Review: Transcend Jetflash 710 (32GB) USB flash drive

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.

But…

…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.

transcend_USB_front_packaging

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.

USB_easy_open_packaging

From the photo below, the Patriot XT towers over the Transcend. As a stand-alone drive, the Transcend would be very easy to lose.

Patriot_vs_Transcend

Thankfully, the JetFlash’s reinforced ring easily slips onto a keychain.

USB_size_comparison

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).

USB_plugged_in

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.

Conclusion

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.

-Krishna

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • mark
    October 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Sorry but my Transcend sliding drive 16 gig just died after a few years of very light service. Mo more Transcend for me. I had a Kingston USB Drive go, and my current one is flaky when inserted as if the contact it makes is poor. PNY 16 gig too, first the sliding cover, then the drive–I didn’t save the sales slip–a mistake since it was under a year. Doesn’t anyone test these under real world conditions for durability? Hard drives are warranted for five years–and I would be willing to pay for that warranty on a thumb drive.

    Again “durability” is an admirable word but what tests back this up?

    • Krishna
      October 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Sorry to hear about your experience with the Transcend, Mark. My Patriot drive has lasted two years and counting with moderate use. I’ll continue to test the Transcend Jetflash long term and follow up with additional details on this post.

  • Jeffsters
    October 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I would like to also recommend, if you are using a Mac, that you create a password protected encrypted disk image at a size slightly smaller than your drive size and place all documents within. That way, even if you lose your USB drive, your data is protected. I’m sure there are countless other ways on the Mac, and Windows, to accomplish the intent here…just food for thought. Drives are cheap…data, or the loss of it, can be expensive.

    • Krishna
      October 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Excellent point, Jeffsters. Thank you!