Late last year I reviewed two of Kingston’s DataTraveler USB flash drives. The Mini Fun and Mini-Migo. Today I’m back to tell you about three more of their DataTraveler drives: the 110, 400 and Style. Let’s find out if you might want to add one of them to your keychain or gear bag…
All three of these flash drives are available in capacities ranging from 1GB – 8GB (The DataTraveler 400 starts out at 2GB) and come with a 5 year warranty.
USB drives tend to be extremely simple devices that do not require instructions for operation. For this review, I tested each drive with my 24″ iMac and 15″ Macbook Pro. Here are the specific details about each one…
Kingston DataTraveler 110
This drive is available in capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8GBs. According to the Kingston website, each capacity is designated by a different body shell color: 1GB (purple), 2GB (blue), 4GB (red) and 8GB (green). However, the one I was sent to review is Black and 4GB, so your mileage may vary. The 110 is a plastic bodied drive with a footprint of 2.142″ x 0.836″ x 0.512″ (54.41mm x 21.24mm x 13.00mm). It’s a little chunky, but very light weight (0.48 oz / 12g), which makes it feel a little cheap in hand.
It might be difficult to see in these images, but the outer shell of the drive is Black plastic and the inset is a see-thru Red plastic.
At one end is an attachment point for a lanyard or keychain.
As you will notice, there isn’t a cap to lose with this drive. Instead there is a nice strong slider mechanism that clicks in place when you slide it up to reveal the USB connector. The slider is strong enough that when the connector is extruded, it will not accidently slide back into the case when you try to insert the flash drive into a USB port.
The 110 is the most basic of the three drives I’m showing you in this review. What you see is what you get. I had no problems copying files back and forth on my iMac or MBP with this drive. The only issue that I did run into was that the drive was not recognized when I plugged it in the Kensington USB hub connected to my iMac. It worked fine when connected into a USB port on my keyboard and also the port on the MBP. Also, the status LED did not blink when connected to the port on the keyboard. All in all though, the 110 is a nice inexpensive USB 2.0 flash drive that anyone would find handy to have in their gear bag or pocket.
Price: $10.00 (1GB), $17.00 (2GB), $29.00 (4GB), $62.00 (8GB) – These prices are from Kingston. It is possible to find better deals elsewhere.
Kingston DataTraveler 400
Available in capacities of 2, 4 and 8GB, the DataTraveler 400 has a 2.57â€ x 0.71â€ x 0.41â€ (65.4mm x 18.0mm x 10.4mm) footprint.
It also has a capless design, which I appreciate. The USB stick portion of the device is slightly rubbery textured Black plastic, while the cover is a Grey aluminum.
The cover swivels around the center axis point of the stick, making it very easy to expose the USB connector when needed.
This cover is sufficiently tight to keep it from swinging freely. Two tiny star head screws hold the cover in place. I suppose if the cover would become loose with time, that it would be possible to tighten it if you have a matching tool. A small slit in the cover allows you to see the Blue status LED when the drive is in use.
The end of the cover has an attachment point for the included thin cord (more like thick thread – see image in the Style review below) lanyard.
The DataTraveler 400 is a step up from the 110 in three ways. The most obvious difference is the physical design. The 400 feels considerably more robust than the 110. The second reason is that the 400 comes with the MigoSync and SecureTraveler software preloaded on it (uses 24mb of space). MigoSync is basically a Windows application that allows you to sync your Documents and Settings, Desktop files, Email from Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird, and your bookmarks from Internet Explorer or Firefox to the flash drive. That way you can take your settings, emails and bookmarks with you where you go. When you plug the drive into another Windows computer, it will transform it into your computer with the settings saved on the drive. SecureTraveler allows you to create and access a password protected secure area, called a â€œPrivacy Zoneâ€ on your 400. Lastly, the 400 has data transfer rates of up to 20MB/sec. read and 10MB/sec. write.
Of course I had to do a quick speed comparison test between the 400 and 110 drives…
File used: a 57.5mb compressed file.
Copying file from Macbook Pro to the DataTraveler 400 took 5 seconds
Copying file from DataTraveler 400 to the Macbook Pro took 3 seconds
Copying file from Macbook Pro to the DataTraveler 110 took 6 seconds
Copying file from DataTraveler 110 to the Macbook Pro took 4 seconds
File used: a 247mb folder of 125 .jpg images.
Copying file from Macbook Pro to the DataTraveler 400 took 2 minutes 33 seconds
Copying file from DataTraveler 400 to the Macbook Pro took 31 seconds
Copying file from Macbook Pro to the DataTraveler 110 took 28 seconds
Copying file from DataTraveler 110 to the Macbook Pro took 16 seconds
Wow, look at that! The 400, which touts fast read/write speeds is slower than the cheaper 110 when it comes to copying more data. Go figure… I thought something must be wrong, so I did the test again and came up with the same results. As such, if I were trying to choose between the Kingston DataTraveler 110 and 400 drives, I would definitely choose the less expensive and faster 110.
Price: $31.00 (2GB), $56.00 (4GB), $137.00 (8GB) – These prices are from Kingston. It is possible to find better deals elsewhere.
Kingston DataTraveler Style
Available in capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8GB, the DataTraveler Style has a 2.35″ x 0.88″ x 0.37″ (59.7mm x 22.3mm x 9.5mm) footprint.
This is yet another capless USB flash drive. So you won’t have to worry about misplacing the cap. :o) It has a Black plastic shell and a locking slider switch is located on the side of the drive to expose and store the USB connector.
A lanyard connection point is located on the end of the drive.
You’ve no doubt heard of “skinning”, when it comes to customizing gadgets. You can skin the display of your phone, PDA and computer. You can skin an iPod or other audio player with special stickers. And now you can skin your USB flash drive.
The DataTraveler Style has a plastic window that can be removed to in order to switch out small graphical card inserts. The drive comes with eight cards. Six are printed with various designs, and two are blank so that you can draw on them yourself. You can even go to the Kingston site for more images and the ability to create your own. I wanted to use the website to create a card with the gadgeteer logo. Unfortunately, no matter how many times that I tried, my uploaded image never successfully transferred. It’s either a compatibility problem with Mac browsers, or it just doesn’t work yet.
Anyway, I think that having a way to make your USB flash drive unique is a cool idea.
After testing the DT400, I was curious about the speed of the Style. Test below:
File used: a 247mb folder of 125 .jpg images.
Copying file from Macbook Pro to the DataTraveler Style took 43 seconds
Copying file from DataTraveler Style to the Macbook Pro took 27 seconds
Not bad… Out of the three DataTraveler USB flash drives that I’ve reviewed here, I would have to say that the Style is my favorite. It’s slim, fast, has a retractable connector and can be customized.
Price: $9.00 (1GB), $16.50 (2GB), $28.00 (4GB), $85.00 (8GB) – These prices are from Amazon.