Flash drives are a must-have in this day and age, and with capacities increasing they’re no longer just to be used for documents and small files. Kingston has always been pretty active in the memory market, and its new HyperX range of USB flash drives promises high-end performance and generous capacities.
We took a look at the 8GB version to see if it has anything in particular going for it in comparison to rivals, though unless you start getting into built-in encryption and security, most of these devices tend to be pretty similar.
Where Kingston does stand out is in performance terms; more specifically read and write speeds, claiming that the new series has data transfer rates of 30MBps read and 20MBps write. These things rarely live up to the quoted data rates, but we tested the device with a range of individual files and collections of different sizes and in this case it actually does. Filling the drive up with 8GB worth of data took just over five minutes, and of course it’ll make mincemeat of smaller sizes so there’s a clear advantage over most here in terms of speed.
It’s also a pretty stylish design, with a rubberised finish and sleek brushed aluminium logo. The USB connector actually slides out from within the casing using a switch, and is held firmly in place by the mechanism until you depress it and retract it back in. It certainly feels pretty solid and long-lasting, so if you’re handling important data and need the reassurance of a quality, reliable product then this should fit the bill nicely.
Unfortunately you’re paying quite a lot in comparison to cheaper, though potentially less reliable rivals. The 8GB model on test retails for £92, which is substantially more expensive than bog-standard alternatives which these days will set you back around £20. The 4GB and 2GB alternatives are up for grabs at £46 and £25 respectively, so there’s a similar mark-up across the board.
We can see that most users are almost starting to see flash drives as ‘disposable’ devices in that they’re so cheap at lower capacities, you can just throw one out and buy another when it fails. It doesn’t appear as though Kingston will have a large market with the DataTraveller, then, but if you’ve found that cheaper devices have let you down in the past – perhaps losing critical data in the process – then the new HyperX range has the performance and build to offer more peace of mind.
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