it's those OEMs which you might want to pay attention to when selecting a flash drive.
Typically, most well-known companies' products are well-engineered and come with a decent warranty. The longer the warranty, the higher the company's confidence in their product is, and that usually hints at higher reliability.
Ive been using both Imation andKingston but are there any more brands that are reliable as well as decent in benchmarks?
My Kingston traveler has been with me for 3years plus already.So far it hasnt failed me.
We've been selling USB Memory sticks for around 8 years now and the old adage of you get what you pay for is largely true. There are a lot of less well known brands that are simply OEM (ing) realtively cheap flash drives from factories in the Far East like YiFang (who supply DABS, Freecom, and a few others) they also sell under their own brand of Easydisk.
The disks are generally fine but they are not the quickest on the market. If you want performance and reliability then choose one of the better known brands and read the performance specs - don't buy the slowest but likewise don't buy the quickest or you'll pay a huge premium. Corsair memory sticks have a good solid reputation as do Kingston but beware of some of the "cheap, economy" versions as these are cost/price driven and the core flash memory and controller chips are just not as good.
We sell a lot of branded memory sticks at USB2U but these tend to be for companies who want to put their own logo on them - big trend these days. Selling regular memory sticks to the home user is a dog eat dog business these days with little or no money to be made at it.