PROS / The Kingston DataTraveler offers great 4K read and write performance.
CONS / This flash drive is noticeably heavier than many other drives.
VERDICT / While its sequential read and write performance is merely decent, the DataTraveler has a plethora of features and excellent 4K read and write performance.
The Kingston DataTraveler falls under the category of rugged USB flash drives, as its metal casing is quite strong. The DataTraveler is not going to blow you away with its file transfer speeds, however. Kingston lists the maximum read speed at 135 MBps and the maximum write speed at 40 MBps. You also get access to some excellent security software. The DataTraveler comes with a cloud sync option, so your data is always in at least two places. Due to its good performance and long list of features, the DataTraveler earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
We were very impressed with the DataTraveler's random 4K performance. Its 4K read speed was the fastest we've seen, at 12.5MBps. Its 4K write speed was very good as well, clocking in at 6MBps. This means that if you want to run applications or an operating system off of the drive, you'll see some of the best performance you can get on a flash drive. Good 4K read and write performance is rare in USB flash drives, and we're happy to see a strong contender here.
What we weren't particularly impressed with was the drive's sequential read and write speed – which is what most people care about. At 148MBps on average, the DataTraveler's sequential read speed is decent, but it doesn't compare favorably to the very best USB flash drives on our lineup. The sequential write speed fares better in our comparison but not by much, coming in at 59MBps. Transferring files to and from the DataTraveler is noticeably slower than it is with the drives on our lineup that have higher sequential read and write speeds.
Design & Features
While the DataTraveler is USB 3.0, you can also use it in USB 2.0 ports; just remember that you'll be limited to USB 2.0's slower speeds. You can get this thumb drive in four storage capacity options: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. It is pocket-sized but somewhat heavy thanks to its durable metal casing. It weighs almost an ounce, so you will definitely notice the DataTraveler's weight on your keychain.
This USB flash drive does have several practical features going for it. The loop is sturdy and can be attached to a key ring. The drive works with Linux-based systems and has a cap that fully encloses the USB connector. But the cap is completely detached from the body of the drive, which increases the odds that it will get lost.
Help & Support
This USB drive comes with a five-year warranty and free technical support. You can contact the Kingston customer support team via telephone or email.
The Kingston DataTraveler can satisfy all of your basic portable-storage needs. It is more durable than many of the other devices we reviewed. It is also a good choice if you need to connect to a Linux-based system. This may not be the very best flash drive, but it's one of them.