Review: Kingston DataTraveler Max Flash Drive (USB-C)

Memory Reviews USB drives
9.3

Amazing

Kingston’s DataTraveler series of premium USB flash drives are all about portability, reliability, and speed. We take a look at the all-new Kingston DataTraveler Max USB 3.2 Gen 2 drive (USB-C variant).

Design

The new DataTraveler Max is designed to offer users the convenience and portability of a flash drive with the performance of high-speed memory. While the drive comes in both red and black casing options, Kingston also sells the DataTraveler Max in both USB-C and USB-A versions, and our review sample is the former.

Compared to other normal USB flash drives that come with a cap to cover the port. the DataTraveler Max features a sliding mechanism to hide or expose the port. And this can be conveniently done with one hand. The main casing also features a grip-friendly surface to help in one-handed sliding of the cap. The drive also comes with a keyring loop at the opposite end of the port and this is very helpful for those who want to easily carry the drive around.

The USB-C version of the DataTraveler Max weighs only 12g and the product dimensions are 82.17 mm x 22.00 mm x 9.02 mm. On the contrary, the USB-A version weighs slightly heavier and is 14g.

The packaging of the DataTraveler Max is rather a simple box with just the flash drive. Kingston mentions that the drive is compatible with Windows 11/10, 8.1, Mac OS (v. 10.14.x +), Linux (v. 2.6.x +), and Chrome OS.

Performance

The Kingston DataTraveler Max USB 3.2 Gen 2 flash drive offers SSD-like performance in a small form factor. The device can reach blistering read speeds up to 1000MB/s and write speeds up to 900MB/s. It’s really surprising to see that such a form-factor memory drive easily beats all SATA SSDs that we have known. We should also mention that there is an LED light to indicate the read and write operations.

To test the drive’s capability, we tried the DataTraveler Max on our testbed which features the ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS mid-range motherboard, the Zen2-based AMD Ryzen 3800XT CPU, XFX Radeon 5700 XT THICC II GPU, two 16GB Kingston FURY Renegade 3600MHz DDR4 RAM, Kingston KC2500 SSD, Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT AIO CPU cooler and the XFX XTI 1000W PSU. We connected the drive to the ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS’s USB-C port.

We ran some benchmarks such as CrystalDiskMark and got read and write speeds of 1025MB/s and 903MB/s, respectively. Our results with AS SSD produced slightly lower speeds, which include read and write speeds of 947MB/s and 799MB/s, respectively.

We also did file copy tests, where a 1GB demo file is copied to and from between the testbed and the DataTraveler Max drive. When copying from the testbed to the drive, the average copy speed is around 2.17GB/s. Our second attempt at copying the same file was at 550 MB/s. And when copying from the drive back to the testbed, the copy speed is around 827MB/s.

We also tried the DataTraveler Max drive on one of our review laptops (Acer Aspire Vero 2022) and the speeds of the CrystalDiskMark benchmark on the laptop were faster than the score of our testbed. The read and write speeds achieved are 1071MB/s and 986MB/s, respectively.

It’s surprising that the drive produces different results since both the testbed and the Acer Vero laptop has USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports. The results from the laptop are actually faster than what Kingston specified on their product page. That said, the file copy speeds are slightly lower on the laptop than what we achieved on the testbed.

While copying a 1GB file from the laptop to the drive, the copy speeds were around 767MB/s. When trying to copy the file from the drive to the laptop, the copy speeds were 1.78GB/s. We tried to do the same again and the speeds were reduced to 767MB/s.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a reliable flash drive that offers high-speed performance and is available in both USB-A and USB-C configurations, then try out the Kingston DataTraveler Max USB 3.2 Gen 2 flash drive. The flash drive features a chassis that lets users slide open to show or hide the USB-C port. The drive also has a keyring loop for users to easily attach and carry with their keychains.

The device weighs only 12g and comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options, along with a choice of black or red colors. The drive is capable of fast read speeds of up to 1000MB/s, and write speeds of up to 900MB/s or above. The drive is compatible with the latest versions of Windows 11, 10, 8.1., Mac OS, Linux, and also Chrome OS devices. While manufacturers now offer laptops and smartphones with a USB-C port, the Kingston DataTraveler Max USB 3.2 Gen 2 flash drive is a good choice for data transfers.

9.3

Amazing