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Price:$3.82 - $84.68
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Physically, this Transcend 16 GB JetFlash 500 Retractable USB 2.0 Flash Drive looks almost identical to the SanDisk Cruzer Micro 16GB drive. The retractable USB plug on the Transcend drive also works EXACTLY the same way as the Sandisk (I'm surprised that somebody hasn't got sued yet). But that's where the similarity ends, because the Transcend JetFlash is a whole lot faster!

A bit of background information: I own both the Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4GB and 16GB versions. What I noticed is that the 16GB version is much slower than the 4GB version, especially when witting data. I even contacted Sandisk customer support, trying to find out what is the speed of Cruzer Micro. The response I got was quite useless:
"There is no guaranteed speed for SanDisk Cruzer Micro flash drives, as the speed for these flash drives have not been tested. If you need a flash drive with fast data transfer speed, we recommend SanDisk Extreme Cruzer Contour for this."

Prior to ordering this JetFlash drive, I visited the Transcend USA web site to search for information. Surprise, surprise! The data transfer speed of JetFlash 500 (under the 'V' series) is actually specified as:
"Read 15 MByte/s, Write 7 MByte/s (16GB)"

Once I received this Transcend JetFlash drive, I put it through several benchmark programs, to compare against the Sandisk Cruzer Micro:

- For typical photo files, write speed of the Transcend varies from 6.8MB/s (for 1MB file) to 11.3MB/s (for 5MB file). In contrast, the Sandisk only ranges from 2.0MB/s to 3.5MB/s. That means the Transcend is about 3x faster than the Sandisk! (See my Customer Images for details)

- For very large video files, the Transcend writes at about 7.8MB/s, while the Sandisk only reaches 5.1MB/s. The difference in smaller but still significant.

In terms of storage space: The Transcend drive reports 15.1GB of total capacity, while the Sandisk drive reports 14.9GB. Note that it is normal for a '16GB' flash drive to show only 14.9GB of storage, because 14.9GB for computer people (where 1GB = 2 to the power 30) actually translates to about 16,000,000,000 bytes. So that can be called '16GB' according to marketing people (where 1GB = one billion bytes).

In summary, the Transcend JetFalsh 16GB drive looks and works just like the Sandisk Cruzer Micro, but its write speed is +50% to +200% faster than the latter. As of this writing, both drives are available at similar prices, so this makes the Transcend a much better value.

[Update on Nov 3, 2010]:
- The price of this Transcend USB drive dropped further during the past two months. So now it is an even better value.

- Several reviewers have reported bad experiences using this USB drive on the Xbox 360. Right now your only safe bet is to get the Xbox 360 - 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive by SanDisk, which costs twice as much.

- If you don't intend to use the software supplied by Transcend, simply rename the file "Autorun.inf" (located at the root directory of this drive) to something else, such as "Autorun._inf". Then you can use it as a simple USB storage device.

[Update on April 7, 2012]:
I have my Transcend USB drive connected to my desktop PC as secondary storage most of the time, only occassionally remove it to transfer files. So far it worked perfectly fine for 1.5 years. It should be noted that I have used at least half a dozen USB drives and at least 20 flash memory cards in the past decade, and none of them ever failed on me. So it could be that I am just more careful with semiconductor devices (I always discharge myself of any possible electrostatic charge before handling memory cards, for example)
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4141 comments|536 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I've had several Transcend flash drives and find them to be quite good and fast. This flash has lots of room for storage and a free software download that gives you all sorts of extras, including a place to save passwords, a browser and a whole lot more --- plus easy syncing of data.

Not much you can say about storage other than it's fast and dependable with free software to help make your life and work easier. It's a nice looking little unit and I really like the way you simply slide the connection out.

UPDATE: I accidentally left my Transcend in my jeans and washed them. I'm pleased to report that the Transcend manned up and worked as well as before it took a bath. While I don't recommend this sort of treatment, it's good to know this little guy can take a bit of rough treatment.

Highly recommended.

-- Susanna K. Hutcheson
44 comments|158 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2012
Shipping was fast and the drive worked great for three weeks. Then it just siezed up. I get the error message "the specified I/O operation on \Device\Harddisk1\DR2 was not completed before the time-out period expired. The options are cancel, try again and continue. No matter which you choose, you keep getting the same error message, and it freezes up. Emailed the manufacturer and their response was to use their recovery tool. If they have a recovery tool, this must happen often. The problem with this tool is it wipes out everything you have on the disk, and I can't get the files off of this piece of junk. First and last time I have purchased a Transcend device.
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on June 29, 2011
Seemed to work fine for a couple months then one day it just stopped initializing. It keeps "rebooting" itself within 30 seconds of connecting way to scan or fix...all data lost.
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on May 6, 2012
Maybe most of these work great, but after setting mine up and not using it I needed to use it at work today. First it wasn't recognised as a high speed USB device/port. Then after a file download that took forever I tried to move the file from an XP desktop to my Windows 7 laptop it was originally set up on. It is no longer recognised.
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on May 2, 2012
I used this flash drive occasionally for a couple of weeks and then it failed completely after copying about 5GB of 7GB of files from an iTunes folder on a Mac Mini (that I was trying to transfer to a new computer). The drive was plugged directly into the USB port on the Mac. All attempts to reformat the drive on Mac's and PC's failed. Windows PCs say that the drive is write protected. (This drive does not have a write-protect switch.) I suppose everyone gets a lemon occasionally. It is not worth the hassle to try to get them to replace a $12 drive.
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on September 10, 2010
Bought this as a Gold Box special to create a multi-boot USB drive with. That project is being a bit of a pain, but can't blame the drive itself. Not wild about the strange neon pea-soup green color. ;-) The slider is nice once you realize it really does lock into place upon sliding all the way out, despite the feeling to the contrary. Had a little trouble plugging it in as I was keeping my thumb on the slider to "help", only to quickly realize I was creating the problem vs fixing it. 16GB of space for, if memory serves, under $25 was just fine with me.

According to USBDeview the speeds for this device are approximately 7MB/s for write and 15MB/s for read. A bit on the slow side, so if you're going to be moving tons of data on & off this device on a regular basis it might get on your nerves. Not a huge deal for me, but to each their own!
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on September 4, 2010
I purchased this as a Gold Box deal, so I won't include price as a factor in my review- in all fairness to later reviews. I purchased this for the sole purpose of transporting music and picture files.

I received this yesterday and plugged it into a USB 1.1 port on my case- Not a 2.0! I installed the Transcend Jetflash elite software. I haven't utilized anything in the software, but it includes features for:

1. Outlook Expres and Windows email
2. easy access to your favorites in Intenet Explorer and Firefox browsers
3. secret-zip setup- password feature
4. Data backup and Data sync
5. PC Lock
6. My Jetflash- shows what's on the drive

After installing their software, there was still 15.1 GB available, which I believe is what's the norm for a 16GB drive.

Performance is usually the most critical issue (besides price) with all drives. Needless to say, that is not a big issue with me, since I have it plugged into a 1.1 port! lol. But I did decide to do a couple of performance checks for the tech geeks! (Yes I fall into that category, too!) These specs are read from an external Maxtor One Touch 1TB hard drive and written to the Transcend 16GB jump drive- into a 1.1 port and out a 1.1 port! Sorry, I didn't feel like pulling the full tower case out to reach the 2.0 ports!

A 77.2 mb music folder took 13 seconds (nearly 6mb/sec and a 337 mb music folder took 52 seconds (6.5mb/sec). I imagine it would perform quite better using 2.0 ports.

The only con I can think of would be the somewhat cheap construction (plastic) of this drive. It rattles slightly when you shake it, so rough users might have issues with this. Hopefully, some of this may help you with your decision!
33 comments|85 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon January 12, 2011
This is a review of the Transcend 16GB USB Flash Drive. It resembles the SanDisk Cruzer in size and attributes. The USB connector slides in and out of the black casing. The indicator light is lit when it is connected to the computer, and flashes when data is transferred to/from the unit. There is an area to attach a neck cord (which I do not use), but does not come with one anyway.

I transfer a lot of files from work to home, and between various computers at work. The folders can reach 8GB and higher. I am trying out various flash drives to see which ones I like. I decided to give this one a try, especially since I got it for 20 dollars.

I have a higher-end workstation PC the following specs: Dell Precision 490, Quad-core Intel Xeon 5300, 4GB DDR2 fully buffered DIMM 667MHz ECC memory, Dual ATI FireGL V7200, WD Raptor 160 GB, WinXP Pro SP3.

Using Flash Memory Tookit v2.0, I got fairly linear read/write speeds using various file sizes (1MB to 15MB). The average write speed was 9.5 MB/s, and read speeds of 20.3 MB/s (19.3 - 20.7 MB/s range). This is fast!!! I posted the screen captures of these benchmarks here.

Using real files with sizes from 3MB (JPEG), 150MB (avi), 400MB (psd), and 1024MB (VOB), the read and write speeds were slightly faster than benchmark speeds. Average values were Read 22 MB/s and Write 14 MB/s. That is impressively fast. The 1GB file took about 60 seconds to copy this file onto the drive, and about 40 seconds to copy it from the thumb drive onto my computer. This is 2x faster read BUT OVER 10x faster to write than the SanDisk Cruzer!!! I then copied various folders (about 1GB total size) containing various file sizes, and it took two minutes to copy a folder onto the thumb drive, and 1 minute to copy from the thumb drive. This translates to about a write speed of about 9 MB/s and read of about 18 MB/s. Very impressive, indeed! This unit blows away the SanDisk Cruzer in just about every way I can think of, even price!

Overall, the Transcend Jetflash (16GB) is a great USB flash drive, and the low cost makes it one of the best affordable flash drives in speed, quality and price IMHO. I gave my sister my SanDisk Cruzer. I am now considering the 32 GB version. I highly recommend this flash drive.
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on August 18, 2011
I have several of these Transcend Retractable flash drives in various sizes. In fact I have to label them! I often back up one with another, which is a good back-up practice.

I took another reviewer's advice (thanks to NLee the Engineer) and always rename the Autorun.inf file because I typically do not use the included software.

After receiving my first Transcend Retractable I was disconcerted that I had to hold in the button to keep the connector extended while plugging it into my USB port... so I felt a little stupid the first time I didn't hold in the button and realized it locked in place once the button was depressed and pushed up all the way - one of my `duh' moments : )

I highly recommend Transcend's Retractable Flash drives!
22 comments|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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