Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 Review

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.


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Comment by trade show booths
2008-08-14 18:53:55

hi Frank,
As I commented on an earlier article of yours on a smaller capacity USB drive, I just purchased a 4GB Kingston USB thumbdrive and it ROCKS! The only consideration I would make is that it doesn’t work on my computer’s USB front port (I have an older computer with USB1 connections). I added a USB2 card in the back and it works fine on that, it just means getting around to the back. It works great on my newer laptop. This drive has a removable cap instead of the one you describe. Anyway, you make good points in your article and I highly recommend these drives.
~ Steve (aka Mr Trade Show Booths)

Comment by Luxury Paris Hotels
2008-08-15 00:14:55

I love USB drives: remember 51/4″ disks - ok so I am old! The new large capapcity USB drives like the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100 are just perfect for taking home photos and videos without havign to bother with disks - I may just go and buy myself a large capacity USB dirve like the Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100

2008-08-16 22:58:53

This product was sounding good until I read that it can’t handle a file larger than 2GB. Still, even with that limitation, the total memory available and the price tag make it a temptation to try.

Comment by trade show booths
2008-08-17 09:26:53

hi Frank,
I was thinking about this post yesterday…
I unplugged my 4gb Kingston usb drive from the back of my computer where it had been for a week or two to be able to plug in a portable hard drive. Now I’m wondering where I put the cap! (if you saw the top of my desk you’d understand). I didn’t stick the cap on the other end like I should have. Anyway, the retractable cap seems like a good idea…
~ Steve, purveyor of portable trade show booths and apparent loser of usb drive caps

Comment by DoesWhat
2008-08-24 18:15:21

Don’t mean to be pedantic, but I think the maximum file size of FAT32 is 4GB (1 byte less than 4GB to be stupidly pedantic).

@Cheap Bike Trailers Online
All USB thumb drives come formatted with either FAT or FAT32 so the file size limitation isn’t limited to this device only.

Comment by free ringback tones
2008-09-10 18:14:07

Wonder when the technology is going to advance even more? Pretty insane that they’re up to 8 gigs on something literally the size of a pinky finger.

Comment by sohan
2009-03-23 06:15:41

i purchased a Kingston 8GB USB 2.0 Data Traveler 100.
but it shows total capacity(memory); even after formatting as only 7.44GB.
is this less than normal?
please reply.

Comment by jfc
2009-03-23 07:07:50

Hi Sohan,

This is how the FAT32 file system works, some space gets wasted in overhead. As I mentioned in the article you can improve performance by reformatting to the NTFS file system although you lose cross-platform capabilities.

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