Patriot PEF4G200USB Xporter XT High Speed USB Flash Drive

Admin - 2007-05-27 11:55:28 in Storage / Hard Drives
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: May 30, 2007
Patriot Memory
Patriot Memory
Price: $41.99 USD

Introduction:

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.

Closer Look:

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.

 

 

Specifications:


Image Capabilities:

(Approximate number of images per card)

Type of Camera
*File Size (MB)
128MB
256MB
512MB
1GB
2GB
4GB
8GB
16GB

 
2 Megapixel
0.86
148
296
592
1191
2381
4763
9526
19051
3 Megapixel
1.17
109
219
438
876
1750
3501
7002
14003
4 Megapixel
1.90
67
134
269
538
1078
2156
4312
8623
5 Megapixel
2.54
50
100
201
403
806
1613
3225
6450
6 Megapixel
3.04
42
84
168
336
674
1347
2695
5390

 



Music Capabilities:

(Approximate number of minutes per card)

**Capacity
*MP3
*WMA
 

Normal
(128 kbps)

Fine
(160 kbps)

Normal
(96 kbps)

Fine
(128 kbps)

128MB
142
106
164
125
256MB
284
213
328
250
512MB
568
426
656
501
1GB
1137
853
1312
1003
2GB
2274
1706
2624
2006
4GB
4548
3412
5248
4012
8GB
9096
6824
10496
8024
16GB
18192
13648
20992
16048



Features:


It is too bad I do not have a copy of Windows Vista, as this will prevent me from testing the Readyboost feature of this drive. Perhaps I will update this review when I do get a copy of Vista.

Testing:

I will test the speed of this drive by comparing it to a generic 1GB drive that I bought for $15 at a local PC store. I will be using a program called Flash Drive Toolkit to test these drives. Flash Drive Toolkit is a relatively new program and totally new to OCC. As I do not have the full registered version, I cannot run all the tests included, some of which are limited only to reading data and not writing. Some of the things that are able to be done with this tool-kit are very handy indeed if you had the full version, such as backup and recovery.

I will then make three files on my desktop and write these files to the drives. I will check to see how long it takes to copy them to the drives for a real-world look at how they may compare. The files I will be using are 10MB, 100MB, and 500MB in size for the real-world test.

Testing Setup:

As you can see from this shot of the Flash Memory Toolkit, there is a lot of information that can be had from this program. In the error test screen-shots below, even though I could only do the read part of the test, the results will show the individual speeds of the flash drives that I tested.

 


These charts below represent the values that were recorded from the “Low Level Benchmark” showing you the “Average MB/s” and the “Average Speed( X )” respectively. In each case, higher values are better.


For the file benchmark, I will show the results from using a 5MB file which in this case did use the “read” and “write” capabilities of the benchmark. These results are in KB/s with higher results being better.


Here are the results from the real-world write tests of the files I had created on my desktop. The values in the graphs will be in seconds with less being better. As you will see below, the Patriot Xporter XT drive destroys the generic drive!

Yeah, this Patriot drive really moves the data! It is the new default drive that I will be using at my house.

Conclusion:

I don’t know about any of you, but I use flash drives a lot in my home. I have even used them to take files to a friend at work so he may take them home with him for game patches and whatnot. I think they were a great idea and have saved many people the hassle of burning small files to a CD, when all the capacity was not needed. Plus, the portability and durability makes these drives far more superior to a burned CD.

Sure, there are portable hard drives on the market, but they are a lot larger and harder to carry with you. They will not like it much if you happen to be exposing them to a dusty or damp environment - camping anyone? These would be great for holding your MP3 collection. This Patriot Xporter XT is a great drive as far as I can see. It is extremely fast, durable with its rubber coating and has a large capacity of 4GB. It is going to serve as my main flash drive for transporting my files. Heck, at 4GB, it will even carry some large video files!

This drive is fantastic and I would whole-heartedly recommend this flash drive to anyone who may be looking to buy such a device. The only thing I can find that would be a negative for this drive would be the fact that due to its bulky rubber coating, it takes up a lot of room in a stacked USB port configuration and it makes putting a second USB device in to the other port a bit difficult. This can be avoided by using the included USB cable.


Pros:


Cons: