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Kingston Data Traveler R500 Review

Striking orange on black is the first impression I get from this drive, but it's the advertised high speed that lured me to buy it. Announced in mid November, the DTR500 is one of the newer products in the Kingston lineup. Today we will be reviewing the DTR500/16GB. It is also available in 32GB and 64GB models. The drive sports a rugged rubber casing and a 5 year warranty to back up the rugged claim. Specs from Kingston: (PDF Mirror) # High Speed 30MB/sec. read, 20MB/sec. write # Durable rubber casing provides increased protection to the drive # Strong shock-resistant # Capacities* 16GB, 32GB, 64GB # Dimensions 2.76" x 0.89" x 0.49" (70mm x 22.68mm x 12.40mm) # Operating Temperature 32F to 140F (0C to 60C) # Storage Temperature -4F to 185F (-20C to 85C) # Simple just plug into a USB port # Bold Look black with orange # Guaranteed five-year warranty In the package you will also find a mini lanyard that has a mini keyring attached. "Slightly wedged" seems to be the design Kingston was shooting for. This picture is an illusion. It gives the idea that the cap actually fits nicely on the rear of the drive, but unfortunately it does not - the cap slips right off with only a slight nudge. Flash drive caps are notorious for getting lost and this cap is well on it's way to falling into that mystical black hole that all USB flash drive caps end up in. Over the blue access LED there is a maroon and olive hologram. This is a nice feature that tells me I have a genuine Kingston product. I guess kingston should be flattered they make wonderful products that people want to knock off. The drive is billed as a rugged drive due to it's "shock proof" rubber coating. It is definitely rubbery and bendy. It has a nice soft tactile feel to it that makes me want to give it a little squeeze every time I take it out of my pocket. My concern with usb drives has always been accidentally crushing the drive by sitting on it rather than dropping it so I personally don't give the ruggedized aspect any validity. The cap is also extremely plaible. Unfortunately, due to the R500's odd wedge shape it does not play nicely with neighboring USB ports.

Cross Hardware & Cross Platform Performance

ATTO Disk Benchmark v 2.34 Average Read & Write performance for 64-8192k transfer size in MB/s
ModelCPURAMPlatform Avg WriteAvg Read
HP 6000 ProCore 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz4 GB DDR3 PC3-8500Win XP 32 16.831.9
HP Z400Xeon Quad Core W3530 2.80GHz12 GB DDR3 PC3-10700Win 7 x64 16.528.0
HP Z400Xeon Quad Core W3530 2.80GHz8 GB DDR3 PC3-10700Win XP x64 16.331.4
HP DC6700Pentium 4 650 3.40GHz2 GB DDR2 PC2-5300Win XP 32 15.832.1
Lenovo T61Core 2 Duo T7250 2.00GHz2 GB DDR2 PC2-5300Win 7 x64 12.431.6
Lenovo W500Core 2 Duo T9600 2.80GHz4 GB DDR3 PC3-8500Win 7 x64 11.631.6
Overall Averages 14.931.1
It is interesting to note here that the DTR500 performs better on Windows XP 64-bit than on Windows 7 64-bit. Lenovo also seems to have some issues with their USB read performance. This is right in line with their poorly performing PCMCIA slots. Performance wise this device is very fast. Although it consistently surpasses the 30 MB/sec read speed, it never hit the claimed 20 MB/s write speeds. Considering the high variance between the write speeds of the hardware tested here, it is possible that the bottle neck may be on the host machines USB bus.

Conclusion

Pros: Sweet orange and black design Very fast Fun squishy rubbery feel 5 Year warranty Cons: Fairly expensive - 16GB @ $48.99, 32GB @ $92.99, 64GB @ $189.99 (Newegg as of 12/02/2010) Cap does not fit on rear end of drive Oversized - not friendly to neighboring usb ports Overall, I would buy this device again for it's excellent speed and slick looks. <- Back to 2XOD.com
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