The USB flash drive is a curious thing; not only does it store all of your data on the go, but the small size and many permutations of the humble flash drive also serve as a hint to someone’s personality. While that’s great when you want to show the world your love of superheroes or cartoon ponies, sometimes you want something a little more understated, with a focus on performance and speed. The ADATA DashDrive Elite (16GB) is just such a drive, with high-speed USB 3.0 performance and plenty of storage, all dressed up in an elegant design.
Design and Features
The DashDrive Elite is a small but fancy looking flash drive, and unlike the bright colored Verbatim Store N’ Go Clip-it or Dane-Elec ColorBytes, you’ll be able to pull it out in the middle of a class or meeting without looking unprofessional. The metal body of the drive has a shimmering sheen, and is a dark grey color. The sides are textured with concentric circles etched into surface, providing both traction for gripping the drive and some visually appealing detail. The ADATA logo stands out, being bare metal, standing out as a lighter silver color against the near-black of the drive body.
The DashDrive Elite has a sliding design, with a slider on the side of the drive to extend the USB plug. On the back end of the drive is an integrated loop for attaching a lanyard or keychain. The compact metal enclosure should also hold up well to the bumps and bags of life attached to a keychain or tossed into a bag, though it may not offer the rugged design of something like the LaCie XtremKey USB 3.0 (32GB).
The DashDrive Elite comes formatted to FAT32, so it should work out of the box with all of your common operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux). Our 16GB model offered 14.7 GB of usable space, which is par for the course when it comes to flash drives.
In terms of price, the 16GB DashDrive Elite is actually the least affordable of the UE700 model line; selling for a list price of $26.99 it’s roughly $1.68 per Gigabyte. Higher capacity models at 32GB ($44.99 list) and 64GB ($74.99) work out to even less, selling for $1.40 per Gigabyte and $1,17 per GB, respectively. By comparison, the 64GB SanDisk Extreme 3.0 was a bit more expensive ($99.99 list, $1.56 per GB), while the Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go V3 (16GB) sells for $1.25 per GB, and the Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB) is only 93 cents per GB.
Thanks to a USB 3.0 connection, the ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 offers decent read and write speeds. In our timed data transfer tests, the drive was quick, with 107 MBps read speed and 39 MBps write speed. By comparison, the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme edged slightly ahead with speeds of 105 MBps (write) and 110 MBps (read). The Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go V3 fell a bit behind with speeds of 79 MBps (read) and 10 MBps (write), as did the Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB) with 36 MBps (read) and 30 MBps (write). When connected via USB 2.0, the DashDrive Elite put out a consistent 30 MBps, both for read and write functions.
In actual use, the drive functioned exactly as expected on several systems, regardless of whether it was connected via USB 3.0 or USB 2.0. The slim-bodied drive plugs in without blocking any neighboring USB ports, and the sliding mechanism to extend the USB plug functions smoothly.
For a simple high-speed USB 3.0 drive with affordable high-capacity, the ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 is a solid choice. The sleek look and durable design make it a smart buy for professional and student alike, but the overall performance isn’t quite as impressive as our Editors’ Choice, the SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB), which offers better overall speed.
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||16 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc