How much of a difference is there between different brands of USB flash drives?


I have used SanDisk products for years, basically because I've always thought of them as a quality product. I was looking at prices the other day, and was a little surprised at how much less expensive some other brands were. I have no complaints about SanDisk USB drives, in fact I can't recall ever having an issue with one, but I am curious if there is actually much of a difference between USB drives from various manufacturers.

Topic: Hardware
Answer this Question


3 total
Vote Up (27)

A lot of it is features such as construction, included software, a cool look, etc., but there are also real differences.  I've used a USB drive that I got as a freebie at a trade show that worked ok on a Windows machine, but was not recognized by my Linux desktop, for example.  Beyond features, which along with capacity drives most of the cost, there are very real differences in speed between some USB drives.  Many of them are fairly close in performance, to the point that you wouldn't be likely to notice the difference in normal use, but some have much sloooooooower read/write speeds, and with large files that does make a difference.  San Disk is a good product, usually at the high end of speed benchmarks, even if not always the absolute fastest, and they have a lifetime warranty, so you do get what you pay for.  San Disk has also been a Ducati Moto GP sponsor, and makes Ducati edition products, so they get big bonus points from me for matching my racebike!    

Vote Up (21)

Vote Up (19)

I think a lot of it depends on how much you want to spend. If you can get by with one that is cheaper, and perhaps slower then that might be your best bet. There are differences, but how significant will they be for what you'd use the product for in the first place?

I'd sit down and figure out your budget, and then define what you need to do. Then start looking for reviews of the USB flash drives you are interested in buying. Grab the cheapest one that does what you need it to do.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
A global hardware hackathon is asking entrants to "Build the Future," without placing restraints on what that means apart from a short list of qualifying rules.
News about how tech sales are doing has been mixed, ahead of a flood of earnings reports from vendors.
The solar power industry is expanding quickly, but not when it comes to funding for technology advances.
Now you can roll up your monitor and slide it into a backpack.
Toshiba is not the only company selling a 4K laptop anymore; Lenovo has finally shipped its first 4K laptop, sporting a 5.6-inch screen, after months of delays.
Acer is cranking up the speed of Chromebooks with the first models featuring Intel's Core i3 processor.
Stepping up its efforts to regain supercomputing dominance from China, the U.S. within the next two years will activate what could be one of the world's fastest computers.
Oracle's massive annual OpenWorld conference isn't happening until late September, but the vendor recently unveiled details of nearly 1,800 sessions planned for the event that on balance paint a comprehensive picture of what its customers, partners and competitors can expect.
Apple fans may not be the only ones waiting for a new iPhone later this year -- semiconductor industry revenue will get a boost from it too, according to Gartner.
IBM is pouring US$3 billion into computing and chip materials research over the next five years as it rethinks computer design, looking toward the future of computing, which may not involve silicon chips.
Join us: