Over the next thirty days I will have only one thing on my mind; USB thumb drives. Thumb drives started out as small devices that were a little pricey, offered a small amount of storage and had very low transfer rates. Even with limited space and transfer rates that felt like we took a step back to 1.44 MB floppy disk days, people quickly adopted the technology based on their ease of use and convenience.
TweakTown is working on gathering as many USB thumb drives as possible for a massive round-up review that will put products from every major manufacturer in the ring with one another. Some drives stand out for their high transfer rates, while others have high capacity. Other drives use a very small enclosures; about the size of your thumbnail.
In the rush of products, we somehow received two Super Talent Pico-C 8GB drives. The Pico-C is the latest model in the Super Talent Pico Series and features a small metal enclosure and offers good transfer rates. Today I am going to take the new Pico-C and compare it against my daily use thumb drives that are starting to age. We'll see just how much the thumb drive has evolved over the last couple of years.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The specification image supplied by Super Talent did not list the physical size of the drive, but I can tell you it is very small, as you will see on the next page. A rough estimate is around 1-inch long and a half-inch wide. At less than 6 grams, it is possible to place the drive in your pocket and not even know it is there.
Super Talent is claiming a transfer rate of up to 200x (or 30 MB/s). This is very fast when compared to drives only a year old, and it can certainly hold its own against today's fastest thumb drives.
The Pico-C offers Hot Plug & Play compatibility, so you can plug the drive in at any time. In addition, as noted in the specification list, the Pico-C is water resistant. A depth range is not given, but general showers or the occasional run through the clothes washer should not harm the drive.
A quick search on Newegg revealed the 8 GB Pico-C to be available for 29.99 USD. A 4 and 2 GB version is also available for 15.99 and 9.99 respectively.
There isn't much to the packaging for the Pico-C, but it is very retailer friendly. From the front we see the drive and the only accessory; the chain that comes with the drive. The package states right on the front that it is compatible with both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 specs.
The back of the package lists some of the features in a paragraph.
The Super Talent Pico-C
The data side of the drive shows the USB connector. As you can see, the drive is very small and plugs directly into a USB plug without the typical surrounding metal piece that is found on many USB devices.
Looking at the drive from the side, we see just how thin the Pico-C really is.
The backside of the drive is all metal with a shiny chrome finish. Chrome is known to be very durable and resistant to tarnishing.
Here we see the Pico-C with the included chain installed. This would be perfect to attach to a set of keys or loop it through a zipper on a backpack like I did.
Benchmarks - Test System Setup and HD Tune Pro
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (Supplied by Intel)
Motherboard: MSI X38 Diamond (Supplied by MSI Computer)
Memory: 2x 1GB DDR2-1200 (Supplied by Winchip)
Graphics Card: ASUS HD 3870 TOP (Supplied by ASUS)
Cooling: GIGABYTE 3D Galaxy II (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Drivers: Intel INF 126.96.36.1999, ForceWare 163.21
To give the testing a little spice, I chose to include benchmarks from some of my daily use thumb drives. The Corsair Flash Voyager, Corsair Readout and OCZ Rally 2 all offered great performance at their times of launch.
HD Tune Pro
Version and / or Patch Used: 3.00
Developer Homepage: http://www.efdsoftware.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com/>
HD Tune is a Hard Disk utility which has the following functions:
- Benchmark: measures the performance
- Info: shows detailed information
- Health: checks the health status by using SMART
- Error Scan: scans the surface for errors
- Temperature display
HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write and access time results and for the last couple of years has been gaining popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.
The Super Talent Pico-C is able to best all of the other drives in all catagories other than Minimum Transfer Speeds. The drive drops a bit of speed every now and then, but even at its lowest point, only the OCZ Rally 2 is faster at Minimum Transfer Speeds.
When it comes to Access Times, the Pico-C leads the group, and by a large margin over the two Corsair drives. The OCZ Rally 2 comes very close, but the Pico-C is able to best it by 1 ms.
The Super Talent Pico-C is a great thumb drive that offers everything you could want in a portable storage device. With storage sizes up to 8 GB and a maximum cost of less than 30 U.S. Dollars, it is difficult to go wrong with this drive.
The size of the drive is its greatest strength. The term Pico describes the drive perfectly, coming in at about the size of your thumbnail. The included chain is perfect for attaching the drive to your keys or zipper on a jacket or backpack.
Transfer rates on the Pico-C show that it is faster than the previous generation thumb drives, even those that were considered the fastest around back in their day. In the coming weeks we will be taking several current thumb drives and testing them against each other in a massive roundup. At that time, we will see how well the Pico-C compares to other modern thumb drives.
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