- Review Price: £53.00
All USB memory keys are the same right? Well I certainly used to think so, until I was sent this latest Pen Drive from Jadetec.
I use my USB key every day to transport data between PCs in the office, or to take documents home that I need to work on there. I use a PQI Travelling Disk, mainly because it’s small enough to keep in my pocket at all times. Unfortunately my PQI memory key is only USB 1.1 compliant, but I can’t really say that it bothers me much, since it doesn’t seem to take a very long time to copy data to it.
Now, the Pen Drive is USB 2.0 compliant, so I fully expected it to be faster than my PQI key, but I was surprised by how much difference it made. Since both my PQI and the Pen Drive are 128MB models, I decided to copy around 100MB of data to each and see how long it took. I did two copies, one was a 100MB single Excel file, while the other comprised 105MB of mp3 files. Using my PQI memory key, the 100MB Excel file took one minute 50 seconds to copy across, while using the Pen Drive it only took 17 seconds. The results were just as impressive when copying the mp3 files, where my PQI module took two minutes 02 seconds to copy all the files, but the Pen Drive managed the same feat in just 25 seconds.
Reading from the Pen Drive was also very fast indeed. Copying the 100MB file from my PQI key took 52 seconds as opposed to 11 seconds on the Pen Drive. And with the 105MB of mp3 files the Pen Drive turned in a lightning fast time of 12 seconds compared to one minute 21 seconds on the PQI.
So there’s no denying that the Pen Drive is very fast, and I have to say that on those late evenings when I’m rushing home, being able to copy the data I need quickly would be a big help. But there is more to a USB memory key than just read and write speed.
The Pen Drive is not the smallest USB key you can buy. In fact by today’s standards it’s pretty large. It’s probably fair to say that it’s at least twice the size of my PQI device, and it doesn’t sit in my pocket as unobtrusively. The overall design looks a little dated as well, with the bulbous, silver casing reminiscent of a 1950’s Sci-Fi prop. Although, to be fair aesthetic value is always subjective and there may be many out there who like the styling.
Bundled in the box with the Pen Drive are two USB extension cables. One is just a standard cable to help you plug the device into hard to reach USB ports. But the other is a long cable with a small docking cradle. This is obviously meant to stay plugged into your primary PC, making it very easy to connect the Pen Drive. Also, the styling of the Pen Drive is far more pleasing when it’s sitting in the cradle. The cradle is especially useful if your PC is under your desk and you don’t have any top mounted USB ports. Finally there’s a neck strap so you can hang the Pen Drive around your neck and always have it handy. The strap has a clip at the end so that the Pen Drive can be removed from it without having to remove the strap from around your neck. That said, I’m not sure that I’d want to walk around with a USB memory key hanging around my neck.
I admit that the Pen Drive is very fast, and for those who feel that performance is paramount, the size and design issues may not be a problem. However with a price of £52.87 you are paying quite a high premium for that speed, especially when you consider that you can get 256MB USB 2.0 memory keys from other manufacturers for around the £35-£40 mark. Although, since this is the first USB 2.0 memory key I’ve tested, there’s no guarantee that those cheaper devices would be as fast.
The Pen Drive is a very fast USB 2.0 memory module, there’s no denying that. And even though I don’t like the design and find the unit too big, many may overlook these issues because of the excellent performance. However, the price is just too high, considering that you can buy competing products with twice the capacity for considerably less.
Score in detail