A durable thumb drive in a convenient form factor with decent speeds. Worth it when priced less than £30
Overall - 75%
USB thumb drive reviews don’t make for the most interesting of reads, or the longest of reviews but it is always good to know how well a drive will perform before you buy it, and if it is good value for money.
At the moment, on Amazon, you can buy the Toshiba TransMemory U363 for £32.54 for the 128GB model and £16.98 for the 64GB model (live prices below), and it has a rated read speed of 120MB/s making it a good mid-range option in terms of price and performance.
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The drive has a premium all-metal design with a keyring allowing you to easily keep it on you with your keys.
The 128GB model I have has been as low as £29 on Amazon and this is the price you should aim to pay as other competing models are under £30. It is worth noting that the Toshiba TransMemory options have some of the best reviews on Amazon for this sort of memory, with 3,644 reviews and 73% of these with a 5-star review giving it 4.4 on average. So this may cost a couple of pounds more, but it looks like you are buying a superior product than other brands.
This drive has a rated read speed of 120MB/s with no indication of write speeds. Testing this on CrystalDiskMark reveals it is closer to 100MB/s for reads and around 18MB/s for write. As with all storage drives, once small file transfers are done the speed drops off considerably, in particular, small writes are painfully slow. This is standard though, and the faster TransMemory U365 had a similar drop-off.
Using ATTO Disk Benchmarks reveals mostly the same. This application allows us to look at disk read and write speeds across a range of block sizes. With this, we can see the transfer rate starts to peak at around the 32KB size for reads and over 256kb for writing.
In terms of real-world usage, you get similar performance as the above. Copying a 4GB movie file over had windows display a peak rate of about 18MB/s with some variation of a few MB as it transfers. Reading was much faster with a peak of around 100MB/s
This isn’t sold as a high-performance drive, nor is it priced as one. It is always convenient to have a USB drive on your, and the metal keyring design of this facilitates that.
The TransMemory U365 is a better performing drive for around the same price, but it is not quite as key ring friendly, and availability is only via eBay stores so it could be that it is now end of life.
Overall though, this does the job you want it to and comes in an attractive and durable form factor that is easy to keep on you.