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Lots of Hi-Speed USB Pen Drives Tested - 512MB to 4GB

By: Cameron Wilmot | USB Drives in Storage | Posted: Oct 23, 2006 4:00 am

Pen drives from ADATA, Corsair and Silicon Power


- ADATA Pen Drives


The folks at ADATA in Taiwan sent us a couple of their newest pen drives to take a look at.



The first is the BC2 "Show Me Disk" - as the name implies, the pen drive provides you real-time information about the amount of space left on the drive through its Bi-stable Cholesteric Liquid Crystal display, without the need of an embedded battery. You are even able to program your name on the drive up to a total of 11 characters. This would be especially handy in an office environment if your company supplied you with the same pen drive as all of the other employees in your office.


It's a cool feature and other companies have started doing the same type of thing recently but it's debatable how useful the feature actually is. If you're using the pen drive with your notebook computer, then you're fine - you'll be able to see the information. If you're using a PC, chances are the USB port won't be in front of you and you won't be able to see the information being reported to you.


A-Data Technology FLASH 2G|A-DATA FLDRV BC2 2.0 2G R (BC2202G)


Besides that, then pen drive looks good but it is one of the largest in the roundup and weighs more but these things weigh hardly anything to begin with, so it's not even really an issue. To include the information about the amount of free storage, you do pay for it terms of a thicker-sized pen drive.


ADATA's BC2 comes in sizes of 512MB to 2GB in USB 2.0 but there were no claimed read or write speeds to be found on the ADATA website.



The next pen drive from ADATA looks more like a pen drive cap rather than an actual pen drive. In fact, it is so small to begin with we didn't see the USB plug and we thought it WAS a cap for one of the pen drives.


The ADATA PDO uses a memory technology called COB (chip on board) which places the memory inside the USB plug itself. This type of technology is new to us and is quite cool, indeed. It is amazing to think that ADATA are able to squeeze anywhere from 512MB to 2GB of USB 2.0 storage space inside that USB plug. Keep in mind, the USB plug does get warm - even a little hot at times - but it does cool down quite quickly, since it is made of metal material. Also worth noting is that the USB plug seems a tiny bit bigger than a regular USB plug and for that reason, the ADATA PDO doesn't slip in and out of the USB ports as easily as regular pen drives do.


This COB technology allows for extremely small pen drives - the ADATA PDO only measures a mere 34.18*21.71*13mm (L*W*H), making it easily one of the smallest pen drives on the market. It also weighs an extremely light 9 grams - hardly anything! All these numbers pose an important question, though - with a pen drive which is so small and so light in weight, the chances of losing it must be high. Fortunately the drive has a hook on it which allows you to attach it to your key ring and because it is so small and light, it will make a great addition in that location for your portable storage needs.


A-Data Technology My Flash 512 MB USB Flash Drive (PD020512)


ADATA instantly receives the award for the smallest storage device we've ever seen but what about performance? We'll check it out soon enough.


- Corsair Flash Voyager



Corsair is another company much like OCZ (or maybe I should, OCZ is much like Corsair, to avoid annoying anyone). Corsair produces a range of high quality memory modules for gamers and overclockers and quite recently entered the power supply market.


Corsair has been in the flash game for sometime now and the pen drive we are taking a look at today is not a new product but still one of the most stylish-looking on the market.



Besides offering claimed read and write speeds of 33MB/s and 16MB/s respectively, the pen drive is one of the only on the market which claims to be water resistant. Yes, the Flash Voyager is protected by a rubber material which makes it water proof! We tested the theory by dropping it in a glass of water for a few minutes and then plugging it back into our testing computer. We had no doubts... the pen drive worked without any issues.


Like the Crucial Gizmo! pen drive, the Corsair pen drive also comes with its own security software to help unwanted people from accessing your portable data. The "True Crypt" security allows you to create a hidden and password-protected area on the pen drive, which is a nice addition.


Like many of the other pen drives in the roundup, included is a blue activity LED which lets you know what is happening. The blue color works very well with the overall color scheme of the pen drive and is definitely up there in looks with the pen drives from Crucial and OCZ.


Corsair Memory Flash Voyager 4 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (CMFUSB204GB)


Besides the impressive looks, included USB cable and lanyard, huge claimed read and write speed and water-proofness, the Flash Voyager is available in sizes of 512MB to a whooping 8GB in USB 2.0. You also get a staggering 10 year warranty - if you even know where the pen drive is in that amount of time, you deserve some type of medal.


- Silicon Power Touch 510



Last but not least is the Silicon Power Touch 510 pen drive. It comes from a company in Taiwan who is starting to make ground in the flash business and after claiming that their pen drive is one of the fastest on the market, we told them we would take a look at it.




The 510 pen drive is the biggest pen drive in this roundup in terms of size - while it is not as thick as the ADATA pen drive, it is a little longer.


The unique feature about the 510 is the USB plug spring function - the pen drive does not come with a lid, which saves you from losing the cap, which happens all too much. The feature works by pushing a button at the bottom of the drive and then the USB plug pops out. It works pretty well but sometimes a little bit of force is required - not a lot but it's not a matter of just touching the button, you need to physically push it fairly hard for it to open. This raises concerns about the life of such a mechanism.


To put the USB plug inside the drive, there are two buttons at the top of the pen drive on each size - squeeze these in and then push the plug inside. Again, some amount of force is required with these buttons but not that much that you'll need Super Man strength to do so.


Like most of the other pen drives in this roundup, the 510 comes with a blue LED which lights up the Silicon Power logo whenever the drive is being accessed. The 510 pen drive comes in size of 256MB to 4GB in USB 2.0 and claims read speeds of 13MB/s and write speeds of 4MB/s.


For a company which claimed to have one of the fastest pen drives on the market, these speeds are much lower than other companies in this roundup but we'll take a closer look soon in our testing.


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