Best USB Flash Drives

Best USB 3.1 Flash Drives [year] For Data Backups

In Digital Technology by Scott Evans

Our top-rated 128GB USB Flash Drive 3.1 start at $17.99

It is truly fascinating to see how the world of technology has evolved, over the course of years. New developments in tech, breakthroughs, disruptive innovations are the taglines of [year], and years to come. Who knows where we are heading, in terms of technological advancements in the future, and specifically who knows which existing technologies might get replaced in the fast approaching time ahead.

Needless to say, there’s one technology that will continue to see upgrades, but might not ultimately get replaced. What we’re talking about here are flash drives.

Well, you might be wondering that flash drives are replaceable, given the launch of similar innovations like SSDs, external hard drives, and most importantly, the advent and adoption of cloud computing. However, there is a significant number of people who still prefer the convenience of flash drives, over other sources of carrying files.

For a casual business, who simply needs to pitch presentations, files or even documents, flash drives are the way to go. They are still very compact, compared to its external hard drive counterparts.

Hence, the disruptive technology of USB 3.1 is the new talk of the town. USB 3.1 allows for better transfer speeds and is a leap towards the previous 3.0 technology.

The fact that we already have extremely snappy and efficient USB 3.0 flash drives, paints the bigger picture, as to how much better USB 3.1 flash drives would turn out to be.

For that purpose alone, today, we will try to highlight the best possible options, in terms of USB 3.1 flash drives, for all the flash drive fanatics out there.

This review has kept the following things in check

  • Compatibility with USB 3.1 must be ensured across all devices present today! This new high-speed standard was put forth in July of 2013 as a replacement to significantly slower predecessors like USB 2 and even faster ones like its predecessor – The traditionally popular but slow relative-USB-30! Most contemporary computers come equipped with Type-A connector cables suitable for supporting this cutting-edge technology protocol – yet we suggest looking at getting new-Type-C ones instead because they’ll give you better investment returns in the long run by ensuring compatibility with newer technologies down-the-line! Last but not least: flash drives using these faster data transfer rates are often backwardly compatible!
  • The transfer speeds of all devices should be fluent and efficient because let’s face it: people buy USBs for convenience, and the main part of that convenience is faster transfer rates. Hence, our list will comprise of only those devices that incorporate higher transfer speeds, so that they correspond to the modern computers of today, with ease, keeping up its pace.
  • All products should have positive customer reviews because quality of a product is not guaranteed by features and advertisements alone. Unless and until a good amount of consumers have provided with their testimonials and weighed in on the devices, one cannot be sure of the product’s quality. Therefore, products for this review have kept customer feedback in check.
  • Each product should meet a specific functional purpose, given the individual preferences of end-user or consumers. For instance, students would prefer a budget-friendly option, while business man would want more a premium offering, with preferably more space and overall features. And some might even want a compact/ rugged option, for people on-the-go and the carefree type of individuals.

Read Write USB 3.0 Flash Drives Comparison

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With that out of the box, lets get started with our top 10 best USB flash drives list!

List of Best USB Flash Drives [year]

Drive Name Read speed (Mb/s) Write speed (Mb/s) Prices
Sandisk Cruzer CZ880 420 380 View Deal
Corsair Flash Voyager 440 440 View Deal
Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite 400 300 View Deal
Kingston Digital HyperX 350 250 View Deal
Samsung Drive Fit Plus 300 300 View Deal
SanDisk Ultra Fit 150 45 View Deal
Samsung Bar Plus 300 300 View Deal
Lexar JumpDrive S75 150 60 View Deal
Kingston DataTraveler Micro 100 15 View Deal
Transcend JetFlash 700 70 18 View Deal
PNY PRO Elite 400 180 View Deal
PNY Turbo 185 135 View Deal
PNY Elite-X Fit 200 45 View Deal
Samsung USB Bar 130 90 View Deal
Kingston Datatraveler SE9 100 15 View Deal
Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 100 75 View Deal

Our Premium USB 3.1 Selection

This category of products below will deal with the most premium offerings of USB 3.1 flash drives that are sleek and stylish and usually preferred by businessman and corporate employees.

1. SanDisk Cruzer CZ880 Extreme PRO – Extreme Performance USB 3.1 Flash Drive

When it comes to flash drives, it doesn’t get better than this. The SanDisk Cruzer CZ880 Extreme PRO is the ultimate flash drive offering not only blazing fast performance, but also extreme durability in the form of a rugged aluminium build, and great software 3 protection in the form of military grade 128-bit AES encryption. We can safely say that it is the fastest drive of [year] as it offers an unmatched sequential read speed of up to 420 Mb/s and sequential write speed of up to 380 Mb/s.

For those of you who don’t know their numbers, these speeds are comparable to some of solid state drives existing today which are installed on only the higher grade laptops and gaming PCs. What makes this device remarkable is SanDisk’s effort to extract all this power into such a small form factor. Most of us think of Micro SD cards when we see the SanDisk brand because of its popularity in that space. However, SanDisk has continued its commitment to quality and innovation and as of [year], is offering storage devices in almost all form factors.

Coming to the outside, the device has a premium feel due to the solid aluminium construction. You can easily slide it in with your keys, but for those looking for portability, I would suggest them to look elsewhere. The reason why I say this, is because this drive is HUGE. I personally think that some trade-offs are to be made for this performance, but for many the size may be a turn-off. Other than size and feel, Flash Drive is slider style which ensures maximum protection when the drive is not in use and it also feels very high quality.

If you’re looking for an exceptional external hard drive that delivers on every front – speed, security and toughness – then look no further than this gem of a USB 3.1 device that boasts impressive features aplenty! It means that to enjoy the full speeds you need a very recent and new device. If you are looking for something that is a bit more rugged, portable, or affordable, I suggest you to keep on reading.

  • Extremely Fast and Snappy
  • Solid Build Quality and Use of Materials
  • Convenient Snapping Connector
  • 128-bit AES Encryption
  • Not quite portable
  • Very Pricey

2. Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 128GB USB 3.1 Premium Flash Drive

The Flash Voyager GTX is certainly among the top USB flash drives on the market today, especially when it comes to the premium USB 3.1 offerings. Build quality is perceived to 4 be top notch. The aluminium exterior holds internal components tight via plastic end caps, and the cap itself when placed on the drive is held tight as well. The construction materials are quite premium, on its own.

Performance of the Flash Voyager GTX is quite good. The USB, in various testings (on IOMeter), was able to touch 400MB to 440MB per second, in terms of reading and 410MB to 440MB per second, in terms of writing. All in all, the GTX Voyager is a premium, top-performing USB 3.1 flash drive in every aspect.

Also, the Flash Voyager GTX is factory formatted with the FAT32 file system, insuring compatibility between Windows and Macintosh computers. The usable capacity after formatting is 119GB (for the 128GB option). The overall storage capacity extends to 1TB, which could cost you over $180, but it’s there, if you simply desire more. After all, premium flash drives comes with premium price tags and exclusive features like 1TB storage capacity option.

Personally, I would recommend this flash drive to individuals who desire top tier performance and features, out of a flash drive, as it doesn’t get any better than the Flash Voyager. It’s an all-rounder, offering reliability, blazing fast transfer speeds, a premium aluminium finish, with plastic accents, and good security.

  • Efficient and Snappy response
  • Smooth Connectivity
  • Premium construction
  • 1TB Storage Option
  • Fast transfer speed
  • Extremely pricey
  • Bulky design

3. Kingston Digital HyperX Savage USB 3.1 Flash Drive

The HyperX Savage, as the name suggests, is one savage 3.1 flash drive. It is as premium, as it is functional. The SavageXs’ every element says for itself. If you’re on the lookout for a premium and stylish USB 3.1 flash drive, HyperX won’t require a second opinion.When it comes to high speed USB drives the HyperX Savage USB Gen1 line doesn’t disappoint. These drives offer blazing fast transfer rates boasting sequential read speeds of up to an impressive rate for its small size on all capacities allowing you complete backup or file transfers in no time at all.

If you’re tired of boring and drab tech accessories then take a look at what HyperX has created with its eye catching Savage USB Flash Drive! Designed with the iconic red HyperX logo and name displayed prominently on its side this compact but mighty drive measures only at around 76 mm in length by 23 mm wide and 12 mm thick. Plus with a convenient removable cap stored safely on the opposite end of the device you never have to worry about losing it!The cap clicks firmly into place if you aren’t using a key chain as if you have it secured to a lanyard or key chain the cap obviously can’t be used.

When it comes to performance the HyperX Savage was found to run at it’s advertised speeds more times than not and for the 128GB drive various testings on that meant 350 MB/s read and 250 MB/s for sequential file transfers. These are pretty good speeds.

Overall, the HyperX Savage is a premium and stylish USB 3.1 flash drive that comes with its iconic HyperX design and packs really sturdy performance, which will not hinder your daily operations at all, instead, will make you want to upgrade to the higher storage options, with even more transfer speeds.

  • Stylish and premium-looking design
  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Multiple storage options
  • 1TB Storage Option
  • Sturdy construction
  • A bit pricey
  • Lacking some distinct features

Our Compact USB 3.1 Selection

This category of products will deal with compact and rugged offerings of USB 3.1 flash drives that offer extra hardware security and usually preferred by on-the-go, carefree consumers.

4. Samsung Drive Fit Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive

If you’re looking for a USB drive that offers a good mix of features and affordability, and above all, portability, the Samsung Drive Fit Plus is the right way to go. The device’s tiny and compact design language makes it easy to carry around and checks the compact part of this category, at it’s best. The USB itself is available in different storage options, ranging from 32GB to 256GB, and supports USB 3.1 connectivity, in line with the rest of 6 our picks. The USB also comes with data-transfer speeds up to 300mbs per second. That’s significantly faster than other USB drive options, especially considering its size.

Additionally, in order to keep your data safe, the Samsung Drive Fit Plus is water, shock, magnet, and temperature proof. Oh, and yes, it is X-Ray proof as well, since we’re talking features. This means that you can carry it just about anywhere, without fear of damaging your content and important files and presentations on board. And since this drive is backward-compatible with USB 3.0, it’ll work in just about any supported device that you have.

All in all, the Samsung Drive Fit Plus, is a rock solid contender and absolutely thrives in the category of compact USB 3.1 flash drives, providing a seamless and unobtrusive transfer experience, with great ease and portability, adding extra security, couple with the 5-year Samsung Warranty.

  • Compact Design
  • Fast data transfer speeds
  • Plenty of Storage options
  • Added security features like water-proofing
  • A bit pricey
  • Easy to misplace

5. SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive

SanDisk is a well-established brand in the realm of storage and peripheral devices. The company has pioneered in making faster storage devices like pen drives, hard disks, and Solid State Drives or SSDs.

SanDisk’s compact and fast USB 3.1 flash drive called the SanDisk Ultra Fit, is a pocketfriendly, portable, and high-speed USB storage device, with storage options, ranging up to 256GB of storage. It also comes in a 32GB option, which most flash drives have ditched today.

The SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 flash drive is extremely compact and portable. At first glance, you’ll be surprised how compact the size is. The flash drive is, indeed very compact, which makes it very easy to carry as well. At times, you might even forget to take the drive out of your PC or laptop, due to the insignificant size, and forget that it’s even there.

Overall, the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 flash drive looks premium and easy to carry around. As the entire body of the flash drive is made using high-quality plastic, it will also prevent accidental shocks and fluctuations in connectivity or data transfer.

SanDisk claims that the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 flash drive offers speeds up to 130 MB/s, which is up to 15x faster compared to the USB 2.0 standard, as SanDisk uses the latest USB 3.1 standard, which is why we’re here any ways, right? Moving to back to the performance, the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 flash drive lives up, in terms of offering snappy transfer speeds. Testings of various users have shown promising results, so performance isn’t an issue here.

Compact and lightning fast the SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 flash drive is an ideal storage solution. If you’re on the hunt for a speedy and compact USB device look no further than this impressive option from SanDisk.

  • Great portability and design footprint
  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Good build quality
  • Multiple storage options
  • Might get lost easily

6. Samsung Bar Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive

In response to customer demand Samsung has launched an updated version of its popular Bar Plus USB 3.1 flash drive – this time featuring an elegant streamlined design in your choice of hues. Whether you prefer classic black or something more vibrant theres a color option for every user! And with various storage capacities now available as well the Bar Plus is truly a customizable solution for all your mobile data needs.

The Samsung BAR Plus flash drive, paired with USB 3.1 technology, comes with more advanced performance. The read speed of the drive can reach up to 300MBs per second, which is quite impressive for its size. Also, there’s a 256GB option available now.

As a portable flash drive, the Samsung USB 3.1 BAR Plus is designed to take a beating, owing to its compact size and sturdy build quality. This flash drive can bear a drop including into the water. Besides, it can be jostled around in a pocket or backpack. More powerful, it can protect itself when it is put through an X-ray. Additionally, it is magnetproof and temperature-proof.

Performance is top notch, as various testings, conducted by different users, indicate that the flash drive provides very good data transfer speeds, exactly as advertised.

The design of Samsung USB 3.1 flash drive is beautiful and the drive performance has some big improvements compared to the 3.0 version, as expected. The major takeaway here is how Samsung is offering the complete package, both in terms of the design and the overall performance, and the added features like water-proofing, shock-proofing, and vice versa, are added an added bonus.

However, if compact USB flash drives is your thing, then for that purpose alone (and many others), you will not be disappointed by the Bar Fit Plus USB 3.1 flash drive, by Samsung.

  • Sleek and compact design
  • Excellent build quality and finishing
  • Multiple storage options
  • Very fast data transfer speeds
  • Added security features like water-proofing
  • Might get lost easily

The next three USB drives on the list are budget oriented ones. In [year], many customers are making more rational buying decisions than ever before; looking for the best value that their money can buy. Below are the devices that we think can satisfy your wants in the lowest price possible.

Our Budget-Friendly USB 3.1 Flash Drives Selection

This category of products will deal with budget-friendly and budget-oriented offerings of USB 3.1 flash drives that packs almost all the good features of a typical USB 3.1 flash drive, but are associated with lower price tags, usually preferred by college students and majority of the audience, in general.

7. Lexar JumpDrive S75 – Budget-Friendly and Compact.

Why sacrifice performance for affordability when you can have both thanks to the Lexar JumpDrive S75 USB 3.1 Flash Drive? Get ready for speedy data transfers – this cutting edge flash drive comes packed with USB 3.1 technology that makes transferring files a breeze while safeguarding your data privacy at all times. The impressive read speed goes up to 150 MB/s while write speed reaches an impressive 60 MB/s; you can choose from several storage options that start at just 32GB or go big with mammoth sized drives offering an expansive capacity of 256 GB!

The highlight feature of the Lexar JumpDrive USB 3.1 flash drive is, obviously, its budgetfriendly price tag, but this flash drives offers extremely nifty features, that are usually associated with premium USB 3.1 flash drives. This is the exact reason why we chose Lexar’s JumpDrive S75 USB 3.1 flash drive, as our top value for money pick.

The JumpDrive S75 includes an advanced security software solution with 256-bit AES encryption to help protect your essential files against corruption, loss, and deletion. 9 Easily create a password-protected vault that automatically encrypts data. And for peace of mind, files that are deleted from the vault are securely erased and can’t be recovered and beyond its performance and good looks, the JumpDrive S75 is designed for convenience. It sports a retractable connector with easy-to-use thumb slide.

All in all, the JumpDrive S75 is great value for money and a top performer, which is backed by strict quality controls, as claimed by Lexar. The product even comes with a 3- year protection warranty for added peace of mind. All of this and under $10 (for 32gb version), is indeed a keeper!

  • Budget friendly price tag
  • Superior performance
  • Good build quality
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • USB 3.1 compatible
  • The retractable connector is prone to breakage
  • Limited warranty as compared to competitors offering 5-year warranty

8. Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite – Best Value USB 3.1

While many consumers go after popular and tested brand names, some like to take calculated risks and once in a while step across brands like Patriot. Patriot is neither the first nor the best manufacturer of high speed flash storage, where they excel is providing extremely great value for money. This is by all means, an impressive USB device.Design wise the Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite is the smallest USB flash drive that you can buy in this price segment. In terms of build quality, don’t expect too much at this price point – you’ll only get a plastic body for this one. The device also has a sliding mechanism or capless design which ensures optimum safety when not in use and the safety of not getting lost. In addition to this, the body has a rubber coating housing which can really help extend the life of this drive by protecting it against spills, drops, and regular abuse. The fact that Patriot has focused on durability is remarkable and it proves the company’s drive to provide the best value to their consumers.

On the performance side, this device did not disappoint us too. We are looking at sequential write speeds of upto 400 Mb/s and sequential read speeds of upto 300 Mb/s. This means that you won’t have to wait for those large games to load any longer. The endurance testing revealed that the drive can handle the rigors of long term use easily, and although it does heat up quite a bit, it handles heat much better than any other drive in this segment. This is especially important because SanDisk is notorious for manufacturing devices that heat up and suffer from performance issues.

So then, if this device is so good, why isn’t it at the top of our list? The first reason is the lack of any form of security encryption, as cyber security is becoming an issue of global importance. Secondly, we would like to see better 4K read/write performance. For those who don’t know, it is the speed at which the drive can access small blocks of data from random locations – lower 4K performance means the drive isn’t great for things such as hosting complete operating systems.

This device gets a solid recommendation from us because of its great performance, value, and portability. Although the drive scores really low on the 4K read/write benchmark but don’t worry, it will handle day to day use such as watching movies, playing games, and copying large files flawlessly. Even customers from Amazon are really satisfied with the device and posting positive reviews.

9. Kingston DataTraveler Micro 3.1 Flash Drive

The DataTraveler Micro 3.1 line-up of USBs, by Kingston, is aimed towards people who are primarily looking for a very compact, durable and affordable USB flash drive with plenty of available storage. However, our primary focus is on the flash drive’s value for money element, that it lives up to.

The DataTraveler Micro 3.1 features a metal enclosure, representing sturdy build quality, and USB 3.1 connectivity (obviously) and according to Kingston, the 128GB variant is able to achieve read performance of up to 100MBs per second and write performance of up to 15MBs per second.

Bear in mind that Micro’s performance may not be able to impress and stand out, but given its size and the price tag it is associated with, the existing speeds of this flash drive will satisfy most users. The speed, in itself, given its price, offers good value for money, and will no disappoint the average user, if not blow you away.

If you’re a college student or a casual user, who simply needs a functional and convenient flash drive, with USB 3.1, and all the necessary features, paired with a budget-friendly price tag, then this pick will not disappoint you.

  • Budget friendly price tag
  • Good overall performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • Multiple storage options
  • Relatively slow transfer speeds
  • Lacking security features

10. Transcend JetFlash 700 USB 3.1 Flash Drive

With a combination of speed and beauty, the JetFlash 700 is a perfect entry-level USB 3.1 flash drive for those who demand stylish aesthetics with leading technology, and complete value for money.

The highlight of this USB 3.1 flash drive, apart from its budget-friendly price tag, is that it supports Transcends unique slide data management software. Transcend Elite data management software is available as a free download and includes user-friendly applications to help users manage data and increase productivity, as well as keep important files organized, protected, and up to date via data backups and restores, encryption and decryption, file sync (Windows only), cloud backups, and security. This makes this flash drive even more special.

Transcend’s JetFlash 700 is built to last, with its sturdy and smooth build quality, coupled with decent data transfer speed rates up to 70MBs per second for reading, and 18MB per second for writing. Obviously, these speeds are no where near the premium and middle-level offerings, but those offerings comes with a premium price tag as well, which is quite heft on the wallet.

But frankly speaking, in terms of real world usage, for the average consumer, these speeds aren’t that much of a big deal, if all you need to transfer are a bunch of assignments or presentations, perhaps some entertainment content as well. The speeds being offered by Transcend’s JetFlash 700 are decent enough to satisfy your transfer needs, while not breaking your wallet, all together.

The JetFlash 700 USB 3.1 Flash Drive is a well-appraised storage peripheral device and widely popular amongst the category of value for money USB 3.1 flash drives. You won’t go wrong with this one.

  • Very good build quality
  • Great value for money
  • USB 3.1 capable
  • Exclusive software support
  • Minimalistic and sleek design
  • Insignificant transfer speeds

11. PNY PRO Elite – Maximum Capacity.

The PNY PRO Elite is one of those devices which you see on your friend’s laptop and immediately fall in love with. PNY has been known for their quality products at affordable prices and this offering is no different.

Although some may argue that beauty is subjective, many people have fallen in love with the design of one of the best USB Flash Drives. There is something about this one, something uniquely beautiful and elegant about this premium gunmetal finish that other drives are definitely missing. The size is also surprisingly compact and it doesn’t block adjacent USB ports like the SanDisk device above.

Holding the PNY PRO Elite in your hands is very reassuring, thanks to the heavy weight and high quality metal housing. The capless design ensures that your files are safe when you aren’t using the drive, and you can easily slide it in with your keys and forget about it thanks to the portability.

Coming to the performance side, things are also looking optimistic here. Among the high performance class that we have reviewed, this is the only one that boasts 512GB of maximum capacity. This is actually very impressive, considering that you can have half a terabyte of very high performance storage in your palm and on the go. This is why this drive has been a favorite among content creators and photographers.

Sequential read speeds can reach upto 400 Mb/s and write speeds upto 180 Mb/s. While the read speeds are up to the competition, this drive is far behind on the write speeds. Don’t get me wrong – 180 Mb/s is a very impressive speed; however, the Patriot and SanDisk drives are far ahead in this game. The 4K random speeds are looking better than the Patriot drive. Apart from this, the performance is consistent any without any major issues.

So then, who is this device for? People who like a classy, professional design drive that offers an amazing amount of storage in a very small package will surely appreciate this one. For the normal consumer, the price is also attractive.

  • Available in 512 GB
  • Stylish Design
  • Excellent Build quality
  • Great performance
  • Relatively slow write performance

Our USB 3.0 Flash Drives Selection

This category of products will deal with older version of USB 3.1 and is referred as USB 3.0 flash drives, which were the Kings of the time and are still used by many. They are also associated with budget-friendly or lower price tags.

12. PNY Turbo – Turbo power.

This being the third PNY USB 3.0 flash drive in the review means that PNY really know what they are doing. While you won’t be impressing anyone with the design of this one, we think that the value this device provides is extremely incredible for the money.

Let’s say it this way – the PNY Turbo isn’t getting any awards for its design. The plastic build quality is nothing to brag about, and the bloated design looks bulky. In defense of PNY, I would say that aesthetics weren’t their primary focus in this device; they have plenty of pretty looking drives for other price points.

There isn’t a lanyard hole for you to attach the drive to anything. Plus, the sliding mechanism is pretty loose and sloppy. The plastic feels pretty cheap in the hand and this device is generally well known for its average build quality.

The sequential read speeds are upto 190 Mb/s and sequential write speeds clock upto 130 Mb/s. These speeds are quite impressive considering the price. The performance is also consistent across all tests – except for the 4K random write performance. In order for your operating system to operate at optimal efficiency, it is necessary to assess including an additional drive. Nevertheless, thus far the equipment has not encountered any noteworthy complications.

The PNY Turbo is for the consumer that wants the best price to performance ratio and nothing else. For that kind of consumer, we recommend the Patriot Supersonic Rage Elite instead for a small price increase. However, the PNY Turbo itself is also a very capable device and doesn’t fail to impress.

  • Great value for money
  • Great read/write speeds
  • Plastic body
  • No lanyard hole
  • Lousy sliding mechanism

13. PNY Elite-X Fit – Incognito drive.

The Elite series from PNY is excellent in terms of speed, build quality and design. The Elite-X Pro is one of those devices which has proven its mark in the industry. With the professional design and exceptional build quality comes groundbreaking performance and reliability in this small package.

The best part about the design of this USB Flash Drive is the ease with which it blends into the laptop or PC in which you plug it in. The design is what some of us would call ‘minimalistic’. The body is made out of plastic and although it as not very large, it is bigger than any other small form factor USB Flash Drive out there. Ergonomically speaking, the body is rough and curved, which makes it extremely easy to pull out of a USB port compared to the competition.

There is a lanyard hole for you to tie it and it is big enough to be able to slide in a keyring, which might be a big plus for some buyers. The Flash Drive comes with a transparent cap for protection although it might get lost over time.

Speaking of performance, the device has excellent read speeds in the category, with sequential speeds of upto 200 Mb/s. This is really impressive and beats even some of the bigger flash drives for its price. Where it noticeably lacks are the read speeds, which reach just about 45 Mb/s.

So then, who can benefit the most from this device? Someone who is looking for a USB Flash Drive than can easy blend in, can play 4K movies and games, and can do all this without breaking the bank. Buyers who want to keep backups, edit files, and record directly on it should look elsewhere.

  • Great read speeds for size
  • Very compact
  • Plastic body
  • Average write speeds

14. Samsung USB Bar (Metal) – 3.0 Alien design.

This is another hit product from Samsung, the USB 3.0 Bar. What looks like an alien piece of technology not only performs amazingly, but also boasts great build quality and comes at a great price.

The design of the Samsung USB 3.0 Bar is very unique; it has a unibody metal construction and an elegant champagne color. The device is so aesthetically pleasing that many have bought this device specifically for its striking looks. The slim profile and lightweight construction remind us that who other than Samsung can create this.

The keyhole is very big, which means you can easily slide this one in a keyring. With the merits of having a metal body come the demerits, such as being a fingerprint magnet and being slippery. In addition to all this, the drive is also water proof, shock proof, temp proof, magnetic proof, and X-Ray proof like the drive fit. This USB flash drive doesn’t have a cap or any protection though.

So far the device has done well, and performance holds the same record. While the sequential read speeds of upto 130 Mb/s and sequential write speeds of upto 90 Mb/s might not sound impressive, the device managed to perform consistently. The 4K random read/write speeds are acceptable, the device does not heat up, and the device delivers on all fronts.

So who is this device for? The average consumer. This is what Samsung is best at, producing best devices for mass consumption. The Samsung USB 3.0 Bar fulfills everyone’s needs; it’s cheap, stylish, convenient, and fast.

  • Appealing design
  • Great value for money
  • Unibody aluminum construction
  • Slippery drive
  • Fingerprint magnet

15. Kingston Datatraveler SE9 G2 – Beautiful Design.

It is saddening to see that Kingston – which used to be the undisputed leader in flash drives a few years back – is in such a position in [year]. This serves to prove the point that manufacturers need to keep up with the market changes otherwise their market share could drastically decrease.

The Kingston Datatravel SE9 G2 is the successor to the original USB 2.0 SE9, a wildly successful drive that is even available today. This iteration of this flash drive is slimmer and longer. It features the same champagne colored unibody metal design as the Samsung USB 3.0 Bar drive, but it is even smaller. The seamless design flushes easily into a USB port and becomes a part of your device. Again, this is a very beautifully designed drive with exceptional build quality. While there are no claims from Kingston about the durability of this one, most of their devices have held reputation for the longevity and this one is no exception.

The key hole is also quite big, and unlike the USB 3.0 Bar, isn’t obtrusive. The capless design means that you won’t have to worry about losing the cap, but also means there won’t be any protection for the exposed connector.

The Kingston Datatraveler SE9 G2 takes a deep dive in performance benchmarks. While the sequential read speeds of upto 100 Mb/s don’t sound too bad, the sequential write speeds are terrible at 15 Mb/s. These write speeds are comparable to some of the USB 2.0 Flash drives. The customer service has said in its defense to complaining customers that this is an entry level device, but this is [year] and most people want the best for their money. The 4K random write performance is terrible too, if you are wondering.

While the performance of this drive isn’t very impressive, it comes at a good price and has great build quality and design. We recommend this flash drive for those who like Kingston drives and don’t think fast performance is imperative in flash drives.

  • Robust build quality
  • Great design and portability
  • Budget friendly
  • Terrible write speeds

16. Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth – Rugged Drive.

For some of us, the device should be no less than rugged to be considered. Thankfully, a number of brands manufacture these kind of devices and Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth seems to be one of the best available. Corsair is one of the most reputable computer memory manufacturer and this offering from them is no different than their other great products.

This USB Flash Drive screams military grade all over. It has a ‘hard-anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing’, an ‘EPDM water seal’, and a ‘molded shock dampening collar’. It’s waterproof to an amazing 200 meters, vibration resistant, and shock resistant.

However, these options come at a sacrifice. First of all, this drive is huge at 70mm long. Then there is the aluminum housing, which is enclosed by two rubber seals; both have to be taken off to use this flash drive. Then there is the fact that this device is as vulnerable as any other USB Flash Drive without the housing and seals, which can easily get lost.

The differentiating factor for this rugged flash drive is its amazing performance. With sequential read speeds of upto 100 Mb/s and sequential write speeds of 75 Mb/s, this device is way ahead of the competition. The 4K random read/write performance isn’t very terrible and there haven’t been any major complaints about this device yet.

The Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth is an amazing drive, and it has been on the market for quite some time (there as reviews dating as back as 2008 for a previous version). With the reputation of Corsair, one cannot go wrong. We strongly recommend this for those looking for a very rugged drive.

  • Great speeds for a rugged drive
  • Military grade protection
  • Proven
  • Reasonably priced
  • Not very portable
  • Separable aluminum housing

To help you find the finest USB 3.1 flash drives in [year] we’ve compiled this list of devices using our rigorous selection process and testing methods based on various parameters like speed, durability etc..

We’ve endeavoured to cover every possible consumer need through our comprehensive reviews of each product featured here but please note that optimal performance requires connecting your USB 3.1 flash drive via a designated port specifically designed for this purpose within your supporting device setup – don’t overlook this crucial aspect!

If your device has a blue coloured port or a port labelled ‘SS’ for SuperSpeed, then go ahead and buy these devices, otherwise buy much cheaper USB 3.0 flash drives.