Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kingston 16GB DataTraveler Micro

Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: Tiny, inexpensive, large capacity, 5 year guarantee
Cons: Speeds slightly on the slow side of average. Cap is real easy to lose

I hate listening to the radio because there are usually more commercials and talking on than there are songs. Likewise I'm not a big fan of carrying piles of CDs around in the car because they get repetitive pretty quickly and it's annoying to have to dig through them to change them out constantly. This is why we picked up a stereo unit for the car that had a USB port and had MP3 support -- so that I could take all of my music from my computer at home and listen to it in the car.
I put my 8GB Corsair Flash Voyager in the car for a while with the music on it, but since it's a full sized flash drive it stuck out the front of the radio quite a bit and occasionally got in the way if the passenger was trying to use the radio controls to skip a song or adjust the volume. I decided the best solution would be to buy a micro flash drive that barely stuck out of the USB port; at $9.99 the Kingston DataTraveler Micro was the least expensive flash drive on NewEgg that met all of my requirements at the time.
Granted this is a 16GB flash drive and I don't even have a fraction of that much music, but I really had to take the size per cost ratio into account. If I could get 16GB for $10 or 8GB for $6, I figured it would be worth the few extra dollars to have the extra space available. This way if I'm gone somewhere and wish I had a flash drive on me I can always grab it out of the car and throw some extra stuff on it until I get home.
This thing is 1" long, .25" tall and just over .5" wide. When you remove the cap and plug it in, only about .3" sticks out of the USB port which made this absolutely great for what I wanted it for. It would also be terrific for things like laptop or netbook computers because you can just leave it in all the time, and due to it's small size it won't get in your way. The only issue may be that it's so easy to lose if you do remove it -- or easily misplacing the removable cap if you leave it plugged in all the time.
The DataTraveler Micro is an azure blue color (it also comes in black) with very little in the way of markings. The drive itself only has a tiny "16GB" label on the far left, while the cap says "DT Micro" in white and has "Kingston" engraved in the same blue color on the top. The drive portion has a tiny part that sticks out on the left with a hole through the corner so that you can insert a lanyard, though it did not come with one in the package. It's worth noting that the flash drive is quite snug in the USB port, more than most of my other USB devices. Not so much that you're worried about it, but it's a noticeable amount. Personally I'm glad since this is going to stay in my car stereo pretty much forever, I don't have to worry about it slowly getting worked lose.
The flash drive comes formatted with the FAT32 file system and has a capacity of 15,716,286,464 bytes (14.6GB). Benchmarking of this drive was done with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1c, using the default settings. Keeping in mind that this is a USB 2.0 drive, the results show pretty average speeds across the board (though my Corsair Flash Voyager reads significantly faster).
Sequential Read: 18.91 MB/s
Sequential Write: 16.57 MB/s
512k Random Read: 18.95 MB/s
512k Random Write: 7.68 MB/s
4k Random Read: 2.563 MB/s
4k Random Write: 0.993 MB/s

The Kingston DataTraveler Micro is a Plug & Play drive that works out of the box in Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X 10.5+ and Linux v2.6+. It is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from 32ºF to 140ºF and be stored in temperatures ranging from -4ºF to 185ºF. This product was assembled in Taiwan and is backed by a pretty decent 5 year guarantee with free technical support.
I figure if you need something much bigger than 16GB you may as well get a USB 3.0 drive because the read and write speeds would make it take forever to use it to the fullest extent. If you're in the market for an inexpensive USB 2.0 drive I would certainly recommend this one though; it's really small, decent looking and it holds a lot.

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