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Pros: Yes, this is an expensive product, but it has little competition. SanDisk is in fact the only manufacturer to market 128GB microSD cards, and that's really the only comparison product performance-wise.
The speed on this flash drive is impressive. Tested in CrystalDiskMark, the drive had the following speeds:
Sequential Read: 252.2 MB/s
Sequential Write: 223.3 MB/s
That matches the speed of the very fastest SATA2 solid-state drives, but is about half the speed of the fastest SATA3 drives. Still, impressive for the size.
In a real-world test involving reading and writing JPEGs, the drive was still fairly fast:
Read: 169 MB/s
Write: 84.7 MB/s
These are numbers at least at the level of what a very fast USB 3.0 hard drive can achieve, but aren't quite up to a good SSD. Keeping in mind that this drive will fit in your pocket (though maybe not on your keychain), the performance is a huge selling point.
Cons: The price per gigabyte is a bit more than SSDs, but that's the premium for getting this much speed onto a stick. If you're just using this as storage for files that won't be accessed regularly, the performance isn't a strong selling point. You can get 128GB thumb drives for about 1/4 the price that will obviously hold just as much data.
Overall Review: I thought the included vault software was very easy to use and a nice bonus. Considering that you can fit a lot of data on this drive, perhaps all of your personal files, it's nice to have the option to password encrypt it just in case.
Pros: Extremely Fast, Very good build quality, Lifetime Warranty, Retractable USB plug, Aluminum casing, Attractive
Cons: High price, worth it if you use it regularly for lots of file transfers but may be too high for some people
Overall Review: This thing is a godsend for the things I use it for. I work in the IT department and used to carry around a portable hard drive to store the files I needed and now I just carry this little guy with me everywhere I go. I carry everything from ISOs for Office, Windows, and Dev tools to portable apps for Email, IM, and other utilities. Whenever I need to install something I just plug this in and mount the ISO and it installs way faster than using a CD or installing over the network. I did have to reformat the drive using exFAT so that I could store ISOs larger than 2GB but using FAT is the norm so it can work with OSx as well as Windows.
SanDisk lists this drive as having a lifetime limited warranty on their website while Newegg only says 2 years. This means that if it quits working for any reason they will replace it with a refurbished or new drive, unless the reason it stops working is because of physical damage. Nice peace of mind knowing this when you’re going to spend $150.
As far as design goes, the SanDisk Extreme comes in a metal case with a retractable USB plug. It is notably longer than the other drives I have used but not so much that becomes bothersome. The retraction mechanism works really well and is perfectly smooth and seems to be spring assisted and I much prefer this over using a cap to protect the USB connector as eventually you will lose that thing.
The speeds on this thing are amazing, reading and writing files were on average around 200 MB/s when copying to and from a Samsung 840 EVO SSD which is plenty fast for anything you need to do, installing programs from an ISO on the device finished within minutes. I could install Office 2013 from this in under 5 minutes.
Pros: This flash drive is built very well and it's also very lightweight. 128GB storage capacity is awesome and it's very fast at USB 3.0 speeds. Durable construction with no need to worry about losing the cap for the connector since it's retractable and requires no cap like most.
Cons: I'm a little bothered by the price! This flash drive is a little on the fat side and I have had issues using it on certain devices with low clearance such as a remote USB connection on my machine at work that I use for backups. Any device built like a PS4 will have issues using this without an extension cable. USB 3.0 devices are still a bit limited so the cost isn't quite justified in my opinion.
Overall Review: I've been very happy with this flash drive and have had zero problems with its functionality aside from occasionally not being able to insert it due to its large body but this is remedied by using a USB extension cable. The drive works with my smart TV and with my router like it's supposed to. Built very sturdy as I carried it in my pocket full of keys and change for most of a month and its only suffered minor scratches. I've also dropped it and upon trying to catch it actually flung it into the concrete floor at work accidentally while I watched in horror as it bounced. To my surprise it came out unscathed and remains fully functional.
I'm giving it 5 eggs because it's proved very sturdy and fast with plenty of storage. The price is out in the open and as with any new tech you always have to pay a premium for it when it's new. I've never had a problem with a SanDisk drive and I have some very old ones.
Pros: To start off my review, I must say I am impressed at how much storage can now be put in a device as small as your thumb. I received this from Newegg a week or so ago and have been doing various testing modules with this device. Here are the best pros I can come up with for this device:
-On USB 3.0, this device is super quick. I was getting average speeds of 140MB/s when transferring various data files from my computer to the device. When transferring files from the device to my computer I was getting close to 200MB/s. Overall, this device blazes transfers when using USB 3.0.
- Device is small enough to be placed in the pocket as well as on a keyring.
-The build quality of the device is nice and solid. It has a nice toggle to push the header in and out and is secure so it won’t pop out in your pocket.
-Having the 128GB version is awesome as it stores all of my music and movies on such a small device that I can take anywhere and enjoy from any computer.
Cons: For the cons, there are not any of them that I deem necessary to take too many eggs away from this product, but here are a list of them in-case you wanted to know:
-USB 2.0 speeds are not the greatest, but this device is not really for it. When using it, to get the max speeds out of it, use it with a USB 3.0 port on your computer.
-The device is pretty expensive considering the GB per dollar value, but you have to remember: This device is much smaller than any HDD or SSD drive you’ll find, so in the end you are paying for the ease of mobility.
-The file locker program is a bit of a pain to use. In the end, I got rid of it and just used 3rd party software to secure my files.
Overall Review: This device is a great asset for anyone who likes to carry large amounts of data/files with them. If you only have a little bit of data/files to carry around with you, I would recommend just getting the free cloud services offered by Google, Microsoft, Dropbox…etc and manage your files on the cloud instead. I personally like the device as I can take it anywhere with me and have my movies and music with me. The speed it offers is great as you are not sitting for hours on end waiting for files to transfer to the device. I would recommend this device to my brothers in the IT world to carry data files around or someone who has a large collection of music and movies their collection that wants to be able to access those on the go.
Pros: I don't even know how to start with how much I’m impressed by this drive. Side by side with my 16GB USB 3.0, this drive is only slightly larger (in thickness and length). It fits comfortably in my pocket, and I often find myself playing with the sliding mechanism to get to the drive (it’s a little springy!).
The read and write speeds to drive without encryption are superb. I consistently get 150-200 MB/s (both read and write) to an unencrypted, and I’d hazard a guess that I get 5-20 MB/s when I’m using the encryption software to write files to the drive, and up to 50-60 MB/s when writing files back to disk. It’s hard to judge this because there’s no indicator of speed when doing either.
Unlike other encryption solutions (mainly Truecrypt for example), the program doesn’t seem to require administrator privileges to run. The tradeoff may be speed, but ease of use and and ability to use this program on public machines would be very helpful.
Cons: As much as I enjoy the sliding mechanism to actually plug in the drive, it worries me. I feel like that is the weakest portion of the drive, and that the mechanism could break with heavy use. I suppose time will tell.
The other complaint I have is that it doesn’t fit comfortable on my keys. It does come with a hole on the end for a keychain, but...the drive doesn’t really “lay flat” against the keychain. It’s not a major problem, but it would've been nice if there was something that would give it a wider range of motion on my keys.
Finally, my biggest complaint is with the file locker program included with the disk. It’s not terribly difficult to use at, but it seems pretty limited. You are only allowed to use AES 128-bit, but the program seems to support AES 256 and PMC 512. However, I don’t see any way to change this. AES 128 isn’t broken, but you don’t have a choice of how secret you want to be.
The program also doesn’t really behave like other encryption programs I’ve used. It does not create a separate virtual volume to store the files, but rather stores the encrypted files visibly on the disk. The names are changed and the contents are indeed encrypted, but it’s easy to see how many files there are and how big each file is.
Overall Review: For using this as a normal flash drive for data that doesn’t need to be kept secret, I think you will be as impressed as I am. However, be advised that you will want to use a different tool than the one included if you want a better expectation of privacy for your files. I don’t know an extreme amount about crypto, but I know from a metadata analysis perspective, it’s much better to not be able to have any identifiable information about your files. For example, it would be possible to determine that the files are perhaps certain file types based on their size. There are better solutions out there (go Truecrypt!), use those instead.
The size is fantastic. I’ve been wanting to start bringing a Linux distro along with me, but I have to pick space or speed. This drive is the perfect amount of both! If the Linux distro doesn’t pan out, I may use this drive to offload some space from my SSD and cloud storage accounts.
Overall, I love this drive and highly recommend it.
Pros: very sleek looking design
not very bulky
USB 3.0 and backwards compatible
The thumb drive comes with SanDisk's SecureAccess software, which allows you to keep files secure. The only way to access these files is through this software and a password, which you set when you first open up SecureAccess. The software is pretty easy to use. The main screen layout is similar to Windows Explorer. You can drag and drop files into your vault, and create folders as well. To open up a file, just double click the file as you would in Windows Explorer. Other features include backup and restore of the vault. The encryption method is AES 128bit. There's also AES 256bit and PMC 512bit, but they're greyed out. Those are probably available if you purchase the full version of the software. When you first open up the software, it creates a folder called SanDiskSecureAccess Vault. If you want to delete your vault, simply delete that folder. Make sure to move all your files out of the vault before doing so; otherwise, you will lose everything.
Thumb drive works well with TrueCrypt.
Cons: The price is a little steep for me. Other than that, the only thing I can put here was that I almost dropped it the first time I picked it up because it's a bit slippery but you get used to it.
Overall Review: If you want to copy a movie that's over 4GB, you won't be able to because the thumb drive is formatted FAT32. I suppose all thumb drives come this way. To fix this, just reformat the drive to NTFS. Make sure to move all the files from the thumb drive first.
Using ATTO Disk Benchmark, plugged into USB 2.0, the average read speed is 33MBps, write speed is 24MBps. Plugged into USB 3.0, the average read and write speeds are 180MBps. Average speed of copying 34GB of files on USB 3.0 is 70MBps.
Pros: Very lightweight considering the size of the product.
Fit and finish are first class, looking like a prop used on a Star Trek movie. There was one sharp point on the loop area that had to be sanded off, but no big deal.
Solid feel and design that doesn't have the same weakness issues, where the port comes out, that other USB drives have. The extendable port locks into place with ease.
3.0USB interface is just FAST! Backwards compatible to 2.0USB.
Testing Setup: Windows 7, Kingston SSD, WD HHD, Intel 775 and Core2Duo E8500.
7.1GB movie file:
Write from SSD to USB = 139MB/s Speed Average
Write from USB to SSD = 201MB/s Speed Average
8.9GB MP3 file of various sub-folders
Write from SSD to USB = 128MB/s Speed Average
Write from USB to SSD = 195MB/s Speed Average
Using the WD HHD dropped speeds by 60%, as expected.
The difference in time between 2.0USB and this drive was the difference between a family sedan and a Boxster off the line.
Used the stick on my XBOX360 to play Halo 4 saved files. Unlike my 64GB 2.0USB, this had no load issues or pauses during the game.
Cons: The length of the drive does make it stick out quite a bit, a hazard to a drive that costs so much. My other USB drives are much shorter, but also only go up to 64GB.
The included software was thoughtful, but totally useless and really slowed down the system during downloads.
The price is way too high for most people to want to pay. If it is lost, it will hurt.
It will get very warm during heavy use, like 45 degrees hot.
Overall Review: The included software was thoughtful, but totally useless and really slowed down the system during downloads. The 128-Bit AES encryption is nice to have if you need it, but it can be broken into.
This is by far the fastest USB drive I have and double the size of most of them. If you are looking for a USB drive for photos, 3-D printer files and video, then this is the drive for you. If you have run out of room on your XBOX, then this drive will allow you to play games without a lag or pause. Delete the added encryption software and you have more space.
The drive was about 40% slower when used in a 2.0.
Pros: FAST. F A S T.
Has a keychain hole/loop for extreme portability (I miss this feature - it's just not common anymore!)
Since I assumed other reviewers would likely post synthetic benchmarks I focused my testing using examples of real world usage - and this is what I did. I decided on transferring 5GB worth of movies and then 5 GB worth of music via usb3 to and from my samsung 840 pro (to remove any bottlenecks) and chose 5GB as the sustained transfer speed would likely have settled down by then. I timed the transfers and calculated the average speed myself, but wrote down the slowest speed reported by windows.
Sustained average read speed (copying to ssd) was 219 MB/s
Minimum transfer rate (reported by windows 8) was 204 MB/s
That's just flat out fast.
Sustained average write speed (copy from ssd to usb) 148.5 MB/s
Minimum reported speed was 138 MB/s
This is heavily tied to the performance of your USB3 controller, so YMMV.
Cons: The included bloatware took away the speed. It's also based on the free version of encryptstick - which limits encryption to AES 128bit, but thankfully no limit on vault size.
Transfers using this software dropped the speed to below USB 2.0 speeds - averaging 10 MB/s even via USB 3. And this is using a quad core i7 haswell system. Seems like a huge price to pay to have your files encrypted. May as well buy a slower drive if you plan on using this software.
Overall Review: The bloatware is not worth deducting an egg over, as all you have to do is just delete the bloat from the drive, but to think that Sandisk and other companies actually spend money on these kinds of endeavors is just disappointing. Surely they could knock off 10% on these expensive drives not paying encryptstick! If you want or need good encryption, you likely already have it.
If you are needing to purchase the fastest high capacity (100+GB) USB flash drive on the market today, you just can't go wrong here. Anyone needing larger capacities without the extreme portability that this drive offers (via keychain loop) would obviously be looking at USB3 external drives.