A thumb drive may not be exciting to everyone, but being able to put these two head-to-head was an interesting project. They may well be cheap and simple devices but with the addition of free, and incredibly simple to use, encryption software they immediately become quite a valuable tool. Whether you are transferring your important documents that you cannot trust to the cloud, or simply a file with all your online passwords that you don’t trust to Google Chrome I highly recommend the idea behind these.
But, do I recommend either or both of the drives themselves? Well, that come down to the numbers – the cost of the drive pitted against the speed and my own (somewhat flexible) definition of ‘value’.
Starting with the Lexar Jumpdrive S75, which is the cheapest and the slowest of the two I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed. I hated the feel of the drive, something about the texture of the orange plastic really set my teeth on edge in a similar way to fingers on a chalkboard. I know that’s a deeply personal observation and not everyone id affected by that noise and so you won’t all be affected by the feel of the S75, but even thinking about it as I write my shoulders are shuddering. Performance wise, the read speeds hit the mark that they advertise within a margin of error, considering I was testing these on my home PC with loads of crapware installed. Write speeds though were really disappointing, and fell well below what I was expecting. This drive sells for around £9.26 at Amazon.co.uk, so in terms of value I went window shopping to see what else was available at a similar price. There’s a lot of competition out there but after a lot of searching I narrowed down the likely competitors and they were a bit more expensive.
So, as much as I hate it’s texture and the low write speed, it’s read speed is very fast for its price and the encryption software is simple yet brilliant, and yes, if you are on a budget and need 32Gb data that you must encrypt it’s well worth a second glance.
On then to our other contender, the more expensive Jumpdrive P20 which sells on Amazon for sells on Amazon for around £20.25. Again we have the similar story of blazing fast speeds when reading data from the flash drive but poor writing performance. The same EncryptStick Lite software is present though so that is a strong plus point. when it came to pricing competitors I had to move away from Amazon because searching for specific traits was a nightmare. Searching a specialist memory supplier I was able to fine-tune my search for very high-speed Flash drives to see what the competition was like. There was none. Nothing else was rated at the same or similar write speeds for this size of the drive and though the reads were lower than expected the larger drives are rated to go a lot faster (and this one wasn’t exactly slow) which should help it compete with the likes of the Corsair Voyager we tested previously.
If you don’t care about speed then the Jumpdrive P20 is just too expensive. However for what it does, and bundling the encryption software for added value, I’d recommend it to anyone without hesitation. It also feels gorgeous to hold.