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SanDisk > 
Item#: N82E16820171972
  • $142.99
  • $139.99
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4 out of 5 eggs Not bad for a 128GB in the 'stick' form factor 02/27/2014

This review is from: SanDisk Extreme PRO 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Model SDCZ88-128G-G46

Pros:

- Decent USB3 speeds. Best I was able to achieve was 196MB/s Read and 189MB/s Write. This is a pinch more than 3x the max speed of USB2 (60MB/s).
- Nice aluminum shell
- Has a lanyard hoop
- Easily retractable
- Unobtrusive blue activity light
- Comes with SanDisk's "SecureAccess" software which uses 128-bit AES password encryption on the contents. (This is a "lite" version of their full software package "EncrypStick")
- You don't have to encrypt all the data. You can pick & choose what to put in the encrypted "vault" folder. So you can have both encrypted and open data on the stick at the same time.
- Lifetime warranty

Cons:

- No physical dust cap. Contacts are always open to the elements.
- In testing on (4) different systems, each having a different USB3 chipset, I was never able to attain SanDisk's claimed speeds of 260MB/s (Read) and 240MB/s (Write).
- Not necessarily your best bang for the buck.

Other Thoughts:

- Speeds will vary based on the USB3 chipset it's attached to, although this is relatively 'par' for most USB3 devices; They all seem to have different preferences for chipsets.
- Testing compressible data via the ATTO Benchmark utility, my best case scenario was 196/189 with the ASMedia chipset. Worst case was 142/128 with the FrescoLogic FL1000 series.
- Testing incompressible data via the AS-SSD utility resulted in a best case of 187/184. Worst case showed 133/119.
- Dimensions: 7/8" x 2_13/16"
- The SecureAccess software is usable/functional. The first time you run it, you'll be prompted to create a password as simple or complex as you like. You'll also be given the opportunity to set a hint phrase.
The software allows you to set the max number of attempts before forcing a timeout, and how long that timeout lasts. It also allows you to set the password expiration date.
One thing to note is that without the SecureAccess executable (7MB) available, the encrypted file is worthless. So you either need to leave it on the stick or plan on downloading the software on the host PC.

For me, this unit ranks a 4 out of 5 eggs because it's a tad bit pricey and didn't attain SanDisk's quoted specs, although it was still well within the USB3 territory. Looking at the list of "CONS", it's pretty short.
The included/available encryption software is a nice addition and it works, but I think that anyone concerned about data security will already have a solution they plan to implement. But if not, it's there for you and it's pretty easy to use.
Here's my biggest issue with these high capacity USB3 sticks... The only reason I see for requiring the stick format is for ultimate portability: tiny, no cables, toss it in any pocket, and go. Otherwise, could get a SanDisk SSD such as the X210 ($110), Ultra Plus ($95), X110 ($100), or the Extreme II ($110) and a nice pocketable, self-powered USB3 2.5" external case (~$25). And you'll still have some cash left over! Not to mention you'll have a better chance of hitting higher speeds across the board.

(All test systems have an SSD as the OS/Boot drive)
Test System 1:
- Intel Core i7 3930K.
- USB3 Chipset: ASMedia XHCI.
-- Driver v1.14.3.0

Test System 2:
- AMD Phenom II X4 975.
- USB3 Chipset: NEC/Renesas.
-- Driver v2.0.30.0

Test System 3:
- Intel Core2Quad Q6600.
- USB3 Chipset: FrescoLogic xHCI FL1000 Series.
-- Driver v3.5.93.0

Test System 4:
- AMD A8-4500M
- USB Chipset: AMD Reference.
-- Driver Catalyst 13.x

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  • Kristin B.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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Item#: N82E16820171972
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