Fast Generic Flash Drive that is good for school
Sep 23, 2010 (Updated Sep 23, 2010)
Review by Thomas Wikman
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Good write speed, solid, small, inexpensive, lanyard hole almost key-ring compatible.
Cons:Not cap-less design, easy to lose cap, no LED, a little ugly.
The Bottom Line: This is an inexpensive generic flash drive with a good write speed. It is good for school but not for work.
The other day I was shopping for thumb drives at a local computer store. I asked the salesman which ones had the fastest write/read speed. His is answer was, "they are all USB 2.0" and I had to argue for some time to convince him that different USB 2.0 flash drives actually had different read and write speed. Certainly the read/write speed depends on things like the USB controller in the motherboard and how many USB devices are plugged in, etc. However, under identical circumstances the USB 2.0 flash drives I own differ by as much as a factor of seven with respect to read/write speed.
Recommend this product?
It is a common misunderstanding that all generic USB 2.0 flash drives of the same capacity basically are all the same. However, they differ significantly not just in read and write speed, but durability, design, compatibility, the way they can be attached to lanyards and key-rings, software options, and the cap design, which matters if you don't like losing the cap or leaving the flash drive USB connector exposed to Pugs and other pets that can chew on it. There are specialty flash drives which offer encryption, password protection, on-board anti-malware software, super speed and other special features, for example, the IronKey. However, I do not consider them generic flash drives and they typically cost quite a bit more.
The HP V125w 16GB flash drive Overview
When school started I bought three flash drives for my son from Staples including this HP V125w 16GB flash drive. The flash drive is plug and play, it was recognized by all my computers (unlike some of my flash drives), and it is PC and Mac compatible. However, I should say I had an issue when I used it the first time on my Windows XP SP2 machine. The flash drive worked, however, it was not assigned a label and displayed a warning message and asked me to restart. This went away after restart. Perhaps it was an issue with the driver. I saw no issues on my other computers. I can add that ReadyBoost works but that works for most modern flash drives.
The flash drive is also small, hard, robust, and as it turns out, fast, and I paid less than $30.00 for it. However, it should also be noted that it does not come with any software, encryption, password protection, or any other special features so it should not be used to transfer confidential data. However, for school it is perfect and my son has now used it without incident for almost two months.
The HP V125w 16GB flash drive Pros
The biggest advantage of this 16GB flash drive is that it is quite fast. This is the fastest flash drive I own which is recognized by all my computers (see Appendix). Considering the capacity it is also inexpensive. It is also thin, not wide, not very long, and you can fit them side buy side on computers where you USB ports next to each other. The smallness makes it easy to transport. This flash drive is also hard and sturdy, and difficult to break. It has a protruding hole for the lanyard at the end of the stick and you can, with some difficulty, attach to a key-ring. All this makes ideal for school environment.
The HP V125w 16GB flash drive Cons
One obvious negative is the small transparent plastic cap which easily comes off and easily gets lost. You cannot attach the cap to the back either. We have not lost the cap yet but there is clear risk of this happening. Another obvious negative is that there is no LED light on it so it is not obvious if and when the computer recognizes it.
Appendix (my special non-scientific write speed measurements)
If this section bores you; skip ahead. I just wanted to show what I found with regards to write speed.
For fun, I have made many write speed test on many different computers and many different operating systems. Sometimes I used a large set of smaller files and sometimes a few large files. What I found is that, as long as you are not doing anything else, and use identical file sets, the flash drives performs similarly on different platforms. However, there is a big difference between the different flash drives.
Below I am summarizing the results for one specific set of write tests that I did. I copied two large files (320MB and 570MB) to various flash drives from two different computers and measured the time it took. I arranged the list in the order of performance from fast to slow. The result for the HP V125w 16GB flash drive is indicated in bold.
This is the time it took to write from a HP p6130y desktop Windows 7 Home Premium computer (fast and modern desktop computer).
SanDisk 16GB Cruzer --> 75 seconds
HP V125w 16GB -->85 seconds
Memorex 8GB Travel Drive -->90 seconds
Modern model PNY Attache 16GB -->93 seconds
Kingston 4G USB Data Traveler --> 96 seconds
PNY Attache 2GB --> 154 seconds
Centon DataStick Pro 4GB --> 173 seconds
PNY Attache 1GB --> 175 seconds
SanDisk 8GB Cruzer 202 seconds
Memorex 1GB travel drive --> 256 seconds
Altex 4GB --> 311 seconds
Kingston 1GB USB Data Traveler --> 477 seconds
This is the time it took to write from a D820 laptop Windows XP Professional SP2 computer (slower and older laptop).
SanDisk 16GB Cruzer --> Not recognized by D820 / Windows XP
HP V125w 16GB -->94 seconds
Memorex 8GB Travel Drive -->91 seconds
Modern model PNY Attache 16GB -->99 seconds
Kingston 4G USB Data Traveler --> 103 seconds
PNY Attache 2GB --> 167 seconds
Centon DataStick Pro 4GB --> 179 seconds
PNY Attache 1GB --> 179 seconds
SanDisk 8GB Cruzer 192 seconds
Memorex 1GB travel drive --> 253 seconds
Altex 4GB --> 320 seconds
Kingston 1GB USB Data Traveler --> 478 seconds
The HP V125w 16GB flash drive Summary
This is a generic basic 16GB flash drive that is good for school. It is fast, plug-and-play, hard, small, and easy to carry. It is not a cap-less design and the cap is in addition easy to lose and find.
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