Storage technology has advanced to the point that solid state drives (SSD) can be shoved into tiny packages, and portable conventional hard drives can easily cram terabytes of data into a casing the size of a wallet.
Hard drives and storage
But there’s still a niche for the good old USB flash drive, especially now that faster USB 3.0 ports are standard on pretty much all new laptops (and even some tablets).
Here are the largest flash drives in the world and a few others worth considering for those who need massive storage in a tiny package.
Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate GT 2TB ($1,650)
Kingston eclipsed its own record-breaking USB drives with the release of the DataTraveler Ultimate GT in 2017, offering a staggering 2TB of space in a relatively compact package. It’s not as slimline as some of the other entries on this list, but considering it sports the kind of capacity that only a few years ago was the reserve of platter-spinning hard drives, that’s no surprise.
With full support for USB 3.1, the Ultimate GT is no slouch when it comes to file transfer speeds. It can read at 300MBps and write at 200MBps. It supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7, as well as Mac OSX, Linux and Chrome OS. Much like it’s smaller cousin, the HyperX Predator, this USB drive’s only real downside is its price. At more than $1,500, you would need to have a very good reason to pay that much for a USB drive, when you could simply use multiple smaller drives and spend a fraction of that.
That said, sometimes there are deals knocking off a few hundred dollars, so it’s worth checking the latest prices to see if they’re more favorable.
Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 USB 1TB ($700+)
Kingston’s previous jewel in its storage crown, the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 (say that three times fast) is still a fairly hefty USB drive.
It’s a bit chunky so that it can fit all of the hardware necessary to offer such capacity, but it’s still small enough that it won’t feel out of place on a keychain. The Predator uses USB 3.0 for speedy data transfer, but at nearly $700 even at the reduced street price, it’s almost three times the cost of some of the 512GB options in the list below.
Corsair Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 512GB ($250)
Corsair’s fastest flash drive is also one of its largest. The Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 combines a sleek metal alloy housing with quoted read and write speeds of up to 290MB/s, assuming you have the USB 3.0 or higher ports to handle it. Street prices are hovering at right around $250 at the time of writing.
That’s on the 512GB version — the lower-capacity GTX Voyager 3.0 can read at up to 450MB/s, but only comes in 256GB. For those who would rather save a few dollars, Corsair also offers several 256GB drives which in some ranges can go for substantially less.
Patriot Super Sonic Rage 3.0 512GB ($165)
Patriot has upgraded most of its line of USB 3.0 flash drives to 512GB, and the fastest among them is the aggressively-named Sonic Rage 2. It can write at up to 400MB/s and read at 300 and it’s very affordable at $165 for the 512GB version. The less robust Supersonic Magnum 2 and Supersonic Mega also come in 512GB flavors, for roughly the same price.
PNY Pro Elite 512GB USB 3.0 ($150)
Touting sustained read and write speeds of 400MBps and 250MBps respectively, the PNY Pro Elite 512GB is a very affordable way to get yourself a massive amount of storage in a small form factor. It’s hardly the most eye-catching of USB drives, but it’s quick, compact and can fit just about anything you want. Game installs? No problem. Hundreds of hours of video? It can do it. Your entire music collection? Easy.
Some reviews have noted that smaller files take longer to transfer than larger ones, but if you just need a lot of space and have a relatively constrained budget, this device will see you right.
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