Mimobot Mr. Sulu USB 3.0 (32GB) review

The Mimobot Mr. Sulu USB 3.0 (32GB) flash drive goes where few novelty drives have gone before, with USB 3.0 connectivity, 32GB of storage, and a cargo hold full of extras.
Photo of Mimobot Mr. Sulu USB 3.0 (32GB)

Star Trek has long been a part of the Mimobot pantheon of flash drives, with drives modelled after Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Captain Picard and Data. Now we have the Mimobot Mr. Sulu USB 3.0 (32GB). The latest drive resembling a pop culture icon adds not only a beloved Star Trek character, but throws in USB 3.0 as well. The Mr. Sulu Mimobot flash drive offers a faster drive with higher capacity that we’ve seen on past Mimobot drives, and throws in a bunch of Sulu-centric extras for you or the Trekkie in your life.

Design and Features
The Mr. Sulu Mimobot flash drive uses the basic Mimobot design—a big, elongated head, which doubles as the USB plug cap, and a small body at one end. In this case, that head vaguely resembles George Takei circa-1968 (though, thanks to the cartoony art, you can imagine it’s John Cho just as easily). Sulu is decked out in the gold shirt befitting a command officer, complete with a lieutenant’s stripe at the wrist. While most Mimobot figures are depicted with their hands at their sides, Mr. Sulu breaks the mold by brandishing a phaser, though it’s only printed onto the drive.

Remove the top of Mr. Sulu’s head, and you’ll uncap a USB 3.0 connector, easily identified by the light blue plug. On the back of the drive is a small LED indicator, which glows when the drive is plugged into a port. While the Mr. Sulu design comes in 8, 16, 32, and 64GB capacities, only the 32GB model offers USB 3.0.

Mimobot likes to include some extras for fans, and the Sulu-drive comes with plenty. A collection of wallpapers let you put some Star Trek-flavored wallpapers on your PC, tablet, or phone, and a half-dozen custom file icons and avatars let you decorate your data with Starfleet insignias, images of the Sulu drive, and even a cartoony rendering of a swashbuckling Sulu, rapier in hand. The drive also comes equipped with MimoByte sound software, which lets you set any number of Star Trek sounds and clips of Sulu dialogue when connecting or disconnecting the drive.

The 32GB Mr. Sulu Mimobot drive has a list price of $49.95, which works out to $1.56 per GB. For a USB 3.0 drive, this isn’t half bad; the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB) has a list price of $149.99, or $2.34 per GB. It’s also a pretty good price for a novelty drive. The assorted Mimobot USB 2.0 drives we reviewed a few months back offered slower speeds and only 8GB of storage for a list price of $24.95, which works out to roughly $3.11 per GB, and the 4GB Dane-Elec Marvel Universe USB Drives drives sell for a similar $3.37 per GB.

Performance
The Mr. Sulu Mimobot flash drive is formatted in FAT32, so the drive can be used with any major operating system—Windows, Mac, and Linux are all support. The extra content, with the Sulu-themed icons and sounds, however, is Windows and Mac only. Mimobot covers the Mr. Sulu drive with a one-year warranty, which is a bit short for portable storage—many competitors offer three- or five-year warranties.

When tested, the Mr. Sulu drive offered the best performance we’ve seen of any novelty drive, due entirely to the availability of USB 3.0. In our timed data transfer test, the Mr. Sulu drive offered performance of 81 MBps (read) and 17 MBps (write) using USB 3.0. Compared to our leading USB 3.0 drive, the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 was faster with USB 3.0 speeds of 105 MBps (read) and 110 MBps (write). While the Mr. Sulu drive shouldn’t be purchased solely on its performance, it is significantly faster than the USB 2.0 alternatives.

Under USB 2.0 Mr. Sulu actually led the pack, with 31 MBps (read) and 12 MBps (write). By comparison, the assorted My Little Pony, Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln drives were even slower, with speeds of 27 MBps (Read) and 5 MBps (Write), and the Marvel Universe drives weren’t any better at 30MBps (read) and 4MBps (write). All of these drives are passable given that they are generally cheaply sourced flash modules dressed up in goofy plastic enclosures, sold for fan-appeal rather than the merits of the hardware.

While most novelty flash drives offer little more than a nifty design showcasing a fan-favorite character, the Mr. Sulu Mimobot flash drive rises to new heights by offering a drive that has sizable storage and (relatively) strong performance. While George Takei’s cartoon likeness won’t appeal to everyone, the Mr. Sulu Mimobot is one geek-friendly drive that does more than just show off your favorite sci-fi franchise, it’s also a pretty good drive on its own merits. For optimum performance, stick to our Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB), but for any fan of classic Star Trek, the Sulu drive is the way to go.

Specifications
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 32 GB

Verdict
The Mr. Sulu Mimobot flash drive goes where few novelty drives have gone before, with USB 3.0 connectivity, 32GB of storage, and a cargo hold full of extras for any Star Trek: TOS fan.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc