Super Talent Luxio 64GB High-Capacity Luxury USB Drive Review

The Smith - 2009-02-25 15:10:15 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: The Smith   
Reviewed on: March 12, 2009
Price: $140

Introduction:

Manufacturers are able to pack more and more capacity in devices based on flash memory. However, solid-state drives are still far away from what mechanical hard drives are capable of. One impressive thing though is that USB thumb drives reached the 64GB level not so long ago. With that much capacity, it can even be a viable option to use it as a main storage device. I have seen on Internet people who modified their netbooks with them. Some replaced the mechanical hard drive by such USB flash drives because they are more likely to use less power, therefore increasing battery life, while others replaced the low capacity solid-state drive. Today, we will have a look at one of these 64GB USB flash drives: the Super Talent Luxio.

 

Closer Look:

The Super Talent is unique in its kind. The black package really stands out of other USB thumb drives in that it looks luxurious. Looking at the front, one can have a rough idea of what the flash drive looks like, however it might be of another color. There is a black, white, and wood finish version. On the sides, there is nothing else than the brand: Super Talent. At the back, the features are written in six different languages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cover is retained by two small magnets. Once lifted up, the jewel appears alongside a leather case, both held firmly in the middle by a black foam. The one reviewed here is the wood colored version.

 

 

The Luxio thumb drive fits in the black leather case like a glove. Once again, a small magnet is inserted in between the leather layers which keeps the case closed. One can see the fade shape of it on the second picture. At the back of it, there is a clip so one can attach it to his belt, for example.

 

 

Now, let's take a closer look at the thumb drive itself. It has a stylish metal band all around it. On the side, it is written the brand in gold. At the complete end, there is a small transparent plastic piece under the metal band to let go the light of a LED, as we will see later. Pulling on the cap on the other end reveals the USB female port. Unfortunalety it is not gold or brass plated. That would have added a nice touch to this luxurious thumb drive!

 

 

Plugging it in a computer lights up two red LEDs in the flash drive. One lights up through the small transparent plastic piece at the end whereas the other one is seen directly though the wood colored plastic. Finally, placing it alongside a penny gives an idea of its dimensions. It is 77mm long.

 

 

Now follow me to the next page to see how this thumb drive can be configured.

 

Configuration:

The first thing one will see when plugging the Super Talent Luxio will be two new partitions. Exploring the first one will reveal two .pdf files and another one named "SecureLock". One of the .pdf files is the user manual for the SecureLock application. It explains every function in detail. The other one is the Luxio USB frequently asked questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SecureLock application has two main functions. The first one is the ablitity to partition the USB thumb drive in the desired size. Beware though, because partitioning will format the drive, therefore erasing all data on it, so one must backup all his data before. Secondly, a password can be set to protect the second partition, which is hardware encrypted. This means there is a small dedicated chip inside the thumb drive that encrypts data. This method is far more secure than software encryption. Also, if five consecutive failed attempts to enter the password are made, the data will be automatically erased.

 

 

Here, in the first screenshot, the second partition has been locked. As one can see, it cannot be accessed anymore; it then calls itself a 0 byte full partition. Once unlocked, it will then display its real size and be accessible.

 

 

Overall, the Super Talent is a very secure way of protecting important data. Now, let's run our benchmarks to see what kind of performance it can deliver.

 

Specifications:

Capacities:
16GB - 64GB
Dimension:
21 mm x 76.5 mm x 9.5 mm
Technical Details:

- Full compatibility with USB 1.1 and 2.0
- Dual channel flash memory architecture
- Hot plug and play; Functions like another hard drive
- Supports password protection
- Supports ReadyBoost™
- AES-256 hardware Encryption included

- Custom black leather carrying case included
- No driver needed for most operating systems (Windows 98SE driver available online)
- LED indicates power, busy
- More than 10 years data retention
- Limited lifetime warranty


 

All information on this page is courtesy of Super Talent @ http://www.supertalent.com/products/stt_usb_detail.php?type=Luxio

 

Testing:

To test the performance of the Super Talent Luxio 64GB, I will use a program that is called Flash Memory Toolkit. The free demo of this program will be used to do the testing. This consists of a low level read test, which will check memory bandwidth on the device, and then a write test of different file sizes. The next benchmark will be the removable storage SiSoft Sandra benchmark. Finally, I will test once again the write speed by copying on it our custom files - the same ones we use for the WinRAR benchmark. All thumb drives have been formatted beforehand and they are plugged in a rear USB port on the motherboard.

Testing System:

 

Comparison Drives:

 

Read Speed - Low Level Benchmark:

This is the first benchmark from Flash Memory Toolkit. This test outputs a speed in megabytes per second and a "times" factor. For both scores, higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 The Luxio 64GB was not as good as Don Carleone, but it still beat the other brands by a huge margin.

Testing:

Read and Write - File Benchmark:

The second benchmark in the Flash Memory toolkit is the file read and write test. It will give us a speed in KB/s. The program uses 5 different files of 1 MB, 2 MB, 3 MB, 4 MB, and 5MB. Once again, higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this benchmark, the Super Talent Luxio was dominated by The Godfather in any test as well as the Kingston Data Traveler 2.0 in the writing tests.

Testing:

Read and Write - File Benchmark:

SiSoft Sandra also performs a read and write test, however the file sizes vary from 32kB to 256MB. All results are written in MB/sec. Higher is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endurance Benchmark:

The endurance benchmark tests the speed at which the thumb drive writes to specific sectors. This time, results are in kB/sec.

 

 

The Super Talent Luxio 64GB rocked for small 256kB files. For bigger files, it got the same position as in the other benchmarks. For the endurance test, it was approximately equal to The Godfather, however both were owned by the Lexar Firefly in two tests out of three.

Testing:

Write - File Benchmark:

The last benchmark I will perform on our guinea pig is the writing of our custom OCC files. These are the same files used in the WinRAR benchmark. The time required is indicated in seconds. I will start the stopwatch at the same time as I click on 'copy' and stop it as soon as the 'copying' window disappears. So this time, lower is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, the Luxio 64GB was situated between The Godfather 16GB and the other brands.

Conclusion

The Super Talent Luxio looks very professional. Its wood finish combined with the metal band creates the luxurious style wanted. Also, who can complain about a 64GB capacity? There is room for a lot of stuff in there! A nice addition is that the user can partition that 64GB into two smaller partitions of the desired size. One can then be locked with a password using the SecureLock application. Data is encrypted using a dedicated chip inside the thumb drive for maximum protection, which is far more secure than software encryption. Moreover, it has good transfer speeds. They are not as good as The Godfather USB flash drive from the same manufacturer, but in general they are great. Also, with the Luxio is provided a black genuine leather carrying case which can be attached to a belt or anything else. When I compare the prices of different 64GB thumb drives on the market, the Luxio is not at the complete bottom. However, considering its great features that other models don't have, such as hardware encryption and the extra leather case, the price is very reasonable. The only downside I found to the Super Talent Luxio is that when it is in use, there is nothing to attach the cap to, so it may be lost. In comparison, the caps of the Kingston Data Traveler and the Lexar Firefly clip on the other side of their respective thumb drive. Overall, I highly recommend the Luxio 64GB Luxury Drive to people needing a secure way of storing data as well as people who want a high-capacity storage solution, whether it be for personal or professional use.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: