We’ve benchmarked the real-life performance of twelve USB flash drives, but there’s one reservation we want to add. We’ve seen a few times samples of the same model taken from different production batches vary in speed characteristics. It looks like some manufacturers from Southeast Asia just take what components they have at hand when they have run short of the components they used initially. We can’t predict such changes, so our conclusion refers only to the particular samples of the USB drives we’ve actually tested.
Most users don’t really care what type of flash memory and controller the manufacturers employ in their USB drives. Users care about the final result, which is the effective performance of the device. From this point of view, the Apacer HA202 and the Kingston Secure have no rivals as they have been the best in most of our tests. The Apacer HA202 offers the highest read speed and also the highest write speed with large files. The Kingston Secure is somewhat slower in read speed, but faster when writing small and medium-sized files. So, if speed is your priority, consider these two products. The A-DATA PD3 and Pretec ChaCha may be distinguished among the remaining models. They are somewhat slower than the leaders, but you may like them for some other reason.
We’ve also discovered a few models that may cause you regret your having spent your money for them. These are A-DATA PD0, Transcend V60, PQI U190 and TwinMOS R3. Their performance is too low by today’s standards.
Besides speed, there are other factors that may affect your shopping choice, particularly a product’s design or accessories, but that’s something you should decide for yourself, basing on your personal taste. You may like the original shape of the Pretec BulletProof coupled with its “gift” box or the extremely small size of the Sony Tiny. Perhaps one of these devices has just the properties you’ve been looking for?