PNY v165w, 8GB 8GB USB 2.0 Blue USB flash drive - USB flash drives (8GB, USB 2.0, Cap, Blue, USB Type-A, Blister)
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The unit is encased in a blue plastic outer shell, with a removable matching blue plastic cap to protect the USB connector of the flash drive. The cap is a tight fit and stays in place relatively well even when I carry this bare in my pocket. It has NO indicator light to indicate whether or not data transfer is occuring, which can be a down-side for those who want or need it. The butt end has loop with a tether-and-clasp to hook onto a lanyard, keychain, etc. (Note: This does not come with a lanyard). The drive came empty, and is pre-formatted FAT32. Because of its large capacity (32GB) and small form-factor, I bring it with me every day.
It is not my fastest in terms of read/write, but it will be one of my secondary backup drives (I typically carry three copies of my work, all on different devices). I posted some benchmark values, as well as tests of speed using real files.
Using Flash Memory Tookit v2.0, the average read was relatively fast at 18.2 MB/s, with a range of 17.5 -18.6 MB/s (for 1MB and 5MB files, respectively), and average write at 12.45 MB/s was surprisingly fast, with a range of 7.7 -15.5 MB/s (for 1MB and 5MB files, respectively). How does this compare to other flash drives? With a Patriot Xporter XT Boost I get 23 MB/s read and 17 MB/s write, and a Transcend 16 GB JetFlash 500 I get about 22 MB/s read and 14 MB/s write. So it's up there with some of the faster USB flash drives in benchmark performance.
TRANSFER OF REAL FILES:
I wanted to see how this drive faired with real files. This is truly how to test a USB flash drive. I transferred a folder containing files and folders of varying sizes from (several kb) up to 400MB (psd). Posted values are averages of three independent runs.
TEST 1: Several video files (Total 1.7 GB). This is to simulate transferring large files (500 MB and larger) similar to transferring those found for iPods and personal videos for YouTube. To copy onto the flash drive (write), it took 3 minutes (write speed of 10 MB/s), and to copy from the flash drive (read), it took about 100 seconds (read speed of 18.8 MB/s). These numbers are surprisingly faster than many of the other drives out there, but not the fastest.
TEST 2: Several video files (Total ~230 MB). This is to simulate transferring small to medium files (10-50 MB) similar to transferring small video files. To copy onto the flash drive (write), it took 23 seconds (write speed of 9.1 MB/s), and to copy from the flash drive (read), it took about 9 seconds (read speed of 17.8 MB/s).
TEST 3: A folder containing one of my projects. This is what I would be using this flash drive for, and is as close to real-world testing as you can get. The folder is about 475 MB large, with over 700 files of various sizes. It took about 100 seconds to copy this folder onto the flash drive, at an average rate of 4.8 MB/s write speed. This is on par with some of my faster USB flash drives. It took 22 seconds to copy this folder from the flash drive onto my desktop (21 MB/s read speed). This is interesting in that the read of the various sizes was faster than the read of large files.
Overall, the HP v165w (32GB) flash drive is fast for reading AND ultraportable, but is average in the writing function. However, for the price (about 22 dollars) and for its small form-factor, it is a great deal. I have this drive hooked onto my keychain and I use it as a backup of my main USB flash drive.
This drive will be good for transporting video files to watch on your laptop or other systems that can read USB devices (like the Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link). If you need to copy large amounts and sizes of files everyday, I would recommend other devices. For nearly the same cost (or a little more), there are other faster drives, like the Patriot XT or Patriot XPorter, both of which are spectacularly fast for the price.
Minus half-star for the lack of an indicator light, with a final rating of 4.5 stars out of five (but rounded down to 4 stars since it is not perfect).
I recommend this drive.
UPDATE 2012-05-21: I formatted the drive, and copied a working folder onto it (27 GB total size of various file sizes). It took 1h 45m to copy onto the drive, which translates to about 4.2 MB/s. This is about the speed I expected for transferring this folder onto a flash drive, so it is good to know that this HP v165w drive performs just as well as my faster flash drives when doing a fresh transfer.
UPDATE #2 2012-05-24: I may have found one possible cause of the "loose cap" reported by reviewers. I have never had a problem with a loose cap... until this morning. I have always put on the cap a particular way (there are only two ways this cap will go on). I just put on the cap the "wrong" way this morning, and it came off very easily. I switched it around, and it is a tight fit and stays put.
This thing is tiny, and the plastic is nice and rigid so it is durable when assembled.
Data transfer speeds are very fast. This is the fastest USB drive I have owned yet. And it is hard to beat the price tag for a 32 gig drive.
It is recognized very quickly by the computer so you don't have to wait a couple minutes to use your drive.
Despite the coming apart, I would still buy another one of these drives and would recommend it to others.
Moral of the story, don't buy the cheapest one, even if it is an HP brand.
Warning, I would not trust the small plastic hook or the tiny strap. I broke off the plactic clip by dropping and stepping on it and like I said, one had the plastic thumb part come of either of these could cause you to lose the unit and your data if you had this unit hanging off of your key chain. The blue removable cover will get loose over time so you have to be careful not to lose it. I have not lost mine.
Overall it works very well, I removed 1 star because the cover gets lose, the plastic thumb part can come off, the plastic ring can break. HP should have put a hole in the metal instead of the plastic and hooked the strap to that, that way the case and the strap would not come off and hold the plastic to the metal if the unit becomes unglued, that would be a better design. The price just dropped and it is even less than when I bought one. I will be buying another.
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