I would like to thank Kingston
for lending us the review sample.
With the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 flash drive, Kingston is catering to those that want loads of performance in a stylish metal enclosure, which is also the reason the drive does not carry their HyperX branding. It is available in capacities of 32 and 64 GB. Kingston was kind enough to lend us a 32 GB unit for this review.
- USB 3.0 performance
- Speeds up to 150MB/s read, 70MB/s write (USB 3.0)
- Stylish, capless design
As with most Kingston flash drives, the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 ships in a plastic package that clearly shows the entire unit to the prospective buyer. It is welded shut, so you better have some scissors at your disposal. The front also mentions the capacity, while the rear holds some promotional text in multiple languages.
A Closer Look
How worthy a drive this is becomes apparent right away. It is quite heavy and considerably bigger than other drives. The two parts are encased in sturdy metal contraptions, with the insides made of white plastic. Kingston has printed the name and capacity of the drive onto the top, while the underside is completely clean with no LEDs or markings.
Taking a peak at the front shows how thick the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 really is. While you should not have any issues using the drive most of the time, it may be too voluptuous to reach some recessed connectors or be placed next to another USB device. The rear has a metal ring, which allows you to attach the flash drive to your key chain, for example.
To gain access to the connector, simply make the front and rear touch by sliding the front back. The front casing snaps into place nicely, so you will not slide it back over the connector while trying to plug it into your system.
Kingston has also laser cut all sorts of information into the connector itself, including capacity and manufacturer data.
Upon first sight, you may wonder where the activity LED is, or whether the Ultimate 3.0 G3 actually has one at all. Turns out it is hidden below the white plastic shell and can be seen lighting up blue while moving data back and forth. I had to darken the image for you to see the LED in the above image properly.
Kingston advertises read speeds of 150 MB/s while write performance is lower with just 70 MB/s. Looking at ATTO, Kingston has chosen quite conservative numbers, since the drive peaks at 180 MB/s read and well above 80 MB/s write.
Taking a look at HDTach, the trend clearly continues in terms of read performance, as the drive clocks in well above 180 MB/s across the entire flash capacity. Write speed, however, does drop to a 66.4 MB/s average, so Kingston is properly advertising the real world performance of the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 flash drive.
These numbers make the Kingston drive one of the fastest we have had the pleasure of reviewing. It is only beaten by its older brother, the HyperX DataTraveler, in terms of read performance. For write speeds, the drive - while still very good - manages to come in fourth, beating the Lexar JumpDrive that is an alternative product of its target audience. Even so, there are drives out there that are noticeably faster.
USB 2.0 speeds are as advertised, with 30 MB/s read and 20 MB/s write. This time, both numbers are clearly well below what the drive can push on average. The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 manages almost 35 MB/s read and nearly 25 MB/s write.
Value and Conclusion
- The Kingston DataTraveler 3.0 G3 with 32GB goes for around €40 including taxes or for just under $70 excluding taxes at various eTailers.
- Excellent build quality
- Great USB 3.0 read performance
- Very good USB 3.0 write speeds
- Excellent USB 2.0 performance
- Solid metal ring to use on key chain
- Slide back protecting cover for connector
- Blue LED included
- Lifetime warranty
- Available with 32 and 64 GB capacity
- Quite bulky
- Heavier than other sticks of similar performance
- Packaging is not user-friendly
||The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 is not as fast as its HyperX brethren while still clocking in at a similar price per GB. Instead, the Ultimate aims to offer a stylish alternative one could take to that next business meeting, for example. It still gives ample performance through the USB 3.0 interface. Even when using USB 2.0, the drive manages to push as much data as the aging interface can handle. Another upside, when it comes to comparing the HyperX and the Ultimate 3.0 G3 drives, is the design of the enclosure: you will never have to worry about losing the cap with the Ultimate 3.0 G3. |
This one is a solid choice if its bigger size will not be an issue, especially if you want a beautiful and professional-looking flash drive with both the speed and capacity to impress.