iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Seven USB Flash Drives In Tests

From ATP, Corsair, PQI, Kingston and Silicon Power.

December 2, 2008

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ATP ToughDrive Camo

The company also offers traditional flash drives -- ToughDrive and ToughDrive Camo. These are capped models, 75 x 21 x 11 mm. The case seems to be made of rubber, but it's actually special synthetic polymer of high strength. These models differ only in colors -- ToughDrive is sole-colored, and ToughDrive Camo has camouflaged design. The manufacturer states that the product won't be damaged by water owing to the same high integration of electronics. Capacity of this product also varies from 1 GB to 8 GB (we again tested the most popular model -- 2 GB). There appeared mentions of this product's performance: for one, Windows ReadyBoost support, for two, the phrase that its data transfer rate may reach 30 MB/s. However, we all know the catch in the phrase "may reach" -- it may just as well fail to reach. It would be much more informative to publish minimal guaranteed performance instead of maximum speed. Alas, where nothing is, nothing can be had.

This flash drives comes with a poorer software bundle, but it's free -- painfully familiar (written three years ago) utility to partition a drive into open and password-protected parts. It cannot compete with Carry it Easy, out of doubt. So you should download the ATP version from the website. I couldn't help myself and conducted a little experiment -- I downloaded and ran the program without plugging the drive to a computer. The program failed to detect it and asked which USB device was ATP ToughDrive. I specified an external hard drive from Seagate (plugged to USB). Frankly speaking, I was ready for protests -- it's easy to detect the manufacturer of a USB device, and a terabyte flash drive is a bit too much.

However, the program did not refuse to run and offered all its functions to my disposal. Moreover, the program could use the entire capacity of the "false flash drive". OK, I though it might have to do with the trial mode, and when I opened the official website, I would be charged the full price without discounts. But no, the cost was still 14.95 EUR. Besides, I was offered to buy another utility from this company (Secure it Easy, to 'protect' your computer from copying files using USB sticks, etc) with a 33% discount: 13.37 EUR instead of 19.95.

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