The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 has the background of a traditional usb flash drive, but it takes it up a notch with its 32GB data capacity, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity, and a durable plastic encasing that protects the pen drive from bumps, bruises and other common wear-n-tear.
The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 has a tough enclosure of white plastic and brushed aluminum. The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 may not be as tough as the Corsair Flash Survivor, but it does incorporate a removable cap that keeps out dirt and moisture, in addition to a solid loop on the back end of the usb that can secure the drive to a key ring or lanyard. The flash drive weighs about 1.6 ounces and measures 0.6 by 0.9 by 2.9 inches, which is wide enough that it may crowd out other drives when plugged into a USB port. This is common problem with large data capacity drives, which are often larger physically as well.
The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 has only two other potential design flaws. The first is the plastic cap that covers the USB connector. Though it snaps securely into place when it’s covering the usb, it doesn’t stay as secure when it’s placed on the back end of the drive. In addition, there is no tethering loop for the cap, making it very easy to lose. The other problem has to do with heat. The plastic and aluminum body of the DataTraveler became noticeably warm when we transferred large quantities of data. While it did not reach temperatures hot enough to be considered dangerous, it’s certainly one detail we could not ignore.
Performance and Features
The USB flash drive features SuperSpeed USB 3.0 technology, which delivers more than double the speeds offered by USB 2.0. If a USB 3.0 port is unavailable, the connection is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 2 also comes with a considerably large data storage capacity. The 32GB model is estimated to store more than 6,000 MP3s or more than 6,400 10-megapixel photos. Kingston backs the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 with a five-year warranty and offers free tech support.
Through our testing, the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 performed impressively, with write speeds of 61.8MB/sec and read speeds of 99.4MB/sec in our timed file-transfer tests. Though not quite up to Kingston’s advertised speeds (70MBps write, 100MBps read), the DataTraveler Ultimate is still a super fast usb drive. Even when slowed by a USB 2.0 connection, the performance was decent, with 32.1MBps read and 28.0MBps write speeds. By comparison, the USB 3.0-equipped Corsair Flash Voyager produced identical scores using USB 2.0, but only managed 34.5MBps write and 63.4MBps read when plugged into a USB 3.0 port.