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Mushkin's Atom USB 3.0 Drive is Teeny Tiny

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

This little guy might be the cutest USB flash drive that we've ever seen.

Mushkin this week announced a brand new addition to its line of storage products. This one is a USB 3.0 thumb drive smaller than the size of a quarter. Dubbed 'Atom,' this little guy measures 19.8 x 16.5 x 7.5 mm and is available in 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB capacities. 

 

The 8 GB model boasts 80 MB/s and 5.5 MB/s read and write speeds while consuming 0.65 W idle or 0.9.5 W at load. The 16 GB model offers 155 MB/s and 11.5 MB/s read and write while consuming 0.25 W idle and 0.67 W load. Lastly, the 32 GB model reads and writes at 155 MB/s and 21.5 MB/s, respectively. It comes 0.2475 W while idle and 0.75 W under load.

"The Atom USB flash drive is designed with ultimate portability and convenience in mind.  Having such a small and accommodating size eliminates the need to eject the flash drive and risk losing it when mobile," said Brian Flood, the Director of Product Management at Mushkin, Inc. "For our users who regularly use slimmer, portable devices such as tablets, the Atom is a definite solution when you need extra storage on a daily basis."

The 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB models are already available on Newegg and are priced at $9.99, $15.99, and $24.99.

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  • 30 Hide
    ssalim , December 20, 2013 7:45 AM
    If this was apple branded, 8GB = $99, 16GB = $199 and 32GB = $299
  • 12 Hide
    onover , December 20, 2013 7:20 AM
    0.9.5 W at load you say. I don't think numbers have multiple decimal points unless you wish to confuse people with minor updates and revisions.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    onover , December 20, 2013 7:20 AM
    0.9.5 W at load you say. I don't think numbers have multiple decimal points unless you wish to confuse people with minor updates and revisions.
  • -1 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 20, 2013 7:38 AM
    seems better than this
    http://www.adata-group.com/?action=product_feature&cid=1&piid=236
  • 4 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , December 20, 2013 7:40 AM
    Looks like a Logitech unifying receiver.

    IB
  • 30 Hide
    ssalim , December 20, 2013 7:45 AM
    If this was apple branded, 8GB = $99, 16GB = $199 and 32GB = $299
  • -1 Hide
    vmem , December 20, 2013 8:47 AM
    I wonder if Intel sold them the Atom brand... such bad rep :p 
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , December 20, 2013 9:00 AM
    I'm a little surprised thumbdrive manufacturers have not designed products where electronics are built directly under the USB contacts, encapsulated in the connector's "tongue" with only a short strap to pull it out instead of a hard external protrusion.
  • 1 Hide
    xenol , December 20, 2013 9:12 AM
    I feel like I'm going to lose it in the depths of my bag and never see it again. :<
  • 0 Hide
    Tuishimi , December 20, 2013 9:16 AM
    Decent price for them too...
  • -3 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , December 20, 2013 9:35 AM
    Quote:
    ssalim
    If this was apple branded, 8GB = $99, 16GB = $199 and 32GB = $299


    Please do elaborate on this?

    You mean like Apple charging more for storage on their ultrabooks? Oh the 800MB/s speed that no PC ultrabooks offers?

    Or you mean the 1.2GB/s speed in the new workstation that is a fraction of the size of most workstations that have PCI-E SSDs ?

    Or do you mean in their mobile devices where their internal flash storage is magnitudes faster than Micro-SD? Hence each subsequent internal memory upgrade is the same as most other Android manufacturers?

    Also, if Apple made something like this, it would be more expensive but would provide speed that the market has not seen, just like what they have done in their ultrabook lineup.

    P.S. I'm not an Apple stan/fanboy, nor am I hater of PC/Android. I look at things objectively. I bought my wife a Yoga 2 after considering the Macbook Air. No question Apple has the best storage speed, the Yoga 2's Sata III speed needs a 50% increase to match Apple's flash memory speed. mSata III drives are cheaper, so there's a trade-off. If it wasn't for the Yoga 2's display, the Air was the best option for her.

  • 5 Hide
    Cerunnos , December 20, 2013 10:19 AM
    There are actually a few PCI-E SSD options available out there, for example the Vaio Pro 13 has been launched with Haswell and does have (I believe the same Samsung SSD) those speeds. Workstation wise, if you stay with consumer grade drives you will obviously be limited by SATA. Looking up, you get some SAS drives that do actually cap at 1.2GB/s. Seagate for example (and I'm sure there are other enterprise options), has such drives. 1200MB/s peak, 750 sustained over SAS 12Gb/s. What people are referring to is most likely the price of flash storage on phones or tablets that Apple definitely overcharges for. 16->32, 32->64? +$100 each. Those aren't even high performing parts.

    Apple didn't make those parts themselves, and they aren't proprietary. However, they do often charge a large cost for nearly ALL of their flash storage solutions regardless of speed.
  • -2 Hide
    qlum , December 20, 2013 10:19 AM
    While having a tiny drive looks nice I much rather have one I can actually won't lose, maybe attaching something with a cord can fix it but that kind of ruins the point for me.
  • -7 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , December 20, 2013 11:57 AM
    @Cerunnos: I have seen Android manufacturers charge 60-100 for extra internal memory. Also, something like the S4 doesn't even come in more than one size in some jurisdictions. So you're stuck with 16GB and an expandable memory.

    Many people think that expandable SD card is an exact replacement of internal flash memory. First it isn't, there's numerous use cases for this.

    1. Performance, its slower. I have loaded from an Android tablet hi-res DSLR pics, versus keeping them on a MicroSD as opposed to putting on the internal flash is a very noticeable lag.

    2. Backing up. It's a lot harder to properly back up your entire smartphone with software and refresh a new phone to the old phone's state if you're installing apps and keeping media on numerous storage sources. For techies its not a problem, for the other 99% of end users it is.

    There's other use cases, but at the end of the day, other manufacturers have and continue to charge a lot for extra internal storage, and many don't even offer the option for it to keep their manufacturing low.
  • 0 Hide
    Dan Nelson , December 20, 2013 1:44 PM
    PQI has had a whole line of dinky USB 3.0 drives out for almost a year now: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/PQI/i-mini_usb_3_32gb/

    And they include a pull chain so it won't get stuck in your laptop's USB port :) 
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , December 20, 2013 2:00 PM
    Aww, crap. And I just bought the Sandisk Cruzer Fit USB 2.0 in 32 GB because it was that size. I coulda had USB 3.0
  • 0 Hide
    none12345 , December 20, 2013 3:01 PM
    Thats just too small, too easy to lose. The standard flash drive sizes are pretty perfect. Id rather have more capacity then make them micro.
  • 0 Hide
    vern72 , December 20, 2013 4:44 PM
    It's a good size to use in some devices like a router or Smart BD box but the write speeds are just too low for a USB 3.0 device. It doesn't even break USB 2.0 speeds.
  • 0 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , December 20, 2013 4:50 PM
    Quote:
    vern72
    It's a good size to use in some devices like a router or Smart BD box but the write speeds are just too low for a USB 3.0 device. It doesn't even break USB 2.0 speeds.


    Early USB 3.0 drives had similar, if not worse speeds. This is designed to be small and sleek, not for performance.

    Its really great for people with ultrabooks that want to leave a drive semi-permanently attached to their ultrabook for extra space. Or someone who wants to keep a USB in their wallet or tiny purse.
  • 0 Hide
    vinay2070 , December 20, 2013 6:20 PM
    5.5 MB/s write speed is shit!
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , December 20, 2013 7:00 PM
    Quote:
    5.5 MB/s write speed is shit!

    To fit all the electronics in a package that small, they have to choose the USB microcontroller for minimum space and cannot afford to put extra chips like RAM cache that SSDs need to cache, pack and re-order writes for high performance. As others have said, this thing is built for compactness; not speed.

    That said, 155MB/s read speed could be nice for ReadyBoost and SRT if the read latency is less than 5ms.
  • 0 Hide
    dotaloc , December 20, 2013 9:23 PM
    "You said it was a good size!"
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