The USB flash drive market is saturated with so many different choices. They vary in all factors including capacity, dimensions, form factor, special features and styles. With so many options, it can be difficult to pick the right drive for you. In circuitREMIX's series of USB flash drive reviews, we will try to offer more guidance on this issue and maybe find a few gems in the pack. Today we are starting out with Kingston's DataTraveler ReadyFlash USB flash drive (1GB). The drive is a USB2.0 device which is designed and optimized for Microsoft's Windows ReadyBoost feature.
Kingston's DataTraveler ReadyFlash is a silver plastic USB flash drive. It has a pretty basic rectangular design, with a cap covering the USB connector. Overall, it's a pretty plain looking flash drive, with the most eye catching element the holographic Kingston logo on the front. Overall, the drive's construction is of high quality. All the components of the drive have solid fit, with no creaking. That being said, barring any strenuous abuse, the drive should live a long life.
The sides of the DataTraveler ReadyFlash have rubber grip affixed. This adds more leverage and grip when removing the cap protecting the USB connecter.
The backside of the drive proudly proclaims Windows ReadyBoost compatibility. While we won't touch on ReadyBoost testing for this feature, all drives which are ReadyBoost certified must meet minimum performance requirements. These requirements are limited to high performance flash drives. If you want to learn more about ReadyBoost, I would recommend this article from Anandtech. Additionally, the back of the drive has a plastic loop which will allow a fabric loop (included) to be fitted through, which you can use to connect the drive to a keychain. An indicator light on the drive shows read/write activity.
The USB connector is concealed with a cap when not in use. The cap fit on tightly enough that you shouldn't worry about it falling off when carrying it around, but it wasn't a struggle to remove for use. While I don't hate the cap design, I am much more of a fan of USB flash drives which have retractable connectors or have the cap connected to the drive itself. The reason for this is caps are pretty easy to lose.
The size of DataTraveler ReadyFlash is neither small or big, but I would say it is 'average' size for a USB flash drive. The exact dimensions are 68x21x9mm. Portability wise, it will fit comfortably on a keychain.
The DataTraveler ReadyFlash is slightly bigger than the standard USB connector, but there shouldn't be any clearance problems with adjacent USB ports as long as the other devices you are using are standard sized as well. Testing side-by-side ports on a laptop (Apple Macbook) and stacked motherboard-onboard USB ports yielded no clearance issues.