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Recently, Sony announced that they were killing the 3.5-inch floppy disk. Which is fine, as far as we’re concerned. Macs haven’t used floppy disks in well over a decade, and with the internet, who needs ’em? But sometimes you just need to move files from point A to point B with a minimum of fuss, which is where the USB flash drive comes in. Plug it into your Mac, copy some files, plug it into another Mac--boom! File transfer done. While we usually use flash drives to move images, Word docs, and maybe a few ripped MP3s between machines, Kingston’s new Data Traveler 310 is made to carry a lot more--256 gigabytes, to be exact.
As a flash drive, the Data Traveler 310 works exactly as it should. It mounted on several test Macs without any problems, and we used it to move large files back and forth between multiple machines. Transfer speeds were quick, averaging slightly above Kingston’s reported 25MB/s read and 12MB/s write speeds in our tests. Kingston ships the drive with Password Traveler, which can create a password-protected volume on the drive--but of course the application is Windows-only. Ultimately that doesn’t matter much, because Mac users can create their own encrypted volume on the drive with Disk Utility.
So who would use this thing? Most likely professionals who need to transport large, graphics-intensive files. But we can’t help choking on the price--$1,100 is a lot of money to pay for a flash drive, especially when a MacBook with similar storage capacity can be had for under a thousand dollars. And the MacBook comes with a screen, keyboard--and don’t forget, it’s an actual computer. Portable external hard drives are physically larger than this USB stick of course, but are available in larger capacities for under $100.
Follow this article's author, Ray Aguilera, on Twitter.
It’s cool in a “because you can” sort of way, but $1,100 is a lot to pay for a flash drive.
Data Traveler 310
COMPANY: Kingston Technology
REQUIREMENTS: USB port
For $109 less, you can buy a MacBook.