Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reliable sturdy Kingston flash drive for $9.99

I still love flash drives.  There, I've said it.  Normally we use flash drives to move files from one computer to another, but our need for physical storage has decreased now that we let other companies store our data for us.  Two examples include (a) improved cloud storage often used for our documents (GoogleDocs and Dropbox) and (b) changes in the way we access our music collection (Amazon Cloud Player and Google Drive).  We now let other companies hold our "stuff" especially when we want to access that data using mobile devices like cell phones and tablets.

The flash drive is still very useful, though.  For those of us who still use computers at work or school, it's a great way to move or copy a large file (more than 1GB) from one computer to another.  I collected about 8GB of video from coworkers which I have to edit when I get home tonight, and transferring that amount of data over the Internet isn't convenient.  It goes beyond computers, though - home electronics can access data from flash drives as well.  I can store movies and songs on a flash drive and access them through my television, Blu Ray player, stereo and Xbox through a USB port.  Many new car stereos have that same ability.  Now you can store your entire music collection on one USB (be sure to back it up!) and take it with you from your house to your car to your office and back again.

The life expectancy of a flash drive is important.  If you don't trust the flash drive to last you simply won't use it.  I've dropped them, had the dog chew on them, and sent them through the washing machine.  Some flash drives can handle it, while others have broken simply by inserting them into the computer.  Flash drives with a plastic housing are not as reliable as ones with a metal exterior.  Flash drives with moving parts (i.e. the connector slides in and out of the shell) are not as reliable as ones that are built as one single unit.  Of course, the quality of the memory chip itself is very important.

So what is so amazing that I had to write three paragraphs before I even got to the point? It is the Kingston SE9 16GB flash drive that is currently selling for $9.99 on Amazon.  It's got a solid metal body which should prevent exterior physical damage.  It has single-unit construction with no moving parts which means there is less likelihood of something breaking. It's made by Kingston, which overall makes some of the best flash drives on the market year after year. I personally like Kingston best, but I have heard people say that Patriot or Corsair are very good, too.

The size of this flash drive is perfect.  It's small enough to fit on a key ring and it takes up very little room when plugged into your computer, stereo, or television, but it is large enough that it won't get lost.  The fact that it is perfectly straight (unlike ones that flare out near the end) means that it won't bump into other items plugged into your electronics.

And yes, this review is genuine. I actually own one of these myself, I was not given a sample product, and I did not receive compensation for writing this.  I wrote this because this is actually a really good product and there are very few products that I can stand behind.

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