Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB) review

Mushkin's Ventura Plus (32GB) isn't flashy, but offers decent performance and a sleek design for an affordable price.
Photo of Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB)

Mushkin may not be a household name outside of computer builders, but the company makes pocket-friendly USB flash drives in addition to computer memory and storage. The Ventura Plus is a slim, sleek USB 3.0 drive, but with a decent capacity (32GB) and affordable price, it will be just right for folks that want good-sized storage on the go.

Design and Features
The Ventura Plus is small and sleek, measuring 0.26 by 0.69 by 2.24 inches (HWD) and weighing a 0.3-ounce. Made with a black aluminum housing and transparent plastic accents, it’s small enough to slip in your pocket without crowding out your keys. Though you won’t see it when the drive is inactive, there’s also a red LED that blinks when the drive is plugged in.

Though not necessarily designed to withstand crazy trauma like some rugged drives, the Ventura Plus should still be able to handle the battering that comes from being kept on a key ring or tossed into a backpack. The removable aluminum cap slides on securely, can be stored on the back end when the drive is in use. There’s also an anchor loop on the back end, with a wide eyelet to make it easy to attach to a key ring or lanyard.

The Ventura Plus (32GB) is all storage, with no software preinstalled on it. While this also means that you won’t get any extras, like encryption, password protection, or automatic backup, it also means that you get 32GB of pure, uncomplicated storage. And with FAT32 formatting, it’s compatible with Windows (Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP), Mac (OS X), and Linux systems.

The Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB) sells online for a list price of $29.99 putting the 32GB drive at 93 cents per gigabyte, making it one of the more affordable USB 3.0 drives we’ve reviewed. By comparison, all of the high-capacity USB 3.0 drives on the market are more expensive (calculated by list price), with Verbatim’s own Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go V3 USB Drive (16GB) selling for $1.25 per gigabyte, and the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB) for $2.18 per GB. The USB 2.0-equipped Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 (16GB) is similarly priced at $1.56 per Gigabyte, but adds encryption and software tools for a better overall value of the drive. While the drive may be affordable, the warranty is less than generous—Mushkin covers the Ventura Plus (32GB) with a two-year warranty, but the competing products listed are all covered for five years or more, and frequently have a lifetime guarantee.

Performance
Despite being equipped with USB 3.0, the Ventura Plus isn’t the speediest drive on the block. In fact in our timed data transfer tests, we saw speeds of 36 MBps (read) and 30 MBps (write)—a far cry from the impressive, but still a step up from USB 2.0 alone. By comparison, the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme is a speed demon under USB 3.0, with speeds of 190 MBps (read) and 170 MBps (write). The Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go V3 is more modest—79 MBps (read), 10 MBps (write)—but still faster.

Under USB 2.0, however, the speeds were similar—31 MBps (read) and 27 MBps (write)—and put it right in line with the performance of other speedy drives. The blazing fast SanDisk Extreme was nearly identical with USB 2.0 speeds of 31 MBps (read) and 29 MBps (write), while the Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go V3 dropped to 33 MBps (read), 10 MBps (write), and the 2.0-only Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 was noticeably slower with rates of 21 MBps (read) and 12 MBps (write).

The Mushkin Ventura Plus is not without its flaws, like middling USB 3.0 performance and a lack of compelling features—if you need speed, try the Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB), or the Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G2 (16GB), our top pick for encrypted drives. Despite those shortcomings, however, the slim drive combines sizable storage and an affordable price that should still hit the sweet spot for people who just want a high-capacity drive.

COMPARISON TABLE
Compare the Mushkin Ventura Plus (32GB) with several other flash drives side by side.

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Specifications
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 32 GB

Verdict
Mushkin's Ventura Plus (32GB) isn't flashy, but offers decent performance and a sleek design for an affordable price.
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