Super Flash Drive ~ Thanks For the Memory, Kingston!
Nov 9, 2011 (Updated Nov 9, 2011)
Review by Jennifer Kate
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Adequate Storage, Easy to Use, Reliable Performance, Compact, Fast Access, Portable
Cons:Small key chain loop, Easy to Lose Cover, Could be smaller like SanDisk Cruzer Edge
The Bottom Line: Good Flash drive for: Office, Business, File Transfer, pictures, Data Storage, Students, Travel, Everyday Use
I received this Kingston 8 Gigabyte Data Traveler G3 in the US Mail from a colleague of mine in the GIS business. We are working on a mapping project together, and he loaded about 2 Gigabytes of digital aerial photos and imagery on this flash drive to share with me. He mailed this compact, yellow and white flash drive in a small padded envelope via US Postal Service. When I received the flash drive, it was super simple to use. I just plugged it into one of my computer's USB ports and chose to view the files using Windows Explorer. Upon making a connection, the flash drive lights up to show it's working.
Recommend this product?
Taking a closer look at the properties of this Kingston device, it has a capacity of 7,990,181,888 bytes or 7.44 GB. Why not 8 Gigabytes? It has something to do with the paradox of bytes, which is a binary system for counting memory capacity. (See my Western Digital External Drive review for a detailed explanation). In any case, the drive holds a lot of geographic data in the form of digital imagery, which is usually storage intensive. I have quite a few counties full of multi-spectral and satellite imagery on the disk, plus some data for another project I'm working on, and this flash drive still has 5 1/2 Gigabytes of free storage left.
How fast is it? This Kingston flash drive works nearly as fast as my VAIO's hard disk for reading files. I can access the images stored on this flash drive directly from my GIS software (ArcGIS), without experiencing any slow down in the display of images. That's an important feature, because it means I can transport and view the data from various computers without having to copy it onto my computer's hard drive to access or manipulate it.
Eight gigabytes seems like a lot of memory, but you should determine the total size of your project files before buying a flash drive for storing or transferring digital data. The Kingston Data Traveler comes in a variety of sizes, including 16 GB and 32 GB. If you're planning to send the disk to someone else, you might not want to invest in a drive that's way bigger than what you need, because the recipient might forget to send it back. It's such a nice little product, the recipient may be tempted to keep it and use up the rest of the disk, instead of returning it! Not that I know anyone who would ever do that...
Another handy use for this flash drive is for transferring files quickly between my desktop and notebook computers. Until I figured out how to share my printer over a network, I needed to transfer documents from my VAIO to be printed. Before I had this flash drive, I had to email my documents back and forth. For awhile, I just copied them to the Kingston and transferred them to my PC for printing.
Since I received my Kingston over a year ago, I've accumulated a collection similar devices. I notice that my new Sandisk Cruzer Edge drives are more compact, and the USB end folds into the body for storage instead of needing a cap. I must say, I slightly prefer my Sandisk for its dimunitive size, but it's not a deal breaker.
Keep in mind that you should always use the "Safely Remove Hardware" tool when removing this flash drive from your computer. Otherwise, there is a risk of corrupting the data, or confusing your operating system. For over a year of daily usage, I have not had any problems booting up this drive, or received any error messages that my Kingston drive is corrupted or malfunctioning.
In summary, this Kingston Data Traveler is a good value for a reasonable price. It's easier to work with than a data DVD, and you can send it via the postal service without too much trouble. It won't break, and lights up when you plug it into your USB port. The drive features pretty quick access, so there's no need to copy files onto your hard drive to access them. The opening for a keychain ring is so small, that I never even noticed it until I looked carefully. Also, I've misplaced the separate cover several times. This flashdrive is a little wider than average, and sometimes bumps into other memory sticks plugged into neighboring ports. But none of these quibbles would prevent me from buying another one if the price were right!
I previously published this review on Shopping.com. It's now revised and updated. If you have any questions about this device that I did not answer in my review, please leave a comment and I will answer them!
Because my Kingston flash drive is my GIS (geographic information system's) best buddy, this review is part of my Geography Write-Off!
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