Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB 3.0 Flash Drive
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.
- USB 3.0
- Convenient cap-less design
- Smooth, flat surface for labeling
- Up to 64GB of storage space
- Just average performance
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.
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.
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.
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