A good USB flash drive makes a big difference

USB flash drives are a dime a dozen these days. Their commonality makes them almost throwaway devices. That was my general mindset, especially after getting a bunch at CES. However, I’ve found that build quality can really make a drive stand out from the crowd.

I have a couple of flash drives that fit this description, but if I’m going to focus on one, it’s a Dell 1GB drive I got at CES. I got a few with the swivel cap, which is a big convenience compared to removable cap models, but only a couple of them are made from steel, as tested on my magnetic storage system. That makes them extra convenient for me now that I’ve started using magnets to keep office gear at hand. Having a flash drive at my side just waiting to be plucked from the wall is complete luxury but one that is terribly useful.


In addition to being ferrous in nature, the drive is also noticeably responsive. With cheap drives, I’ve found they usually take a few seconds to be recognized by my work desktop, even if I’ve used them repeatedly. But the Dell pops up almost instantly after being connected. The file transfer speed is better too, but since I normally only transfer one or a few small files at a time, that recognition time is the big sweet spot for me. Plug it in, look up, and it’s on the screen. I guess you don’t waste good steel on a slow flash drive.

While I still like having a bunch of cheap drives to hand out data or loan out for use, going forward, I’m going to be sure to keep one or two high-quality drives around for my personal use. Anyone else getting dazzled by quality over quantity in USB flash drives?