Today we’re going to take a look at another USB thumb drive, the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100. Thumb drives are becoming more affordable these days. It is also easy to catch a good deal on 8GB drives where you can purchase one in the $20-30 range. But should you spend your money on this drive or save your money for a larger drive instead?
Review Continued Below…
A quick look at the specs reveals that the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 weighs in at a mere 12 grams and is slightly over two inches long or 60mm. It is quite small and comfortable to carry around in your pocket. One nice feature I like about these newer thumb drive sticks is that it has a retractable USB connector, no more caps to loose. There is also a bar that can provide a lanyard hook-up or a very narrow keychain connection. It will work with all of the major operating systems, Windows, including Vista, Mac and Linux.
How well does the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 perform? In typical IT parlance, “It Depends”. This drive is not Vista ReadyBoost capable so this reduces its speed to the standard USB 2.0 under that OS. Another speed affecting factor is file size. With 8GB available there is a temptation to stuff it full of huge files, like a ripped DVD copy. However, the default formatting of the drive is the cross platform compatible FAT32 which has just so-so performance, especially on larger files, plus it can’t handle a file larger than 2GB. You can reformat it to use Windows NTFS which will allow larger files and may boost performance slightly on larger files but this eliminates cross platform capability.
One good thing about the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 is that it doesn’t come with useless ‘bonus’ software that you need to clean off the drive. This trend is becoming an annoyance and it’s good to see that Kingston isn’t doing this.
All in all, the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 seems to be a good, solid, basic USB thumb drive. My only significant caveat to would be buyers it to understand a little about the how the file system used can affect performance.
Update: See my review of the Kingston 16GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler Thumbdrive.