Ultra small flash drives are all the rage at this point, with PQI's initial offering, the Tiffany being a luxury offering in this market. PQI is now back at it again, releasing the i-Mont, another ultra-small or Pico flash drive in a number of capacities ranging from the 16GB we have in house today all the way up to 64GB.
The PQI i-Mont is a step up when it comes to performance in small packages. Utilizing a one piece design, marketing specification for the drive allude to 130 MB/s reads, followed by 100 MB/s writes. PQI backs the i-Mont with a three year warranty.
Looking over the drive you will quickly notice the corner office appeal the drive carries. The brick pattern design gives the drive a bit of elegance, while the aluminium casing continues the trend.
The backside of the drive carries branding for the drive and also denotes the capacity, ours at 16GB.
The i-Mont carries USB 3.0 compatibility and such has its port colored blue.
Setting our i-Mont on our digital scale, we found the drive to weigh just 0.15 ounces.
One of the lesser-known features of running Microsoft's new operating system Windows 8 is the native capability of USB Attached SCSI or UASP. In benchmarking flash drives, we utilize ATTO Disk Benchmark followed by DiskBench and our custom set of real-world data, and is by far the most important comparison when looking for a flash drive for everyday use.
Recently we have added our very own Price vs. Performance charts for both read and write performance of each drive, for these charts we take the average sequential performance over five runs and divide it by the price per GB. All pricing information is updated before a new drive is added and is taken from certified channel retailers such as Newegg or Amazon.
The PQI i-Mont is factory formatted with the FAT32 file system, insuring compatibility between Windows and Macintosh computers. The usable capacity after formatting is 14.6GB.
While marketing specification for the i-Mont stated 130 MB/s read speeds, we were able to hit just shy of 190 at 189 MB/s. Write speeds fell well below marketing set at 100 MB/s at 40 MB/s.
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In CDM our results were similar to what we found with ATTO. Here we were able to touch the same 189 MB/s read and 40 MB/s write.
DiskBench testing had the i-Mont slightly quicker than the Pico drive from Super Talent and JetFlash 760 from Transcend.
Above, we have our Price vs. Performance charts for read performance. Here we found the i-Mont tucked in between the two Lexar JumpDrive flash drives.
Write performance had the i-Mont above the two products from Super Talent and just shy of the RageXT from Patriot.
The i-Mont from PQI successfully raises the bar on performance in a very small package. With the flash drive being no bigger than the size of a nickel, the flash drive belongs in a high class environment and would make a great companion storage option for MacBook and ultrabook users. Performance of the drive was quite exceptional when you take into account it was able to exceed marketing specifications by quite a big margin, except write speeds.
What does hurt the drive is it high cost per GB, at $1.87. If the price were to come down just slightly, I feel PQI could really push this drive to the masses with ease.
Pricing of the PQI i-Mont in the 16GB flavour is set at $29.99 at the time of writing, availability is quite slim though, at least at this moment in time.