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Data Transfer on the Run: High-Speed USB Flash Drives

Summary Of Results: Transcend Impresses

This comparison is dominated by the Transcend JetFlash 110, which features impressive performance outstripping that of all the other contenders reviewed. At 27 MB/sec maximum read transfer rate, Transcend has set the bar pretty high for its competition. The protective mechanism for the JetFlash USB connector also represents an elegant and effective solution. Finally, this offering also includes a USB extension cable and a protective sleeve.

The Pocket Rocket from Memina is nearly as impressive. It also works very quickly, if not at the same record levels of the JetFlash 110. Its USB docking station is a nice take on more typical USB extension cables, and it too has a better-than-average cover for its USB connector.

Business users will undoubtedly also find Kingston’s Data Traveler Elite interesting. Its nearly 20 MB/sec read rate and up to 12 MB/sec write speed also puts it in the faster end of this candidate pool. As a unique value-add, this device integrates data protection with optional 128 bit DES hardware encryption.

The rubber cladding around Corsair’s Flash drives help them to stand out, making them waterproof and better-suited for outdoor use. Their performance is also right on : with nearly 20 MB/sec read rates, and 14 MB/sec write rates, there’s no grounds to complain about speed here.

All these Flash drives - the Transcend JetFlash 110, the Memina Pocket Rocket, the Kingston Data Traveler Elite, and the Corsair Flash Voyager - qualify as heavyweights based on their performance. Crucial’s Gizmo ! 1 MB lands it in the middleweight class, because its maximum data transfer rate of 11 MB/sec can’t compete against those of its competitors. Even so, that performance still isn’t too bad. And the importance of the performance gap may be somewhat offset by pricing, too : the Gizmo ! costs less than any of the faster drives.