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Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

December 25th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

4 stars

Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB3

USB flash drives are useful for a great many things. One of my favorites is turning them into bootable utility drives. Whenever I get a new version of OS X or Windows, I create bootable USB flash drives so I have hard copies of the OS installer. Another tool I use a lot is Parted Magic, a Linux-based utility. And while you don’t always need high-end flash drives for these purposes, a good one can go a long way to avoiding frustration and wasted time. I took a look at the Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3 specifically for use as a bootable drive after I experienced problems trying to create a bootable OS X Mavericks installer.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • USB 3.0
  • Convenient cap-less design
  • Smooth, flat surface for labeling
  • Up to 64GB of storage space

CONS

  • Just average performance

Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB3- packaging

DESIGN & FEATURES
The DT100 G3 uses a cap-less design for convenience and the sliding mechanism works well. It requires a few operations before it loosens up a bit, however. The back of the drive also has a loop for keyrings and lanyards.

Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB3- top

The drive is actually smaller than I’d anticipated, which would normally be a good thing, but I was hoping for a lot of surface space for labeling. Still, the large section of the slider should be enough for most labeling needs. The ability to label the drive can be important when you have several drives with different utilities on them. Some of my flash drives aren’t great choices for labels because they either have odd shapes or have a rubber finish. The rubber finish makes it hard for labels to stick to the drive. The labels I used with the DT100 G3 had no problems staying on the drive.

Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB3- bottom

The performance of the USB 3.0 DT100 G3 is better than USB 2.0 drives, but it won’t set any speed records. I measured the drive’s performance at 42 MB/s read and 15 MB/s write, which is absolutely fine as an OS installer/recovery drive and for bootable utilities. Once it’s set up as a boot drive, you probably won’t be copying files to it again and its read performance is plenty fast for installation purposes. The modest performance also means that the DT100 G3 is a much better deal than a lot of USB 3.0 drives of the same capacity. You can obviously use it for storing and transferring files, but if you frequently transfer files back and forth, you might want to consider another USB flash drive with a higher speed rating.

Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB3- hero

CONCLUSION
The Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3 is well-suited for use as a bootable OS/recovery drive and other bootable utilities. While its performance is very modest, so is its cost. The drive also has enough surface space for labeling and the slider design prevents any anxiety with the cap.

When I tested the DT100 G3 by creating a bootable OS X Mavericks installer, it worked without a hitch, which is more than I can say for some of the other drives I tried. If you’re looking for a solid USB flash drive to use as a bootable drive, the DT100 G3 is definitely worth looking at and a good value.

Available from Amazon.com.

* Review units provided by Kingston

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ed is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He reviews new gadgets at Techdad Review and his tech tutorials can be found online at Lifehacker, CNET, and eHow.


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  1. Ed Rhee
    April 1st, 2014 at 22:32 | #1

    @Regina
    Thanks for the note! Glad the review was helpful :)

  2. Regina
    April 1st, 2014 at 16:57 | #2

    Thanks for this review. I found it to be very helpful in making a decision about which drive to go with for business doc storage. I purchased it because we won’t be transferring files back and forth. We will mostly be using it for storage.
    Thanks!
    Regina

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