They may have invented flash memory but you rarely see Toshiba when it comes to the purchase of USB memory sticks.
I’ve been looking at their TransMemory brand USB 3.0 memory stick – specifically the 64GB version. It’s a pretty standard matt black plastic affair with very square edges. A gap at the end allows this to be placed on a keyring but there’s no activity light (whether you think this is good or bad is personal choice). There is a cap over the USB connector and this can’t be connected, say, to the other end of the stick so is something that may get lost.
It’s formatted to FAT32 by default and, unlike others, Toshiba don’t include any software. Again, whether this is a good or bad thing is personal choice. Toshiba offers a generous 5 year warranty with each too.
One thing that does make it stand out is a blank rectangular area of both sides of the stick which is recessed slightly. Inside the packaging are 3 stickers which you can place in this are so you can label the USB stick – a nice touch, although they could have been more generous with the quantity of sticks supplied.
The packaging is quite simple – a flat cardboard outer containing a plastic blister. The plastic contains the USB stick and all the instructions are printed on the inside of the cardboard, which divides into two to allow you to get the USB stick out. The stickers too are stuck inside. To get into the packaging you use scissors to cut along a marked section on the bottom. Sadly this doesn’t appear to be high enough so after cutting precisely where it stated I still couldn’t get in – a cut further up resolved this. However, separating the two halves of the card caused some tearing, which isn’t ideal when your instructions are printed where this has happened. None-the-less, a very a good effort with minimal packaging (no warranty leaflets!).
Ok, so enough of the pleasantries, how does it actually perform? Sequential read speeds are very impressive at 146 MB/s. Large random reads are also very good at 118 MB/s, with small read speeds at 8 MB/s. All very, very good. Sequential write speeds are also excellent at 36 MB/s. Sadly, this is where the good news stops as random write speeds are less than impressive. Small random writes at 0.5 MB/s and small files are 0.02 MB/s – this makes it slower than many of my USB 2 flash drives.
Available at a smidge over £20, the Toshiba is priced competitively in the market. It looks pretty bland but the sticker idea is nice.
Read speeds are impressively quick but the random write speeds really let it down. Just bear in mind, though, that most writing will be sequential and those speeds are still excellent.
If you’re not reliant on random writing then this is an excellent USB device. Let’s be honest, most USB use is reading and that is very, very good.
Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.