Patriot PEF4G200USB Xporter XT High Speed USB Flash DriveFormer staff writer - May 30, 2007
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Price: $41.99 USD
I imagine most of us have used a “sneakernet” at one time or another, right? What, you don’t know what a "sneakernet" is? Let me explain then. Assuming you have more than one PC in your place of residence, let’s say you have a 4MB game patch to add to the PC in the other room without internet access or network access. By copying that file to a disk and carrying it to the other PC you have just created a “sneakernet”! Get it? Sneakers? Now, with this being a 4MB file, it won’t fit on a floppy disk. Who uses those these days anyway? Your other choices are to burn it to a CD, or copy it to a flash drive. A flash drive, or thumb drive as some refer to it, is a small device the plugs directly into your type-A USB connection on your computer. It consists of a printed circuit board and NAND-type memory. They are small, light-weight and are powered by the USB port they are plugged into. They come in a variety of sizes. The first one I ever bought was only 128MB, while the one being reviewed here is a whopping 4GB!
This 4GB flash drive came from Patriot. It is however, not their largest flash drive, as they also make an 8GB drive. It is called the PEF4G200USB Xporter XT High Speed USB Flash Drive. According to Patriot Memory, this drive is capable of read speeds of 200x, making it one of the fastest drives available.
Patriot Memory is located in Fremont, California and is a member of JEDEC. They have their own manufacturing facility, so there is no need to outsource the manufacture of the products that they design. This gives them the ability to respond quickly and intelligently to any changes in the growing market. It also allows them to closely control the quality of their product. They have sales offices throughout the US and Asia.
The drive came packaged in a sturdy plastic shell, similar to many retail products you find on store shelves today. The front of the product was clearly visible, while the paper insert listed many of its features. The back of the package listed in more detail the features of this flash drive.
As I take a closer look at this flash drive, my first impression is that it is a sporty looking device. With the grey/black background and the red and white lettering, it just seems like something that I would find in a sports shop. The fact that it is completely covered in a heavy rubberized coating adds to this effect for me. I mean, I can drop it on my desktop and have it bounce back up. This is one of Patriots claims - that it is indeed a rugged device. The say it is durable, water and shock resistant.
You can see here how thick this rubber coating is.
The package contained the drive itself along with a lanyard, a cap holder, and a USB cable. You can use the USB cable to connect to the rear of your PC and still keep the drive in the front for easy reach. The cap holder is a nice touch as many USB devices are cap-less after a bit of use, since they are small enough to lose easily. This drive is covered by a lifetime warranty.