Hot on the heels of CES, Kingston delivers the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 3 (G3 for short) Flash Drive, which contains quite a few features. For starters, it's Windows 8 compatible, of course, and for those of you still on XP you won't be left out in the cold. It's USB 3.0/2.0 compatible and comes with a 5 year warranty, and free technical support. On the outside it has a brushed aluminum finish with white on the exterior of the connector giving it a tough look, and the expected "Hey look at me, I support USB 3" blue interior of the connector. It has a safe storage temp range of -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C), in other words, if you accidentally leave it in the car during winter or attached to a crazy hot computer, it will survive. I don't ever recommend leaving things out in the sun though, ever! Heck, I know some people that don't belong out there. I did some online pricing and the 32 GB goes for about $62.00 and the 64 GB is about $119.00 as of Jan 2013.
- In the box:
- 1 Data Traveler Ultimate 3.0
- 1 key ring tie
- 1 Set warranty in 3 languages
The show Mythbusters has ruined me and I ended up doing my own version of the show when conducting my testing of the G3, from chucking it across the room to dropping it from the third floor onto frozen grass. Crazy! For computer testing I used a PC equipped with windows 8 and USB 3.0 slots and a garbage MSI netbook from 2005. I'm content with the result and yes I'm sure half the things I did with it will void warranty. The MSI did a transfer of 21 GB onto the drive in 16 min, while the Desktop did it in about 4 min. Finally I used benchmarking software "HD Tune" to see where the drive was actually at; on an official 3.0 Bench Mark the G3 exceeded the advertised write speeds by 5 Mbps and read speeds by 1 Mbps.
It's sturdy! I didn't think it would hold up to my torture tests, but it did. Kingston said it would and they certainly delivered! I even tied a rope to it and hit people with it… kidding, maybe. In case this occurs to you, tying a rope and swinging it around like a morning-star does exceed the function of the USB drive, but will in fact make you feel pretty cool. For home use, it comes in handy to store/backup the countless Megapixels of photos and HD Videos. Hell if you want and your machine can handle it, you could store Warcraft and/or Diablo 3 and take it with you on the go, even running it off the USB stick, and it works perfect. For work use, it's fast enough to get you all the data you need quickly. With 100+ MB/s read speed you can do your presentation right from the drive. For those of you in the espionage business the 70+ MB/s write speed will have you finished and out the door before anyone can notice you were even there. The DataTraveler G3 has a rugged brushed aluminum casing that tells you it means business. It passed my personal back pocket test, where I sat on it about 15 times throughout my work day. I was worried if the casing slipped back, the USB port would bend but so far so good.
I couldn't figure out what the white recessed button did and I looked everywhere for an answer! I thought It would reset the USB drive which would be cool but it didn't. Also, it looks so bad-ass I expected it to be encrypted; I sat there waiting for the Kingston log on to load but I guess that was wishful thinking on my part. The G3 is a bit of a space hog; I have two USB ports side by side, and it will take up the USB port it's using plus half of the next one. If you don't have the room, I would recommend getting an extension but that will probably hinder performance of the drive. Also, the opening motion to close it, meaning hiding the USB connector, and pushing it closed to extend the USB connector felt counter intuitive to me, but maybe that's just me.
In the end what does all this mean to you? It means when you own the DataTraveler 3.0 G3, you'll spend more time doing the things you need to do when backing up and less time screaming at the progress bar! The G3 comes in 32 or 64GB flavors and if that isn't enough, then stay tuned because Kingston is working on a 1TB flash drive (not even joking!) and I can't wait for it to be released. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 Flash Drive 4.5 stars.