Despite the commoditization of flash drives as nearly-disposable media, companies are still making innovative USB drives.
USB flash drives have become commoditized to the point of being an afterthought. Companies regularly give them away at tech conventions, as part of marketing packages, and as branding or marketing tie-ins. Each year, a glut of cheap, slow USB flash drives are dumped on consumers at bargain-basement prices as part of holiday sales.
However, there is still ample innovation occurring in this space, particularly in the newly-announced ADATA UE700 Pro, which the manufacturer touts as performing at up to 360 MB/s read / 180 MB/s write on the 256 GB model.
The UE700 Pro is a standard-sized drive at 2.5 x 0.9 x 0.3 inches (63 x 23 x 7 mm) with a retractable connector, eliminating the potential for lost caps. It also features a lanyard hole. The casing itself is made of brushed aluminium, which is a nice premium over the usual plastic casing of USB flash drives. It weighs 0.4 ounces (11 grams).
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While this is not quite as fast as Samsung's T5 Portable SSD, this is also a proper stick-type flash drive, whereas the T5 is simply a compact SSD.
The UE700 Pro uses USB 3.1 signaling, though it is backward compatible with USB 2.0, and is offered in 32, 64, 128, and 256 GB models. ADATA doesn't disclose the type of NAND Flash in use, or the controller driving it.
Pricing information is not yet available, though the high end 256 GB model may command a small premium given the lack of other drives with those speeds in that physical size. The UE700 Pro should be available within the next few weeks.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The ADATA UE700 Pro is claimed to offer up to 360 MB/s read and 180 MB/s write on the 256 GB model.
- While faster options exist, they are physically larger than the ADATA UE700 Pro.
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