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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [11.19.04]
Manufactured by: Seagate, Kingston, Vantec

Lowest Price Finder
Seagate Pocket Drive 5GB: $155 @ NewEgg
Kingston Data Traveler Elite 512MB: $60 @ mWave
Vantec NexStar 2 USB2: $36 @ NewEgg
2.5" HotDrive: $37 @

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Hey! Group Photo!

Before we get started on benchmarks, let's have a look at how these devices compare side-by-side in terms of size:

As you can see, two of them are easily pocketable (and while the Gigabyte couldn't make it to this party, it was even smaller than the Kingston). The Seagate and Kingston stand out as being the only pocketable devices, although the 2.5 enclosure looks tolerable. However that is WITHOUT the cables you need to use them! Let's take another shot of everyone with their luggage:

This time the NexStar 2 gets even bigger, because it requires a huge power adapter and a USB (or FireWire; it's a USB cable in this picture) cable. The 2.5" enclosure looked okay in the first pic, but when you add the special cable it needs, it is also far from pocketable. The only two devices that are truly ultra-portable are the Seagate Pocket Drive, and Data Traveler Elite.

Now let's get on with the benchmarks!

First, we're going to look at average data transfer rates. Due to the nature of these devices (particularly the flash based drives), write speeds and read speeds vary by quite a margin. So we'll look at the results separately.

First up, we have the Average Read Speed. As expected, the 3.5" is tops here. What I didn't expect however, is the Kingston to beat the 2.5" hard drive! The Seagate chugs along with its 4200 RPM hard drive.

When writing to the devices, USB2 is actually faster than FireWire (in this case; unlike USB, FireWire performance will vary depending on the controller the particular device is using). The rest of the devices are quite slow.

Next Page: (Burst speed, Random Access Timing)