July 12, 2014 8:52 pm
Updated: July 14, 2014 8:44 am

The world of USB memory sticks and cool new charge cables


*Steve Makris is a technology expert who does a weekly Tech Talk segment during Edmonton’s Sunday Morning News. 

Good glorious summer Sunday morning folks. Today on my Global Sunday Morning News Tech Talk segment I showed the latest in USB memory sticks and some innovative charging cords.


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USB flash memory comes in memory capacities from 8 GB all the way to Kingston’s Hyper Predator One Terabyte (at Amazon $900 USD). You pay for memory capacity, USB 2.0 or nine times faster USB 3.0 connection, read and write speeds, quality of MAND memory cells and construction of the outer shell. This explains the huge price variations on similar capacity makes.

Most USB flash NAND memory comes from a handful of global suppliers, so each batch of one model may not have the same NAND, but that is the least likely part of a USB stick to fail. When shopping for USB sticks for the purpose of connecting them to phones and tablets, make sure they are OTB capable in their spec menu.

Here is a selection of top tier USB sticks I have recently tried. Most of these are not available in local stores, but you can get them on www.tigerdirct.ca or www.amazon.ca  It is worth your time to shop for top tier products instead of getting the cheapest models. Still, check local stores online for availability.

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 locks data

-Kingston’s tiny Data Traveller microDuo 64 GB now with USB 3.0 plugs in a standard USB port and Android type of phones and tablets. Great for transferring files between your PC and portable devices. It has a built-in hole for straps and a protective cover for the micro USB. Starting at $10 for 8 GB USB 2.0  and $50 for the 64 GB capacity.

-Kingston has written the book for secure personal and business use USB sticks. The DataTraveler Locker+ G3 USB 3.0 secures data with password protection, works with both Windows and Mac is easy to set up and use. It comes in durable metal casing with key loop. Prices start at $17 for 8 GB to $70 for the 64 GB model. Best part for me? There is a password reminder in case you forget, as 10 failed attempts will erase the onboard data.

Kingston metal and rubber construction DataTraveler HyperX 256GB USB 3.0 $342, reads up to  225MB/s and writes up to 135MB/s Write Speed. Pricey, but compare that to the slower 70MB/s write and 150MB/s read speeds of the DataTraveler Ultimate G3 USB 3.0 128 GB, (USB 3.0) $145.

-Kingston’s popular DTM30 mini drives are USB 3.0 and start at $16 for a 16 GB model, however their write speed is much slower than the bulkier models above.

Kingston's David Leong with the huge 1 terabyte HyperX Predator USB stick

-Kingston’s show stopper is the one terabyte HyperX Predator as low as $900 on Amazon. It offers the fastest performance from Kingston and the highest capacities available in the world. With 240MB/s read and 160MB/s write speeds (in USB 3.0), users can quickly access, edit and transfer their files and applications directly from the drive with no performance lag. It includes a custom Kingston key ring and HyperX Valet Keychain.


Leef’s new Copper Edition Drives uses distinctive copper finish in three uniquely different models. They use Leef’s Prime Grade Memory, sealed solid and are waterproof, shockproof, and dust proof and carry a 10-year warranty. Available at www.2leef.com and Amazon.

Leef Copper Edition from left Magnet Ice and Surge are weatherproof with a ten year warranty


-The Ice 3.0 USB Flash Drive Copper Edition features an extra large a crystal-like methacrylic resin soft glow LED light embedded with the Leef symbol when connected to a USB port.

-The 32 GB Magnet USB 3.0 Drive Copper Edition’s protective magnetically attached copper cap sticks to most laptops when not in use. You can even magnetically attach the whole drive to where there is metal. $32 USD available direct from www.2leef.com

-The tiny Surge USB 2.0 Drive Copper Edition Low-profile USB Flash Drive, $24 USD,  can stay plugged in all the time without attracting attention (well other than the occasional copper reflection) like in car stereos. It uses Leef’s PrimeGrade Memory and is waterproof, shockproof, and dust proof.


Nomad has done away with cords in two very cool USB charging devices for standard micro USB to USB and the newest iOS lightning to USB. It helps you not lose your charge cables.

Nomad Card fits in small places where charge cables don't

-The Nomad Chargecard’s dimensions are smaller than a credit card and just two credit cards thick. It has a short flexible pullout USB, which means your device has to be close to the charger. But it fits in your wallet.

Nomad Chargekey is short but witth you all the time on your keychain


-The Nomad Chargekey fits on your keychain. Both are $29.

Newer models like the Nomad Card and Nomad Clip (carabiner style) are also on their way and available on pre-order.


© 2014 Shaw Media

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