Verbatim 16GB Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ ModSynergy.com
I've been watching this great show called The Americans. The show is set during the Cold War time period when the Soviet Empire was at odds with their American counterparts. Essentially this spy drama has two KGB intelligence agents posing as a married couple in America and are tasked with spying on the American government. Their neighbor just happens to be an FBI counterintelligence agent so you have this FBI, CIA, KGB thing going against each other, its riveting stuff. You also get to see the "high tech" gadgets and spy equipment being used.
Well that got me thinking about today's review and thinking of it possibly being used as one of those devices in a The Americans type of show. Or imagine a scenario, similar to the one seen on the House of Cards season 2, where a malware-infected USB drive was to be used to hack the AT&T servers. You would need something unassuming, something that couldn't be spotted easily, something tiny, something like the Verbatim Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB flash drive.
The saying, bigger is better, is that true? Well Verbatim would like to counter that statement by introducing their Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB by saying smaller is better. The Verbatim Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB flash drive aims to be that tiny shockproof flash drive that surprises based on its large capacity, speedy USB 3.0 performance, and affordability for the masses. Read on to see how well Verbatim executes with their Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB, the 16GB model being reviewed today.
"Since its beginning in 1969, Verbatim® has been at the forefront of the evolution in data storage technology. Today, more than 39 years later, Verbatim remains one of the most recognizable names in the data storage industry.
Customer-driven, Verbatim is known for adding considerable product value--above and beyond its competitors--to established media technology. As an industry pioneer, Verbatim is recognized for the role it plays in early product development and commercial product introduction of new technologies. Verbatim's leadership role is especially apparent in the evolution of optical media recording including MO and the CD/DVD family of products.
Along with its technological innovations, Verbatim has always been recognized universally for its superior manufacturing practices. Verbatim was the first media company to receive ISO certification, the de facto standard for quality management systems worldwide. This commitment to quality translates into consistent product performance and reliability. In addition, Verbatim provides toll-free technical support and service to enable its customers to maximize the performance of its products.
As a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, a recognized world leader in the chemical and computer industries, Verbatim is ideally positioned to take advantage of changes in the market while continuing to challenge the frontiers of data storage."
Verbatim Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB Product Overview
The perfect complement to your USB 3.0 equipped MacBook or Ultrabook, the Verbatim Mini Metal USB 3.0 drive provides fast, reliable data storage in a sleek brushed aluminum package. The Mini Metal USB drive operates on a USB 3.0 interface that delivers transfer rates of up to 10X that of USB 2.0 interfaces, yet is fully compatible with all USB ports. The Mini Metal USB drive features a retractable USB connector and lanyard, and is the smallest USB 3.0 drive available in the market today – perfect for users on the go.
Verbatim Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB Product Features
USB 3.0 Interface – Maximizes data transfer when used in USB 3.0 ports, making it easy to transfer multiple files at once, or larger files with less waiting. Fully compatible with all USB ports.
Smart Design – Perfect for users on the go, the Mini Metal USB features a retractable design that shields the USB connector when in transit – helping ensure your data remains safe and secure. In addition, the Mini Metal USB features a lanyard for easy transport.
Universal Compatibility – The Verbatim Mini Metal USB is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows platforms. No need to reformat.
Brushed Aluminum Exterior – With clean lines, smooth curves and a brushed aluminum exterior, we’ve designed the Mini Metal USB to perfectly complement the sleek, modern look of your MacBook or Ultrabook.
The Verbatim Store 'n' Go Mini Metal USB comes in a simple and compact "green eco" packaging where it utilizes majority paper with just a bit of plastic, making recycling easier and effective than with plastic. We live in a plastic world and there's just too much plastic filling our worlds landfills, and since there are a number of different variations of plastic, not all plastic can be recycled at our local recycling facilities, for example. But with paper, there's only one variation, therefore it's much easier to recycle. The package looks like it can be opened easily by hand, though I was quite surprised that it was very difficult to do so.
The design of the packaging is very nice, simple, and informative. At the front we have the signature bright red Verbatim logo along with indication of the Mini Metal USB taking advantage of the newest and speedy USB 3.0 interface. Right next to the capacity information we find a small diagram that showcases that the flash drive is of the retractable type. The retractable function allows the USB connector to be open for insertion and tucked away for safe keeping.
Once you've opened the package, you'll find the Mini Metal USB enclosed in a small plastic shell along with a small lanyard loop as the only item in the bundle. I think it's a mistake not to include a neck strap when you've already included the small lanyard loop. I don't know why some companies continue to do this with USB drives, don't be cheap. The more people who see your branded logo around people’s necks with your flash drives, the more people will remember the Verbatim name, and likely purchase the same brand down the road.
The capacity being reviewed today is the 16GB production model. Other capacities available include 32GB, and 64GB. I like the fact that the Verbatim Mini Metal USB uses the newest and faster USB 3.0 interface, this will mean faster transfer speeds than any USB 2.0 drive on the market. The great thing about USB 3.0, aside from the fact that it's faster than USB 2.0, is that it's also compatible with the older USB 2.0 ports that everyone has.
The Verbatim Mini Metal USB is marketed as the smallest USB 3.0 drive on the market today. It measures approximately 1.57 x 1.10 × 0.35 (inches) open or closed, making it just a tad longer than the actual USB port. It's a tiny bit wider than an AA battery and also a little over half the height of an AA battery. On my digital scale it only weighs 6 grams, hardly noticeable in the pocket. I have a feeling this will get lost rather easily, and therefore a neck strap would have come in handy.
Verbatim says that the Mini Metal USB is the perfect complement for MacBook or Ultrabook users. I guess that's why it closely resembles the style of those two aluminum based designs, so it can blend in. It's sleek and has a nice rounded body. The Verbatim Mini Metal USB doesn't come in any other color scheme. When used in a laptop, notebook, MacBook, Ultrabook, the Verbatim Mini Metal USB looks tiny compared to the rest of the computer, and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
The name has the word metal, however, the exterior isn't as metal as the name would suggest. The only thing that seems metal is the USB connector itself, while the rest of the body feels more plastic. The paint looks brushed aluminum, but isn't real, it has this matte feel to it and is easy to scratch, even by using a fingernail. The outer rings surrounding the brushed aluminum style paint are white plastic rings, almost translucent, but there are no LED indicator light.
The Verbatim Mini Metal USB is sleek though and does not exhibit a weak body that flexes, it feels strong enough for everyday use. Again, the metal USB connector is likely the toughest part of the drive and also provides the only contrasting color of blue that makes the drive look interesting and unique.
The Verbatim Mini Metal USB contains a retractable USB connector that opens and closes obviously depending on when you want to use or secure it. To open you simply hold the aluminum painted body while you press inward the black plastic, and to close it you do the reverse, pushing back in the USB connector.
We've seen a retractable USB connector before with the Silicon Power Marvel M60 USB flash drive, so this is not something new. However, the retractable function on the Silicon Power Marvel is better under usage than the one on this Verbatim Mini Metal USB because it's stronger and the USB connector doesn't retract back in the body when inserting into the USB port. The connector on the Verbatim Mini Metal USB has got some pressure before it will retract, but under usage if you're holding only the aluminum painted area of the body and inserting (pushing) it into an USB port, the drive has a tendency to not go in all the way, it basically retracts half way into the USB port, and you have to press the black part in for the connector to go in all the way. To prevent the USB from retracting you have to get used to holding the black top piece along while inserting into an USB port.
Performance Testing and Results
The goal here is to simply verify how fast is the Verbatim Mini Metal USB 3.0 flash drive. Verbatim doesn't actually provide any sort of performance numbers of the Mini Metal USB aside from only that delivers up to 10x the transfer rate of USB 2.0. It'll be interesting to see what the Verbatim Mini Metal USB can do in real life by filling the drive. The USB 3.0 interface (Renesas USB 3.0) is used in our ModSynergy Test PC consisting of an Intel Core i7-2600K and Intel DP67BG (B3) P67 chipset motherboard with native USB 3.0 support.
One synthetic benchmark is used in the form of CrystalDiskMark, which uses incompressible data.
The other test is a real-world verification tool called H2testw. The program was not originally intended as a benchmark, but after I used it, I felt that it was actually one of the best real-world tools to test USB drive performance with. I'm going to use this program from now on because it very useful in a couple of ways. The premise of H2testw was to detect counterfeit USB drives by verifying the capacity.
Some drives on eBay (and others) advertise a product, for example, being 16GB, though in reality when using H2testw to verify its capacity, it's really 2GB because the firmware is hacked to trick the drive in thinking it's bigger than it actually is. H2testw verifies the integrity of the drive by writing random data to the drive, and then goes back and verifies if that written data is good or corrupt.
While filling up the drive, the program also monitors and tracks how long it takes to write to the drive (write speed), and it tracks how long it takes to verify the drive (read speed) producing the read speed and write speed in Mbyte/s and the length of elapsed time. I really feel this is a great way in directly comparing drives. It's as simple as looking at the elapsed time, the shorter the time, the faster the drive.
In the synthetic benchmark of CrystalDiskMark, the Verbatim Mini Metal USB manages just under the 100MB/s read speed barrier, scoring 95.86MB/s for its read speed. For comparison sake, the much larger and bulkier 1st Generation 32GB Kingston DataTraveler USB 3.0 flash drive managed only 88.04MB/s, despite the Verbatim Mini Metal USB being 1/4 of its size. Pretty impressive stuff. On the flip side, the Verbatim Mini Metal USB isn't as fast as the Silicon Power Marvel M60 USB 3.0 flash drive that scored almost double, a read speed of 170.9MB/s.
In the synthetic benchmark of CrystalDiskMark, the Verbatim Mini Metal USB manages for its write speed test a pedestrian 11.02MB/s. There are USB 2.0 flash drives that have faster write speeds than this. 11.02MB/s write speed is a very typical result for a non-performance USB 2.0 flash drive. The fastest USB 2.0 flash drives can easily hit 30MB/s. The write performance is quite disappointing considering its using the faster USB 3.0 interface and couldn't manage at least 30MB/s write speed.
On to something more real-world, let's use H2testw to completely fill up the drive, this would give you a better indication of what the drive can do in a consistent basis.
Well let's see the results from the H2testw test. 15339MB were written to the formatted 16GB Verbatim Mini Metal USB, receiving no errors, and completing in 26 Minutes, 03 seconds for a result of 9.81MB/s write. This is a little less than the write speed seen in CrystalDiskMark synthetic benchmark. Again, considering that the Verbatim Mini Metal USB utilizes the faster USB 3.0 interface, the write performance doesn't begin to take advantage of this faster interface, quite disappointing that its write speed exhibits typical USB 2.0 speed.
15339MB was verified and read on the 16GB Verbatim Mini Metal USB, receiving no errors, and completing in only 3 minutes, 12 seconds for a result of 79.5MB/s read. This is about 16MB/s slower than what we saw in the synthetic benchmark, however, it's still substantially quicker than what any USB 2.0 drive can manage for its read speed, and consider the small size of the device, it's still very impressive!
So it's clear to see that the Verbatim Mini Metal USB has a speedy read speed but generally meager write speed, I wish the write performance was more balanced and up to par for a USB 3.0 flash drive.
But I said earlier in the review that the Verbatim Mini Metal USB 3.0 offered affordability for the masses, so in that case and reasoning, I guess we should have expected some compromise. But just how affordable is it?
Where Can I Buy One? And For How Much?
Right now you can own the Verbatim Mini Metal USB for a really cheap and affordable price on Amazon.com. I've reviewed the 16GB model, but the price difference between the 16GB and 32GB model is so tiny that it makes zero sense to purchase the 16GB model.
16GB is sold for $20.25 (22% off), 32GB for $22.99 (50% off), and 64GB for only $54.95 (48% off). The 32GB capacity Verbatim Mini Metal USB is the best value out of the bunch.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
It's hard not to like the Verbatim Mini Metal USB 3.0 flash drive. It's tiny and unassuming, yet packs a performance punch in terms of its read speed because of its USB 3.0 interface in which it ranges from 79MB/s real world and 96MB/s read speed in the synthetic test.
Obviously I wish its write speed took advantage of the USB 3.0 interface a lot better, but it's not the slowest write speed I've seen. The write speed is typical from what you see with your existing USB 2.0 drive. I think the best attribute is the price, the affordability is hard to ignore for a USB 3.0 flash drive.
You can pick up a 32GB model for only $22.99 (at the time of writing) on Amazon.com using the link you see above. About the only other drawback is that no neck strap is included even though the device has an eyelet available to use and lanyard loop is included. With all that said, and what we've seen, along with the low price, the Mini Metal USB from Verbatim is a product I can reccomend.