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Capacity: 64 GB|Color: Black|Change
Price:$21.99 - $80.59
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I like carrying a USB flash memory drive with me, but I don't like "full size" USB drives hanging off of my key chain and taking up more room in my pocket so I'm always on the lookout for compact flash drives. For awhile, I was using elago Mobile Nano II USB 2.0 microSDHC Flash Memory Card Reader (Black). That reader combined with a micro sd/sdhc card works great, but it's a bit too fragile, and I had a problem with the nylon loop sliding off of my keyring and losing the drive. That brought me to the Patriot Axle. At less than 1" in length, it is one of the smallest USB drives I've seen. The outer case is hard and protects the drive. Pressing the black bottom will swing out the USB contacts so it can be used. It swings out fairly easily so it's not difficult to open it quickly, but not so easily that it will be opening up in your pocket. You don't have to worry about dirt getting inside the drive, and you don't have to keep up with one of those tiny caps that will eventually fall off. It also looks great, and you can't tell at first glance what it is, so you don't have to worry about your friends making fun of you for carrying around a hard drive.

PERFORMANCE
This is probably the tenth Patriot drive I've owned and performance and quality is on par with their other drives. It is plug and play, so it will automatically install the device drivers once you insert it, which takes about 10-15 seconds. I tested it with Check Flash and transfer speeds averaged for me around 19.1 Mb/s in FAT32 (default format) and 9.85 Mb/s in NTFS. If you need to store anything over 4Gb, you will need to format it in NTFS (right click on drive, select FORMAT, then change the file system to NTFS). No errors were found on the drive. I've had it a few weeks now and have written to it many times and it still works great.

RECOMMENDATIONS
If you need a portable drive that will get banged around a LOT and you don't care about size, get something like the Patriot Xporter XT Boost 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive PEF16GUSB.

If you need a compact portable drive that is sturdy, get this drive, the Patriot Axle.

If you are looking for the most compact drive you can get (you don't want something that will stick out 2" and get broken off), and won't be carrying it around with you (eg, for a car stereo, your TV, or DVR), get the elago Mobile Nano II USB 2.0 microSDHC Flash Memory Card Reader (Black).

Lastly, they don't currently sell it on Amazon, but I would recommend the "Patriot Swing" over this drive. It has the same performance, but is a bit smaller and looks nicer since it has squared corners. The only real difference is that it doesn't contain a full housing for the USB terminals, so it's possible they can get scratched.
55 comments|32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 19, 2012
06-19-2012 - Yes I now have a 64GB Flash Drive!
Drive connected fine and I transferred several files..
downloaded a file and tried to save to drive
NOPE - IT's WRITE PROTECTED
there is no physical switch on this device.
contacted Patriot, tried their recommended low-level format tool
but it couldn't recognize the drive...
after checking the forums at Patriot I realized that a VERY HIGH number of these are failing with this exact problem...
the drive can read but won't write
tried Win7, XP and Mac OSX. same result.

You've been warned... some work, Quite a few don't
55 comments|22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I purchased 2 of these Patriot axle 32GB thumb drives and they both tested higher than the manufactures specifications. Write speed: about 12MB/s Read speed: about 32MB/s. About as fast as my external USB 2.0 hard drives. I also purchased 5 more of these drives from MacMall.com for $19.99 each but they were about 1/3 the speed of the amazon drives. The Amazon drives rock and I'd definitely recommend these for any type of file transfers. I just wish the price of Amazon's drives were about $19.99 or less delivered.
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on August 11, 2012
I have small flash drives from Patriot, Kingston, Verbatim, Transcend and Corsair. Of all these brands, my Patriot flash drives (this 32 GB Axle red flash drive and even smaller gray Patriot 32GB Flex drive) have been the most problematic. I mainly use the drives for copying fairly large files (video files for example) for use on other devices (such as a media player connected to the TV). The Patriot drives (this one and the Flex) are subject to frequent errors when large files are copied ("Error: unable to splice file" for example) that invalidate the copy. In addition, both of them have occasionally not been able to mount on a computer or other device and have had to be reformatted (repartitioned and a FAT filesystem created). Finally, after less than a month of medium (not heavy) use, this red Patriot 32GB Axle drive now cannot be written to; it's seen as a read-only device by the computer, which means files can't be copied onto it and more importantly, it can't be erased or reformatted. This makes the drive useless.

My other Patriot flash drive (the 32GB gray Flex) still works but causes errors, and occasionally must be reformatted when it cannot be read nor mounted by a computer or other device. The problems that I've experienced with both my Patriot drives have not occurred with the other brands of flash drives I use (Transcend, Corsair, Kingston, Verbatim).
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on April 20, 2012
I purchased the Patriot Axle 64GB USB flash drive for my Apple MacBook Pro because it was (1) big enough to hold my Amazon MP3 collection -- 64GB, (2) small enough to leave plugged in all the time, and (3) a good price of under $100.

When I first starting using the Axle drive, I was copying files to the original MS-DOS FAT file system using "rsync" and I was having all sorts of problems of file access problems and updates. At first I thought it might be the flash drive. I was going to return the drive but then thought that maybe it might be okay if I reformat the filesystem to Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive) using Mac OS Disk Utility. Since doing this, the drive has been stable and I have had no problems with the unit since.

My recommendation if you buy this or any flash drive that is really big is to reformat the drive. If you are worried about portability between Mac and PC, your only option is MS-DOS FAT. If you don't need the inter-operating system portability, then I suggest using a modern file system such as NTFS on Windows or Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive) on the Mac OS.

**** 4 month follow up ****

I've been using this product for over 4 months now, continuously plugged in, and have not had any problems of "read-only" lock up as indicated by other users. It seems from the user comments that those people who have reformatted the drive before use have generally had success.

If I have any "complaint" it is that the flip cover comes off easily and that if you every take the thumb drive off your computer, its small size and dark color make it a complete pain in the behind to find again. Then again, I bought it because it is so small. I'd still give it a 4 rating, especially now given that the price is 1/3 of what I originally paid for mine.
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on March 6, 2012
Hello everyone, I bought this drive at Fry's electronics because of price ($19.99) and it is a really good drive better than I expected.

I have a SanDisk Cruzer Blade 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive and speeds are around 3 mb/s. The Patriot Axle 32GB USB is around 12 mb/s on the same. These speeds are for documents.
For a 2.5GB movie the Sandisk is around 1.5 mb/s and Patriot is around 12 mb/s or more.
The quality and size is great, seems to fell and be a long lasting drive in quality.

I recommend this one for quality and speed, depending on what you are doing it could reach estimated speeds.
As you can see I rarely leave reviews and only to those that have worked real good.
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on February 18, 2013
It seems as if 64 GB pendrives share an instability problem, going by the reviews I've read for different brands (Transcend, SanDisk, Kingston). Some of those reviews are here on the Patriot Axle. But I've been using Axle 32 GB drives for awhile now, and they don't have those problems. So I'm sticking with that size.

What distinguishes this pendrive, is its compactness. The usual good pen drive either has a cap you'll lose, or is retractable. The retractable type is a problem, for the slider gets stuck. Sometimes in the middle of a copy, if the slider isn't exactly rightly locked, the copying won't work. So I prefer non-retractable pen drives. Of them, only the Axle is capless, yet sturdy. It's especially good at plugging into a laptop or netbook, small so to leave space for the larger USB pendrives, like Kingston.

So I'm buying more Axle 32's, to go with the three I already have. I use them to make Linux on a stick; I use Linux to rescue Windows from crashes, or to do stuff Windows is otherwise incapable of doing. You don't have to install Linux on a hard drive or use a CD, to make it work as if a separate computer of its own.

BTW: the GB size of pen drives isn't actually correct. They call 32 GB based on 1000=kilobyte, when in fact it's 1024. Windows can't even read all of that, so shows a smaller amount (e.g., about 29GB on a 32GB stick). Finally, space is allocated to identify the stick, which shrinks its available size even smaller.
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on May 15, 2012
Plugged this in to both of my computers and it installed immediately without any problems. This thing is TINY!! I suggest you keep it in a computer bag or somewhere where it won't get lost. Think about the size of a quarter, and maybe 2-3 cm thick. 32 GB will be plenty of space to keep all my graduate level course work backed up on. 2 year warrantee, too. nice!
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on June 18, 2012
The very first day I tried to use this drive, it locked after few files copied on it, and declared that it is "write-protected". There is no any write protection switch on it, by the way. I went on Patriot's web site which acknowledged the problem and suggested using two different "low-level" tools to correct the problem. None of them worked - the device was simply not recognized by any Patriot tool.
Most definitely, do not buy! Faulty design.
UPDATE: Patriot sent me a replacement disk after several weeks of RMA - related back and forth. The label of the replacement drive said 64 GB, however when I plugged it in, it showed 32 GB capacity. I have been trying to contact Patriot for more than a month now , to no avail.
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on March 8, 2012
This is a good, cheap compact drive that fits nicely on my keychain. It appears to be well constructed and should be durable. The only issue is the painfully slow write speed. On 2 different computers with different benchmarks, the write speed was 3MB/s. Read speeds are a decent 18.7 MB/s. If you plan on moving lots of big files, this may not be the best choice. But the price is right.
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