by Matthew Harris on June 16, 2006 in External Storage
As flash memory becomes a more mature technology we see physical sizes going down while capacities go up. Today we take a look at a product that takes the reduced physical size to the extreme and find out at what premium does this reduced size come.
You might get away with tossing the MINI-KART on your keys but I’d imagine that after a few months of getting smacked about by metal keys the plastic housing would be very much the worse for wear. In my humble estimation I feel that the safest place for the MINI-KART is in the included carrying case. Why take chances with your data?
Now that we’ve seen the MINI-KART and marveled at it’s size let’s take a look at how well it performs.
HD Tune 2.52 shows a minimum of 7Mb/s transfer with a max of 11Mb/s and an average just shy of 8Mb/s. The access time is 57.5ms so it takes roughly half a second to find something on the card. Let’s take a look and see if HD Tach agrees with that estimate.
HD Tach pretty much agrees with HD Tune on the abilities but not on the raw numbers. There’s still a 4Mb/s difference between the highest and lowest read numbers, the access times are so close as is the CPU utilization. The difference is that the highest and lowest read numbers are about 2Mb/s higher. This is the trouble with synthetic benchmarks… they don’t always agree on numbers so it ends up being subjective.
In use I found that when I accessed the drive the media was readily available very quickly. There wasn’t much waiting time for thumbs to load and when I transferred to or from the MINI-KART the transfer progress bar was there and gone in just a split second. Compared to transferring the same data (a series of pictures taken with a digital camera) via the USB interface on a digital camera, the MINI-KART was way faster. The camera took around 10 seconds to transfer the same images whereas the MINI-KART took less than 2, closer to 1. Pretty speedy.
The time has come to sort through the fluff and find the pea.
- Small size
- Good capacity
- Quick (irregardless of what the benches say)
- Very portable
- Cool blue LED
- Mine was lacking the lanyard
- Customer service is difficult to get ahold of
- Not ideal for wallets or pants pockets
When it’s all said and done the OCZ MINI-KART is a highly portable USB flash drive that is great for putting your media on and toting with you. Yes, you can easily toss it in a shirt pocket or pants pocket. If you’re like me and carry half your belongings in your pockets you might want to use the carrying case as it affords more protection for your investment. The numbers show that it’s slower than some drives out there but compared to media cards it’s pretty fast. I benched an SD card in my USB 2.0 media reader about a year ago and was shocked to get an average of 1.5Mb/s.
I’ve also got to say that it “feels” a lot faster than 7Mb/s or even 9Mb/s as it transfers files competitively with my ROMs. I guess this could be due to not having any mechanical parts in the equation. All in all I was impressed with the OCZ MINI-KART and I’m awarding it an 7/10. The lack of the lanyard and OCZ’s customer service experience ultimately hurt it. I’d like to thank OCZ for sending the MINI-KART our way and you might go peruse their site and look at this and their other products.
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