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Five USB 3.0 Flash Drives For Your Pocket

Power Quotient International (PQI) SSD S533-E

Unable to supply the previously announced 128 GB version of its latest key-sized USB 3.0 UFD, PQI instead picked the closest capacity match with its pocket-sized S533-E solid-state drive (SSD). Intel’s formidable X25-M 2.5” SSD fills the S553-E’s standard USB 3.0 pocket enclosure.

One might not expect anything spectacular from the design standpoint, but PQI does specify a brilliant-red anodized finish for the drive’s brushed-aluminum shell.

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PQI’s S533-E uses a full-sized Type A connector, making it compatible with both USB 3.0 and previous-generation cables. The drive requires a little more power than what the USB 2.0 front-panel ports of some systems are able to provide, which hinders backwards-compatibility. A 5 V connector can supply power from a second cable.

A basic user guide describes how to connect the S533-E to a USB port, while a soft vinyl pouch protects its case from scratches. PQI includes a USB 3.0 cable, but does not add a USB 5 V power adapter to enhance compatibility with older systems. Older systems are usually capable of powering this drive only from rear-panel ports, which is an issue we confirmed using a previous-generation Asus motherboard.

PQI formats its drive in FAT32 for compatibility across multiple operating systems and puts FNet TurboHDD software on that partition. A software license is included on a small slip of paper in the box. Because users are unlikely to have this software installed for every system on which they connect a portable drive, we tested the drive both with and without the added software.

  • hardcore_gamer
    nice review..thanks toms
  • tony singh
    Another proof of ever growing nature of techonology..
  • rohitbaran
    The heavy-duty gaming hardware used for today’s test is coincidental, as it was already set up on the bench for an upcoming graphics test. It includes Gigabyte’s high-flying X58A-UD9 motherboard.
    Which is the mystery card?
  • rohitbaran
    BTW, I liked Super Talent Super crypt, despite being slower than OCZ and PQI, it is the size I would be comfortable carrying in my pocket.
  • huron
    I know these technologies are more toward the "bleeding edge," but it's nice to know that manufacturers see it as enough of a market to start making products. Maybe USB 3.0 will make it mainstream relatively soon.
  • Would you be able to use the 128GB as a boot drive for win7 and how would they fall in price/performance between sata ssd and a VelociRaptor?
  • justsayin
    Where's the hint on the upcoming graphics test?
  • liquidsnake718
    can you play a game like crysis or even warcraft 2 well straight out of this ssd with a no cd crack?
  • irh_1974
    reclusiveorcWould you be able to use the 128GB as a boot drive for win7 and how would they fall in price/performance between sata ssd and a VelociRaptor?I have been saying this to people for years, that one day you will have your whole PC installation on a flash drive. Just plug into a PC, boot from the flash drive and everything is there.
  • bCubed
    Too bad it will still be some time before usb 3.0 will become mainstream and even longer for extremely good drives to come out