The Victorinox Swiss Army 16GB Jetsetter Flash Drive ($49.99 list) is a multi-tool that happens to have a 16GB USB flash drive as one of its implements. You really should be buying this drive for its tools first, and as a USB drive second. While completely usable and both Windows and Mac compatible, the Jetsetter really shines as the tool you bring out to fix your eyeglasses, tighten a screw on your laptop, pop the top on a cold brew, or snip the tag off a recently acquired shirt. Once you’ve done all those things, the clip-in USB drive can keep important documents handy as a backup to your usual portable hard drive.
Design and Features
The Jetsetter looks like a thicker version of those classic mini Swiss Army Knives that you keep on your keychain just in case you need it for something. The 16GB version we looked at here is in classic Victorinox red, the 8GB version ($39.95) comes in black, and the 32GB version ($99.95) comes in clear/silver. It’s a little thicker than the company’s classic knives, thanks to the 16GB removable flash drive. The drive has a blinking LED Victorinox shield to let you know it’s in use. The drive comes with a two-year warranty, but the metal tools have a lifetime warranty.
The tools include a magnetized Philips screwdriver (handy for eyeglass or minor tech repairs), bottle opener (important for after work), a spring-loaded scissors, a pop-out ballpoint pen, key ring, and a pair of tweezers. We verified that the screwdriver is useful by using it to install a SSD on a PCIe expansion card for another review. The tools are the same ones you’d see on a classic Swiss Army Knife, but the omission of the knife blade means that you should be able to take this tool on a plane with you. Current TSA rules allow both scissors and screwdrivers in your carry-on luggage.
The 16GB flash drive can be unclipped from the tool, or used in situ. The Jetsetter tool puts a little weight on the USB port, so I’d suggest removing the tool if you are going to keep the drive plugged in on a flight or other extended use situation. The drive uses a slim USB connector, so make sure the drive is right side up before inserting it. “Up” should be when you can see the 16GB label on the drive.
The drive comes with a Victorinox security app for OS X, but you can use the drive right away for storage. The drive comes formatted with exFAT, so it can handle large 4GB+ files on both OS X and Windows 7/8. If you’re still using Windows XP you may need to download an exFAT update from Microsoft. The Victorinox security app purports to store files securely and allow you to keep your Safari Web surfing sessions private by storing cookies and history files away from your Mac. We weren’t able to get the app running on a MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion, but your mileage may vary.
This is a slow USB drive. In addition to the USB 2.0-only speeds, the drive itself has a poor transfer rate. We measured a glacial 36 MBps read and 18 MBps write speed using the AJA System test. Plus the drive took 1 minute 20 seconds to transfer our standard 1.22GB test folder. To put this in perspective, USB 2.0 hard drives like the Iomega eGo Helium 1TB took only 42 seconds for the same folder plus had a write speed twice as fast as that of the Jetsetter. We couldn’t test the drive using PCMark 7, so we couldn’t directly compare the drive’s speed to other flash drives.
If you need a speedy flash drive for everyday use, look at USB 3.0 drives like the LaCie RuggedKey (16GB) or Editors’ Choice SanDisk Extreme 3.0 (64GB). The added utility of the Swiss Army tools on the Jetsetter are really what make the drive attractive. As a USB flash drive, it’s passable but not extraordinary. Think of the Jetsetter as a multi-tool where one of the tools is a part-time USB flash drive, and you’ll be okay.
Compare the Victorinox Swiss Army 16GB Jetsetter Flash Drive with several other flash drives side by side.
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