Have a miniature hard drive in your pocket! – A Kingston DataTraveler G3 Review

November 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm by

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As technology advances, we gain the ability to pack high capacity storage into smaller and smaller devices. With desktop hard drives reaching an outstanding 3TB of storage space, it’s hard to remember the days of worrying whether or not you could fill up a 500GB hard drive.

One thing that almost every computer user has is a flash drive. The ability to share a PowerPoint work presentation or bring home a computer based school assignment is essential. Today, I will be reviewing the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 (Model: DTU30G3/128GB) USB flash drive. I will be discussing the unboxing, build quality, features and specifications, and finally my final thoughts. A special thank you goes out to Kingston for providing this device for review.

Figure 1 – Kingston Packaging.

Unboxing the Unit

Unboxing the unit is straight forward. Packaged in a hard plastic case that is designed to be displayed at any retail store; the front face shows off the DataTraveler itself along with a few technical specifications. Once you have got through the thick packaging you will find some documentation along with the DataTraveler.

Figure 2 – Kingston banner displaying the 32GB and 64GB options.

Build Quality

Backed with a five year warranty, you will find the drive to be well built and designed. Using a sliding action to provide a capless design, the USB plug can be hidden to protect the flash drive when in transit; as with the name DataTraveler I would expect Kingston to understand that this will be more than a “use at home” product. I will state that the sliding action could be improved as the inner plastic provides considerable resistance making the sliding action not as smooth as you may find on other flash drives.

Built with a stainless steel housing, the flash drive offers a very pristine finish. The stainless steel is finger print resistant and I almost never havethe urge to clean it. Found on the rear of the drive is a metal keychain allowing users to attach the drive to a lanyard or key ring, but I feel as if this could be removed/redesigned to provide a metal cutout for users who wish to use a lanyard or key ring.

Finally, there is the small status LED that is bright blue, displaying anytime while the drive is currently transferring data. With the exception of the sliding, I find that the overall build quality of the device is acceptable and should surely meet anybody’s standards.

Figure 3 – The DataTraveler itself.

Features and Specifications

Offered in three different size capacities: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, and with prices starting at $34, the drive can fit any budget and any personality. As gigabytes increase so does the price, but one thing to note is that each unit does cost around $1 per GB.

Being a 3rd generation drive, the flash drive uses the all new USB 3.0 technology. Far more powerful than any USB 2.0 flash drive, the DataTraveler has the ability to obtain read speeds of 150MB/s and writing speeds up to 70MB/s. Given the ability to move large files from one PC to another within seconds is a huge time saver. However, as USB 3.0 is new technology most older PCs will lack any USB 3.0 ports making the speeds of the drive significantly lower. As USB 3.0 is represented by the blue USB plug, transferring the identical 7GB movie file I tested the Kingston SSDNow with, the DataTraveler completed the transfer in just two minutes with an average transfer speeds of 40MB/s. Comparing to USB 2.0 ports users will only receive a transfer rate of about haft.

In theory this flash drive is just like a miniature hard drive. At a storage capacity of 128GB, you’ll be hard pressed to ever fill the flash drive. The drive does lack any type of security software for the drive; users may be wary of what they store on the drive just in case of misplacing it.

One final thing to note is that the drive is customizable as Kingston offers a co-logo program for businesses that wish to buy in bulk. A 32GB flash drive for every employee or to offer as a giveaway at business events is an excellent way to lift some sprits.

Here are the DataTraveler’s specifications:

Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
USB 3.0: up to 150MB/s read and 70MB/s write
USB 2.0: up to 30MB/s read and 20MB/s write
Backwards compatible: with USB 2.0
Practical: durable casing with a solid lanyard loop
Guaranteed: five-year warranty, free technical support
Customizable: Co-Logo program available
Without keyring: 2.6929” x 0.8961” x 0.4567” (68.40mm x 22.76mm x 11.6mm)
With keyring: 3.3622” x 0.8961” x 0.4567” (85.40mm x 22.76mm x 11.6mm)
Operating Temperature: 32° to 140° F (0° to 60°C)
Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C)

Kingston DataTraveler Datasheet

My Final Thoughts

Overall, I am quite happy with my experience with the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3. Priced at $130 dollars I feel like the price hits the high point compared to other 128GB flash drives. The quality of the drive, however, is far superior to any other flash drive I’ve owned. Previously, I had been using a Kingston 1GB USB 2.0 flash drive, and was always having to make multiple trips to either transfer movies or PC backups. The five year warranty allows this product to stand above the other flash drives on the market, but the price could come down. Just remember that with the DataTraveler you’ll always have a miniature, portable, and quick flash drive.

Buy it now:

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