PNY crams 512GB into the micro-sized Elite-X Fit flash drive


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Given its meager performance figures of up to 200MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds, PNY's new 512GB Elite-X thumb drive would seem like a relic to many in 2020. It is, however, appealing to a niche of users who don't mind sacrificing storage performance in exchange for capacity and convenience.

The Elite-X Fit has a low profile design, and like most nano receivers, its Type-A connector makes up nearly the entire module, making it an ideal peripheral to plug in your PC/laptop (and sometimes forget) for days on end.

The connector also serves as a neat placeholder for specifying drive storage and its transfer standard, which in this case is USB 3.1 Gen 1. PNY touts backwards compatibility with USB 3.0 and 2.0 devices, a tad confusing at first given that the Elite-X Fit essentially uses the renamed USB 3.0 standard.

Coming in at just 2.16 x 1.52 x 1.55 cm, the Elite-X Fit is even smaller than its main competitor, the 512 GB Ultra Fit from SanDisk. In terms of performance, PNY's offering trumps the Ultra Fit when comparing max reads (200MB/s vs 130MB/s), and is also faster in max writes (90MB/s vs 60MB/s) considering SanDisk's claim of up to 15x faster write speeds than USB 2.0.

PNY's 512GB Elite-X Fit is now on sale for $100 at the company's official website. It costs $20 more than the SanDisk Ultra Fit and only comes with a 1-year warranty as opposed to the 5-years offered by its competitor.

Update (June 20): PNY's announcement for the 512GB Elite-X Fit Flash drive specifies write speeds as "30X faster than USB 2.0," which turns out to be 90MB/s. The original report has been updated to reflect this correction.

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I currently keep all my music for my car's media player on a 128GB "iDrive" flash drive.

Originally the point of it was to be a backup for my 128GB iPhone, but the storage there quickly jumped to 256 and then 512 with each consecutive generation.

I started using it as a mobile music storage because of its large capacity, but my entire music library is smaller than 50GB (14.5GB to be exact).

I really like the ELITE-X's form factor because my iDrive takes up more physical space in my vehicle's USB area.

I prefer to focus on capacity over the theoretical maximum transfer speeds when I buy flash memory. What exactly would you use this for? This would be a great way to store videos, music or documents - all of which can be played back quickly to the point the transfer speed doesn't really matter. You wouldn't be using this for anything that's bandwidth intensive like 4K editing or gaming as you would a regular SSD - and that would only cost you less than $75 nowadays.

PNY also has the 128GB Elite-X for just $22.

If I needed 512GB for a laptop, mini PC that I take when I travel or Chrome book, this would be perfect with that form factor.

The 512GB Sandisk Ultra Fit is about $90 compared to this. Either one would be fine for me, but my main reason for buying a 512GB would be as a backup for my Phone... until 1TB NAND flash comes to my phone at which point I'd need a 1TB flash drive as a backup.
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Lew Zealand

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PNY drives are horrible for small file transfers while Samsung and Sandisk's mid-tier and better drives have very good performance. However for this 512GB drive you'll probably be using it for bulk storage only, so I guess once you wait for the 5* hours it takes to fill, you'll have a decent small bit of storage.

* assuming no thermal slowdown issues which all these tiny drives (like my 120GB SD Ultra Fit) have. Maybe 10 hours then, maybe more.