Top positive review
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Much faster than rated - at least for larger files
on January 29, 2011
[Note on Nov 1, 2012]
Amazon combined all Kingston DataTraveler DT101 Gen2 USB drives (4GB to 32GB) under the same product page. This may have created confusions for people looking for a specific capacity. I have tested both the 8GB and 32GB versions from this Kingston series, and can confirm that they have exactly the same dimensions and nearly identical data transfer speed.
Original review (which refers to the 32GB version) follows:
This Kingston DataTraveler DT101 Gen2 32GB USB flash drive has a very nice compact design. It is about the same size as the SanDisk Cruzer Micro (with the USB port retracted). See the size comparison picture I uploaded to Customer Images section. What cannot be seen from the picture is that the Kingston drive is slightly thicker. That makes it impossible to insert two Kingston flash drives into two adjacent USB ports, whereas two Sandisk drives can be stacked one on top of another.
I benchmarked the Kingston DT101 G2 flash drive as soon as I received it. The initial result I got, using the free "Flash Memory Toolkit" program, was not very impressive. It shows that for smaller files of 1-5MB, the write speed is only 5.7 - 6.2MB/s (see the Customer Image section for screenshot). In contrast, the Transcend 16 GB JetFlash 500 was able to achieve higher speed of 6.8MB/s (for 1MB file) to 11.3MB/s (for 5MB file).
For transferring very large files, however, this Kingston drive really shines. I benchmarked its read/write speed using 1GB video files, and was able to achieve up to 11.4MB/s in write, and 20.2MB/s in read. This is over twice as fast as its rated speed, which claims just 5MB/s write and 10MB/s read. In contrast, the Transcend drive only achieved 7.5MB/s in write and 13.4MB/s in read, under the same test conditions.
In summary, the Kingston DT101 G2 flash drive may not be suitable for tasks which require frequent read/write of smaller files, such as using it for daily backup or as a 'ReadyBoost' device. But for transferring large chunk of data, such as storing temporary video files for playback on my WD TV Live Media Player, it performs the job really well. I consider this product a very good value, especially at its present low cost of just $1.60 per GB.
Some additional notes:
- The good thing about USB flash drive is that: the unit cost ($/GB) drops by half every year. So I can get this 32GB flash drive for about the same price I paid for a 2GB drive four years ago. The bad thing is that: no matter how large the drive capacity, I always manage to fill it up to the brim in seemingly no time.
- The capacity for this Kingston '32GB' flash drive, as reported by my computer, is 29.7GB. Note that this is actually normal, because 1GB to computer people means 2 to the power of 30, which is about 7.4% greater than 1 billion. So 29.7GB translates to approximately 32,000,000,000 bytes, which means '32GB' according to marketing people.
- This Kingston flash drive came pre-loaded with 'urDrive' software, similar to the infamous 'U3' software for previous generations of Sandisk flash drives. I have no intention to use urDrive, so I renamed the 'Autorun.inf' file (found on the root directory) to 'Autorun._inf'. That way, I don't have to be bothered by it ever again - but it is still available in case I changed my mind.
- The drive is pre-formated in FAT32 file system for maximum compatibility. That means its largest file size is limited to 4GB. If you need to transfer files larger than 4GB, you have to reformat this drive to NTFS. Be warned that doing so wipes out all existing files, including urDrive.