USB flash drives, can anyone imagine life without one? These devices are so intertwined with modern computing that terms like ‘ubiquitous’ do not even begin to describe the market penetration this class of device has. Honestly over the years we have owned dozens if not hundreds of these nifty little storage devices. However with so many models, capacities and options to choose from it is rather hard for a particular model to stand out from the crowd. The Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3C on the other hand, actually does just that – so much so we requested a sample to review. After all it is not exactly every day that you see a USB flash drive built with such different design goals. No matter what you consider as standard features, this model breaks the mold.
First and foremost this drive is a USB 3.1 equipped storage device and not a USB 3.0 model. With the advent of USB 3.1 it was inevitable that USB 3.1 flash drives would soon start appearing. What was not expected was that ultra-portable flash drives would lead the charge. After all, a flash drive that is not much bigger than a quarter does not sound like a great match for cutting edge 10gb/s performance that USB 3.1 has to offer. That however is exactly what the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3C is: a USB 3.1 flash drive that is so small it comes with a lanyard so you will not lose it!This however is only the tip of the iceberg with this model and what makes the Kingston Duo series really interesting and attention getting is the fact that this USB drive is not only small, but extremely versatile. In this case it means offering not only USB 3.1 Type-C port for portable devices, but also a more standard Type-A port. This combination allows this device to work with everything from USB 2.0 equipped laptops to cutting edge USB 3.1 devices and everything in between.
However, since this device is so small its internal capacity is also very limited. Specifically this device only has room for one NAND IC and one USB 3.1 controller – and maybe room for a small amount of RAM cache. As we all know it is NAND interleaving that makes solid state drives fast and as such, it will be interesting to see exactly how fast this USB 3.1 model really is.
What is known is that this drive offers scads of value as this new model only has an online asking price of $15 USD – or 47 cents per GB. It is this combination of price, versatility, and value that Kingston is counting on to make the new microDuo 3C a worthy addition to their legendary DataTraveler series.