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  Verbatim Store n Go USB 2.0 Memory Drive
 
 

Consumer level floppy drives have been around since the PC entered homes. They started out as 5 1/4" monsters, but eventually moved to the 3 1/2" format that are still around today. For years, people have tried to replace the old (but reliable) floppy drive. Of all the alternatives, only two showed promise - Iomega's Zip drive and the LS-120 Superdrive. It seemed like the Superdrive had all the tools to replace the floppy, but it never caught on. The Zip drive, on the otherhand, almost became heir apparent to the throne...until the Flash drive burst on the scene.

Features

The packaging for the Store 'n Go states no drivers are needed for systems running ME, 2000, XP, Mac OS 8.6 or higher, and LINUX 2.4.0 or higher. Drivers are provided on a CD for systems running 98 or 98SE. This tiny, red device worked with Windows XP right out of the box. I just plugged it in and started transferring files.

Verbatim Stor n Go 32MB Flash Drive

The software included with the drive is what impressed me the most. Despite its "almost English" menus and dialogues, it was easy to use and very cool. An example of the not quite English would be an error message I received while trying to install the software: "In Windows XP, device must plug in USB port and reinstall to ensure driver install indeed."

The Verbatim software allows you to securely lock your device with a password. You can specify how much space you want allocated to the secure area and how much you want for the public area. When you turn the lock on, the secure area is inaccessible except by entering the password. Also, when the lock is on, the software puts an install file into the public area. This file will allow the unlocking software to be installed on another computer. This gives you the freedom to lock the drive on one computer and unlock it on another without carrying around the CD.

Verbatim offers the Store ‚??n Go in six different capacity sizes: 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB.

Performance

In order to get a more accurate picture of the drive's performance, the Store 'n Go 256MB was compared to other USB 2.0 drives, a 32MB Verbatim Stor 'n Go drive and a Lexar Media 256MB JumpDrive USB Pro.

Verbatim and Lexar's drives

For testing purposes, SiSoft's Sandra 2004 and Telsa's HD Tach were used.

2MB Files Test by Sandra
Drive

Read

Write

Delete

Combined

Verbatim 32MB

8636 kb/sec

922 kb/sec

991 ops/min

73 ops/min

Verbatim 256MB

7748 kb/sec

1399 kb/sec

779 ops/min

100 ops/min

JumpDrive 256MB

5837 kb/sec

1502 kb/sec

1041 ops/min

96 ops/min

The 256MB Verbatim drive was considerably faster than the Lexar drive in Read performance, but lagged a bit in the Write test. It also trailed the Lexar drive in the Delete test. However, the Verbatim drive led the pack when it came to the combined score.

HD Tach
Drive
Random Access Time
Read Burst Speed
Average Read Speed
Verbatim 32MB
0.5ms
9.0 MB/s
9.0MB/s
Verbatim 256MB
0.7ms
8.0 MB/s
8.0MB/s
JumpDrive 256MB
0.8ms
5.9 MB/s
5.9 MB/s

Again, in the Read tests, the Verbatim drive was significantly faster than the Lexar drive. However, both of the previous benchmarks used relatively small file sizes. To counter-balance those tests, a real world test utilizing a 30MB file was used.

Large File Transfer (30MB)
Drive
Time (in seconds)
Verbatim 32MB
17
Verbatim 256MB
4.5
JumpDrive 256MB
6

Analysis

In the synthetic tests, the Verbatim and Lexar drives traded punches and appeared to be a toss up. However, the 256MB Verbatim drive was noticeably faster when transferring large files compared to the Lexar JumpDrive 2.0 Pro. The Verbatim 256MB drive's performance (4.5 sec) in large file transfers easily eclipsed the Lexar (6 sec) and the 32MB drive (17sec). For perspective, an USB 1.1 flash drive performed the same transfer in 30 sec. As the tests using HD Tach revealed, the Verbatim drive's read rate is approximately 8.0 MB/s while the Lexar‚??s was only 5.9 MB/s.

One more item to consider - the attachment for the included lanyard is on the drive‚??s cap. This may not seem like a good idea. After all, it could fall off while you‚??ve got it around your neck or something. But I liked it because it allowed me to take the drive off the lanyard to plug it into the computer as opposed to having the lanyard hanging down in front of the computer and getting tangled with other wires, etc.

Conclusions

I was very impressed with the Verbatim 256MB USB Drive. With fast transfer rates, very small size and easy to use security software, this drive got my attention. If asked, I would never have guessed there could be so many differences between different USB drives. Verbatim did a nice job showing me what a good USB drive needs to offer. I wouldn‚??t hesitate to purchase one for myself and I would recommend it to anyone. And the flashy red light just made it look cool.

Pros

Small size, fast transfer rate, cool red light, lanyard connects to lid, security software.

Cons

Lanyard connects to lid, not-quite-English software.

For a list of retailers carrying the Verbatim 256MB Store 'n Go Flash Drive and to check on the best prices, click here.

 
      Posted by: , January 4, 2004, 6:00 pm  

 
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