AData, Kingston and Patriot Flash Drives

AData Nobility Series N005 64GB

AData's Nobility Series N005 is the most affordable of the three drives, costing $150 for the 64GB version. The Nobility Series N005 is considerably larger or at least longer than the Kingston and Patriot drives measuring 3.54" long, 0.80" wide and 0.45" thick.

The N005's price tag is also partially explained by ADATA's quoted read and write performance, which is a bit lower than the competition's. The company claims its drive has a maximum read throughput of 85MB/s and a write speed of 55MB/s.

Interestingly, the 32GB version is supposedly the fastest in the Nobility Series with read and write rates averaging a few MB/s higher. Meanwhile, AData says the 16GB drive is around 20MB/s slower when reading and writing data, so you might want to pass on this version, especially considering the price difference: $42 for the 16GB version vs. $74 for the 32GB version.

The AData Nobility Series N005 comes in a glossy anodized aluminum case that is coated with titanium. We consider it to have somewhat of a classic design and it reminds us of the early thumb drives. The USB connector is covered by a snap-on cap which is completely removable making it very easy to lose.

Given its relatively high price tag of $150 ($2.34 per gigabyte), the AData Nobility Series N005 64GB feels like a cheap product in my opinion making it difficult to justify the price. Its long design coupled with the detachable cap would deter us from purchasing this product, but it will still be interesting to see how AData's drive performs.

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 64GB

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 is the chubby kid in our round-up, measuring 0.63" thick making it 40% fatter than the AData Nobility N005. Although this little nugget is more pocket-friendly than the N005 measuring just 2.90" long and 0.87" wide, we wouldn't consider it to be a compact thumb drive and at 25 grams it is also a bit heavier than the others.

The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 is said to be slightly faster with a read throughput of 80MB/s and a write speed of 60MB/s. Again neither the read or write performance is particularly mind blowing, but it's still much faster than what can be achieved with USB 2.0.

Kingston has wrapped its USB flash drive in a thick white plastic shell that features silver aluminum inserts for extra protection and styling. The thumb drive appears quite durable and has a very solid lanyard loop at the end.

While the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 is much better looking than the Nobility N005, it also has a removable cap that can easily be lost if you forget to stick it on the rear of the device when it's in use.

At $200 for the 64GB version, the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 is very expensive. That breaks down to $3.12 per gigabyte, or a little over 30% more expensive than the AData Nobility N005 while the write performance is claimed to be 20% higher.

Patriot SuperSonic 64GB

The Patriot SuperSonic 64GB doesn't look too flashy when you consider its $200 asking price -- that's $3.12 per gigabyte and more expensive than many SSDs of the same capacity. From the packaging to the product itself, Patriot has kept things nice and simple.

That said, the Patriot SuperSonic appears competitively priced when compared to the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 64GB. It's obvious that users will have to pay a price premium for high-speed, high-capacity flash drives.

A 64GB drive provides ample space multiple media files without having to delete older data. As Patriot has pointed out on their website, the 64GB capacity allows for roughly 24,640 ten-megapixel (3648x2736) images to be stored, or 2183 hours of MP3s. Additionally, it would be possible to store almost 27 hours of MPEG-2 5Mbps video on the SuperSonic 64GB.

Patriot has encased the SuperSonic flash drive in a durable aluminum enclosure which provides shock resistance for up to 15Gs to ensure greater protection of your data. The black casing design is very basic.

At just 15.8 grams, the 64GB SuperSonic is almost weightless. The drive measures 0.33" thick x 0.75" wide x 2.83" long, making it extremely compact, especially next to the other models we're looking at today.

By combining a single-chip USB 3.0 flash memory controller with quad-channel technology, the Patriot Supersonic USB 3.0 claims sequential read performance at speeds up to 100MB/s and up to 70MB/s sequential write speeds.