The Bottom Line
The flash drive market has calmed since its hay day a few years back, but some vendors are still releasing high capacity options, taking full advantage of low-cost flash. Samsung is highly regarded as one of the top players in the NAND flash market and as such offers some of the best solutions at the lowest cost. Today, we look at the Bar Plus, the latest flash drive from Samsung.
The Bar Plus is a multi-capacity flash solution from Samsung that aims to offer top-tier performance in a small form factor package. Capacity options include 32,64,128 and 256GB all housed in a single piece all metal design with subtle branding and capacity notes printed on the device. Samsung has included in the design, a loop for those that want to attach the drive to a lanyard or similar. Marketing specifications call for read speeds up to 300 MB/s with no mention of write performance. This drive is backed by a five-year warranty and carries a $59.99 MSRP for the 256GB capacity under testing.
Packaging is perfect for store shelves with branding and capacity in large print with the addition of the drives performance being printed front and center.
The back goes into detail about what this capacity can hold via pictures, video, and songs. While the above we have a list of situations this drive is designed for including; water, shock, magnet, temperature, and x-ray.
The casing for the drive is a single piece design as mentioned previously. Branding can be found on the front along with the loop for connecting your lanyard etc.
The back or bottom lists the capacity and interface.
We have the end color blue to denote USB 3.1 connectivity.
The Samsung Bar is formatted in the exFAT file system, the usable capacity of the 256GB model sits at 239GB.
Testing performance in Windows 10, we have 273 MB/s read, and 59 MB/s write.
Moving over to macOS, we have 287 MB/s read, and 61 MB/s write.
It's been quite a while since we have had a flash drive come through. That said I've always been a fan of the small form factor high capacity designs as the single piece enclosure lends to fewer mechanical features like sliders breaking down or caps being lost over time along with enabling security features like waterproofing.
Samsung did a great job in both the design and build quality of the Bar Plus and adding to this is the tremendous read performance. In my testing I've seen this drive get up to 290 MB/s read which is among the highest I have seen. Write performance, however was a bit low, 60 MB/s will certainly have consumers waiting to transfer files, not so much for small pictures or documents but more so for video and similar.
All that said, the Samsung Bar Plus is very competitive. At $59.99 for the 256GB solution, we have a drive that sits just under the $0.25 per GB mark backed by a 5-year warranty.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z370 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: Intel Core i3 8350K (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB 4x8GB DDR4 3200 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H115i (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Air 540 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
- Wi-Fi NIC: ASUS PCE-AC88 (buy from Amazon)
- 10Gbe NIC: ASUS XG-C100C (buy from Amazon)
- Thunderbolt 3: ASUS Thunderbolt EX3 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line: A fantastic drive offering incredible read performance without breaking the bank.
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