Articles: Storage

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In our recent review we tested a couple of USB 3.0 flash drives from Kingmax and Kingston which represented the two extremities of the current model range of such products. The Kingmax failed completely at processing small files and turned out to be the slowest USB 3.0 flash drive that we know of whereas the Kingston did unprecedentedly well with small files and was good enough for others. Of course, there may be products that are better than the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 or worse than the Kingmax ED-01 but we don't know about them as yet. Perhaps some of the USB flash drives we are going to test today will expand these limits up or down.

We will also include an external hard disk drive with USB 3.0 interface into our today's review. Mobile HDDs are of course superior to flash drives in storage capacity but have such downsides as larger dimensions and weight. With precision mechanisms in their design, HDDs are also more vulnerable to shocks and hits. On the other hand, external HDDs used to be superior to flash drives in the times of USB 2.0 when it came to sheer speed. So, we are interested whether things have changed with the introduction of USB 3.0.

Testing Participants

Silicon Power Blaze B10

  • Capacity: 32 GB
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Specified sequential read speed: 70 MB/s
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 10 x 72.4 mm
  • Weight: 9.5 g

This small and light device looks very much alike to its numerous cousins that cannot boast a blue USB connector. It has got a translucent black case with a blue activity indicator. The connector's cap cannot be fixed on the other end of the case.

The special feature of this drive is the pattern on its case that changes color depending on the drive's temperature. Although the Blaze B10 does not get very hot at work, the color of the pattern really changes from blue in idle mode to lilac at high loads. Well, the paint on the device cannot really match the sensitivity of the Touch & See sticker on the product box which allows you to test this feature: the sticker changes its color instantaneously right after you touch the circle with your finger.

The manufacturer specifies the speed of reading only and it is not very high as today's USB 3.0 drives go. The speed of writing is not declared at all, so we suspect this product to have mediocre speed characteristics. The price is indicative of the same thing. The Blaze B10 costs as much money as midrange USB 2.0 flash drives.

Transcend JetFlash 700

  • Capacity: 32 GB
  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Specified sequential read speed: 70 MB/s
  • Dimensions: 19 x 8.8 x 69.5 mm
  • Weight: 10.3 g

The Transcend JetFlash 700 looks like a copy of the Silicon Power Blaze B10, having almost the same size, weight, materials, LED indicator, specified speed, etc. The only difference is the shape of the case (but the connector's cap still cannot be put on the drive's other end) and the lack of thermochromic paint. As opposed to the Blaze B10, the JetFlash 700 is not declared to be compatible with USB 1.1 but this can hardly bother anyone today.

Of course, the manufacturer couldn't do without announcing a certain feature as a competitive advantage of the product. Here, it is the use of ultrasonic welding in the making of the case. We can't see anything special about the drive's case, though.

The more tangible advantage is that this flash drive is even cheaper than the Blaze B10.

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