Super Talent Pico Flash Drive Review

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by Jerry Jackson, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. Jerry Jackson

    Jerry Jackson Administrator NBR Reviewer

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    by Jerry Jackson

    While there is no shortage of memory manufacturers making USB flash drives, Super Talent consistently receives praise in our discussion forums for making some of the best USB flash drives in terms of both performance and value. The Super Talent "Pico" series of compact USB flash drives combine small size, high capacity, and speed in a variety of interesting designs. We decided to take a look at the Super Talent Pico-B, Pico-C, and Pico-D flash drives to see if these tiny storage devices are worthy of so much praise.

    Super Talent Pico-B (Slide Model) drive specifications:

    • Capacities: 1GB - 8GB
    • Weight: less than 6g
    • Dimensions: 31.8mm x 18.8mm x 4.4mm
    • Operating Temperature: 32° F to 140° F (0° C to 60° C)
    • Storage Temperature: -4° F to 185° F (-20° C to 85° C)
    • Guaranteed: Backed with Super Talent’s lifetime warranty

    [​IMG]

    Super Talent Pico-C (Capless Model) drive specifications:

    • Capacities: 1GB - 8GB
    • Weight: less than 6g
    • Dimensions: 31.3mm x 12.4mm x 3.4mm
    • Operating Temperature: 32° F to 140° F (0° C to 60° C)
    • Storage Temperature: -4° F to 185° F (-20° C to 85° C)
    • Guaranteed: Backed with Super Talent’s lifetime warranty
    Super Talent Pico-D (Swivel Model) drive specifications:

    • Capacities: 1GB - 8GB
    • Weight: less than 6g
    • Dimensions: 39.7mm x 13.5mm x 4.9mm
    • Operating Temperature: 32° F to 140° F (0° C to 60° C)
    • Storage Temperature: -4° F to 185° F (-20° C to 85° C)
    • Guaranteed: Backed with Super Talent’s lifetime warranty

    Design and Features

    The Pico-D is the largest member of Super Talent's Pico family, yet it still measures less than 40mm in length ... making it smaller than many USB flash drives on the market. While all of the Pico drives are stylish, I personally like the Pico-D the most because of the simple swivel (or "switchblade") design. All of the Pico drives feature a slim storage design. Rrather than use a typical USB plug, the Picos use a low-profile USB plug (essentially just the lower half of the USB plug) that works with any standard USB port on your computer.

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    [​IMG]

    The Pico-C USB flash drive has a capless design and is the smallest member of the Pico family. The Pico-C is about half the size of an SD card (though about twice as thick), and like the other Pico drives is smaller than the plug at the end of a USB cable. Not only does this design look good, but it solves the dilemma of losing USB end caps on other flash drives. Unlike "switchblade" type flash drives, there is no swivel or release switch to break or get stuck in the closed position. Simply slide the Pico-C into your computer's USB port when you need it and remove it when you don't. In fact, the Pico-C is so small that twice I accidentally left it plugged into my laptop after I put the laptop inside my bag.

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    [​IMG]


    For those of you who might find the Pico-C a little too small, the Pico-B gives you the same capacity options and performance in a slightly larger "slide model" design. Again, the capless design of the Pico-B is something you can really appreciate if you've ever lost the USB end cap on another flash drive. The slide design is simple: just push and slide the plastic button on the side of the drive forward and the USB plug extends. Slide the button back and the USB plug retracts. The external "frame" is aluminum surrounding a plastic body which gives the drive an overall rugged feel.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My only complaints about the build and design of the Pico drives are rather minor. First, The Pico drives are so small that it's easy to misplace them inside your bag or on your desk. That might sound like a lame criticism, but I started to find it frustrating when I couldn't find important files because the tiny USB flash drive vanished under the edge of a magazine or slipped out of a pocket inside my laptop bag. Second, all of the Pico drives have slim USB plugs that fit very, very tightly inside the USB ports on your computer. This sometimes makes it difficult to insert or remove the Pico from a USB port because it either doesn't want to go in or doesn't want to come out. Last, The Pico-B "slide model" lacks a firm lock mechanism to hold the USB plug in place. This can be a problem because when you try to insert the drive into the USB port on your computer the USB plug sometimes slides back inside the body of the Pico-B ... preventing you from connecting the drive to your computer.

    Performance

    The big question you're probably asking yourself is, "Why should I buy one of these USB flash drives instead of a generic USB flash drive I can find for the same price or less?" Well, aside from the cool designs and compact sizes of these flash drives, Super Talent does a better-than-average job when it comes to USB flash drive performance. Not all USB flash drives are created equal ... even if they have the same capacity. Some drives have much slower data transfer speeds than others, which leads to decreased productivity (and increased frustration) as you have to wait for files to be copied from or written to the flash drive.

    Super Talent claims multiple times on their website that although the Pico drives are small, "tiny does not have to mean fragile or slow." To test this, I compared both the Pico USB flash drives against one another and against a generic USB drive you might easily find in just about any store. The generic flash drive used in this test is a no-name brand 1GB flash drive that sells for $5 next to the cash register at a local drugstore.

    As indicated in the benchmark tests below, the Super Talent drives performed quite well compared to the cheap or free flash drives you might find elsewhere. In fact, the Pico drives all managed to deliver more than twice the speed of a generic USB flash drive. Our standard benchmarks include ATTO and HDTune.

    ATTO performance benchmark:

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    Super Talent Pico-C 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Super Talent Pico-D 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Super Talent Pico-B 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Generic 1GB Flash Drive

    HDTune performance benchmark:

    [​IMG]
    Super Talent Pico-C 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Super Talent Pico-D 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Super Talent Pico-B 8GB
    [​IMG]
    Generic 1GB Flash Drive

    Conclusion

    The Super Talent Pico series of USB flash drives all manage to stand apart from the competition ... in both good ways and bad. It's hard to criticize the performance and price of the Pico drives. Likewise, the small size of the drives makes it easier than ever to keep your important files with you at all times. However, the small size may turn out to be a mixed blessing for some people, and the slide design of the Pico-B in particular may leave many users feeling extremely frustrated. However, at a time when many manufacturers are trying to come up with creative ways to sell 8GB flash drives for $50 or more, Super Talent manages to offer the reasonably high performance Pico series in the 8GB capacity for less than $30.

    In short, I can see why the Super Talent Pico USB flash drives receive a fair amount of praise in the forums. The Pico drives offer extremely small size and extremely high performance for an extremely reasonable price.

    Pros

    • All Super Talent Pico drives are reasonably fast
    • Durable, capless design
    • Amazingly compact design
    • High capacities for relatively low cost

    Cons

    • Super Talent Pico-C is so small it's easy to lose
    • All of the Super Talent Pico drives have tight USB plugs, making them difficult to insert or remove
    • Slippery exterior on Pico-C and Pico-B make it hard to pull them out of USB ports
    • Difficult to insert Pico-B into USB ports because the USB plug "slides" back into the protective body

    Pricing and Availability

    All of the Super Talent Pico USB flash drives retail for between $5 and $30 depending on capacity and are available via the Super Talent website or at many retail stores.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  2. Patrick

    Patrick I beat spamers with stiks

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    I would break them to easily. I Think I'll stick to my 16GB Corsair Survivor. And yes, I HAVE run it over with my car.
     
  3. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    thanks for the review. As these flash drives get smaller then whatever they get tied to tends to get bigger in order to avoid the disappearing drive problem.

    For comparison, I attach ATTO results for (i) 16 GB OCZ Rally 2 (which claims to be dual channel and faster) and (ii) Toshiba TransMemory 8GB which was the cheapest 8GB drive I could find. It says read speed 16MB/s and write speed 5MB/s on the packet.

    Both of these drives show relatively poor performance up to 16k block size, then speed up noticeably.

    John
     

    Attached Files:

  4. vuong05

    vuong05 Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for the review Jerry.
     
  5. wiivile

    wiivile Notebook Consultant

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    Another "con" should be the lack of an LED activity light. Otherwise, looks like a great series of products.
     
  6. Polter

    Polter Notebook Enthusiast

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    I bought a 2GB Pico-C a couple of months ago. Since the first time I insered it to a USB port I noticed how difficult it was to insert and to remove. A few weeks ago I also noticed that all the USB ports that I had inserted the Pico-C were loose and that the plastic part in them was badly stretched. Icluding the USB port of my precious Vaio TZ! It seems that Pico-C is too fat to fit normally in a USB port. Now i only use it via a cable and never plug it directly in a USB port. Such a shame for such a nice product. Now I must figure out how to fix my Notebook's port..
     
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