As an instructor who teaches design courses, I rely heavily on USB drives for my day to day work. While cloud services like Dropbox and Copy are excellent for retrieving Powerpoint slides, documents, and images, I still find myself depending on USB drives to shuttle large files between home and the classroom.
Two years ago, I wrote about my experience with the Patriot XT 16GB USB Flash Drive. I marveled at its durability, speed and capacity. In the two years I’ve used it, the only problem with the unit itself is the flimsy lanyard attachment.
The Patriot is a great USB drive and should fit most people’s needs very well.
…the chief problem I have with the Patriot has more to do with myself and my absent-mindedness than any flaws with the drive itself. Forgetting to take the Patriot XT was very easy when it was plugged into the back of an iMac. Or when it was plugged into a desktop PC that sits at floor level. Over the course of two years, I’ve misplaced the Patriot XT drive a total of 8 times. On average, I’d “lose” the drive once a quarter. It became enough of a problem that a few months ago, I wrote an If-This-Then-That rule to send me a text message reminder that would trigger every time I left campus.
I’ve been very fortunate in getting the drive back each and every time I lost it. But in the back of my mind, there was always that chance I wouldn’t be so lucky the next time around. I began to mull the idea of purchasing a keychain-based thumb drive. And then I forgot about it…
The tipping point occurred last Monday. Once again, I forgot to take my drive from the classroom. And, oddly, my IFTTT rule didn’t trigger. Thankfully, an honest soul returned my drive the next day.
I needed a keychain-based USB drive.
After doing the usual research and due diligence, I purchased the Transcend JetFlash 710 32GB USB drive (retail: $19.99).
To be sure, the Transcend JetFlash is a tiny drive. Measuring only 0.9 x 0.5 x 0.2 inches and weighing a mere 3 ounces. Were it not for the packaging, it could be easy to miss.
And speaking of packaging, kudos to Transcend for the perforated opening. This is the first time I have not had to use a pair of scissors or knife to open a USB drive, and I think more manufacturers should follow suit.
From the photo below, the Patriot XT towers over the Transcend. As a stand-alone drive, the Transcend would be very easy to lose.
Thankfully, the JetFlash’s reinforced ring easily slips onto a keychain.
Thanks to its small footprint, the JetFlash barely protrudes when plugged into a USB port. That means you can plug the drive in (with keys attached) without the risk of bending it. Also, it won’t bend or pop off if you accidentally bump the drive (as can sometimes happen when machines are at floor level in a classroom setting).
The drive is formatted such that it can work with both Mac and PC devices.
When connected to a USB3 port on my Retina Macbook Pro, the JetFlash took 53.69 seconds to copy a folder’s worth of Quicktime files, while the Patriot XT took 1 minute and 12 seconds. Not too shabby. The JetFlash promotional material states that the drive is waterproof, but I haven’t subjected this claim to the test.
Unless I forget my key chain, I’m pretty confident that I won’t easily lose the Transcend JetFlash drive. If I had a quibble it would be that I wish the keyhole was just a smidge larger. Time will tell how durable the drive is, and I’ll be sure to update my findings on this post. With the JetFlash, not only do I get double the storage in a more physically secured form factor, I also get peace of mind. And that’s $20 well spent.
The Transcend Jetflash 710 32GB model earns 4.5 out of 5 Bob Weiners.