The Best Budget USB 3.0 Flash Drive of 2018

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After numerous requests from multiple readers, we have taken the initiative to find the best budget USB 3.0 flash drive. As a result of 12-13 hours of testing, we finalized that HP x765w 32GB is the king of this list. We observed that no flash drive is perfect for every kind of user. But HP X765w 32GB will satisfy the needs of most users.

Yes, you are right. We are well aware that this is the era of cloud users. Everything should be on the cloud and easily accessible without any physical hardware to carry. Still, a flash drive /pen drive or memory stick is the best and most convenient way to move your data around. Storage devices such as external hard drives are good for storing a large amount of data. Yet a flash drive will be the best way to move your data from one computer to another locally.

Whenever you move data from one computer to another using a flash drive. You need not worry about firewall restrictions, slow Internet connections, connection drops or security issues. In short, any kind of shortcomings of cloud storage will be ignored if you are using a flash drive.

We have listed a few of the things you can get for a cheap price without sacrificing quality. It is never based only on the price tag. An expensive device doesn’t always mean it’s gonna perform well. It is all about the cost per GB and reading and writing speed. Let’s go through them one by one.

The Best Budget USB 3.0 Flash Drive Crystal Disk Mark Score

HP X765w 32GB USB 3.0 Pen Drive

HP X765W is really a clear-cut winner on this list without a doubt. This small flash drive is really a definition of quality. The looks, the performance and the durability of everything were decent on this pen drive. We simply couldn’t ignore any of the features of this tiny piece of hardware. This one is simply awesome in the budget of Rs.1000.

Best Budget USB 3.0 Flash Drive HP X765W

For testing the read-write speed we used our old method of differently sized folders. It is the same which helped us to find the best budget external hard drive. We made 3 folders containing different items to test performance each time. 1st folder consists of 8GB of HD wallpapers, 2nd is 19GB Blu-ray movies, and the 3rd one is 6GB of text files. We copied each one of them one at a time to flash drives and noted the time taken. Below is a graph for HP X765w.

 

Build and Design

HP X765W is having a premium build quality coupled with a unique design. The flash drive is white in color and matte finish. The pen drive is having a sliding mechanism with quite a sturdy build. It sets the USB tip in place when we push it from behind and settles it up with click noise. After 300 times of sliding up and down the test, it also stood its ground. The slider never backed down in its quality. The product weighs around 8.8 gm and it is 5.5 cm long. It has a width of 2.1cm and a height of 1cm.

HP X765 Opened

The hard plastic material is very sturdy and also not scratch and fingerprint prone. Because of the matte finish, you will have these benefits. There are no other color options available for this flash drive you will have to take only the white ones. This is the only negative thing we can say about this design.

 

Read and Write Speed

Reading and writing speed is quite satisfying at this price point. We do not recommend any user to go for 2.0 flash drives anymore. As 3.0’s are much faster and almost all laptops/PCs now have 3.0 USB ports. If you are spending money on a flash drive, why not get a faster one instead of a 2.0?

We ran our test cases on this flash drive one by one and was very satisfied with the test results. On average, this flash drive reached 43.4 Mbps writing speed. And a reading speed average is like 107.25 Mbps.

**Note: The test system is having Samsung 250GB EVO SSD and USB 3.0 port.

With a quite solid reading and writing speed, HP X765W clawed its way to the top. We highly recommend getting this flash drive if you like to finish your work quickly. The HD Tune Pro also helped us to determine other factors like access time, transfer rate, burst rate etc.

Speed Graph of HP X765W

 

Durability and Portability

Similar to our external hard drives these flash drives also went through our stress tests. We dropped it from the desk, 1st floor, 2nd floor, even 3rd floor. The X765W survived every one of them just with some scratches. The flash drive worked like a charm even after the tests. There were no performance depreciation issues after stress testing also. We observed no flex in this device. Even after keeping it in direct sunlight for 2 hours (35°C) the flash drive was working fine.

It weighs around 82 grams and is around 10 cm long. Being a bit larger, some people might feel a little bit awkward. Let me tell you guys, this will never be an issue for you in terms of portability. You can easily carry this little beast with you without any trouble. Throw it in a backpack or keep it in your pocket you will not feel you are even carrying anything as this flash drive is very lightweight.

 

Additional Details

HP X765W is a little larger than our second best budget USB 3.0 flash drive Ultra Fit. But in the matter of sheer power and speed X765W is the clear winner. Sometimes the bigger size comes as a boon. It becomes very easy to find it, unlike Ultra Fit. The white color and the design make it very distinguishable even in a messy desk. But with this boon, there comes a curse as well. The whitish design fades away with time and gives it a yellowish shade. And it tends to get dirty very easily because of the color itself.

The servicing HP provides is also good. The X765W comes with a three-year warranty tag on it. If any defect occurs you can directly visit any HP customer support center or call them directly. You will either get a  hand replacement or you might have to wait a day or two. It vastly depends on servicing people. In short HP X765W is a great futuristic device at this price point.

HP X765w

Score : 9.6

"The HP USB Flash Drive x765w features a USB 3.0 Flash drive with a stylish matte finish. Store your documents, pictures, video clips, and MP3 files. Take it with you wherever you go."

**Please note price mentioned here might change according to offers and discounts.

Price Check:

Pros:

  • Stylish Design
  • Durable
  • Great Performance

Cons:

  • Little bigger in size
  • No inbuilt OTG

Our Ratings

  • Design 96%
  • Build 85%
  • Performance 93%
  • Style 80%

SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB 3.0 Pen Drive

Mainly because of the size and performance SanDisk Ultra Fit took the 2nd place of the best budget USB 3.0 flash drive list. The size of this flash drive is really very small, which gives it much more portability than any other flash drive on this list. We were really skeptical about the performance because of the small size. But surprisingly, all Ultra Fit performed very well during the performance test. If our best pick is unavailable or if you want a smaller-sized flash drive, you may go with Ultra Fit with closed eyes.

2nd Best Budget 3.0 Flash Drive SanDisk Ultra Fit

 

**Please Note: We will talk about the metal variant of Ultra Fit, not the plastic variant.

 

Build and Design

The build quality of this flash drive is really good and sturdy. It gives a premium feel to it. The overall size of the pen drive is really very small and can easily be treated as a plug and forget. Ultra Fit weighs around 4 grams and is nearly 2 cm long. It has a width of 1.6cm and height of 0.8cm this is why this pen drive is super portable. The back plastic cover and the rubber cover that comes with it is also top notch. We tried some bend tests (not extreme) and successfully passed them.

SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB Build

The design of Ultra fit is quite efficient and well thought out. Certainly being a small device we thought we might lose it during our tests. But once we attached a key-chain to the pen drive that problem got solved. At the end of the metal frame, there is a well-made curve. Using this curve you can pull out the pen drive easily. The curves are having a smooth finish, and it will not hurt your fingertips at all.

 

Read and Write Speed

We ran our nifty test cases on this device with ease. We tried to copy each file one at a time and it responded pretty well in every scenario. The average writing speed we could achieve was 40.8 Mbps which is quite satisfying and the reading speed was nearly the same as our best pick 107 Mbps. We have tested several times to confirm the speeds and it checks out every time.

Graph of SanDisk Ultra Fit

We should mention when we ran our tests the pen drive heated up (not scary hot). There is nothing to be scared of as the flash drive heats up only at the metal point. It is the same with all the metal body pen drives. The plastic part was normal at that point. So keep in mind if your pen drive heats up that doesn’t mean it is a faulty product. But if the heat is unbearable, certainly get it checked with the service center.

 

Durability and Portability

SanDisk Ultra Fit is the most portable flash drive on this list. Because of its tiny size and nearly nothing weight, this flash drive ranks top for portability. With this great performance and this small size, we entitled it the “Tiny Powerhouse.”

SanDisk Ultra Fit Size

There is always a good deal of risk of losing it if you are not careful. It might be challenging to find such a small device. We recommend attaching a keychain or a key loop with a flash drive. It would be far easier to find one with a chain attached.

For the durability check, we did our drop test and bent test for a bit. We dropped it even from the 4th floor and it was working fine (do not try at home). There was little to no flex in the flash drive and the metal was very strong. It wasn’t a bit scratch prone either and was quite easy to handle. The plastic part of the flash drive is patterned. It gives quite a nice pattern and a premium finish.

 

Additional Details

The SanDisk Ultra Fit is quite a good device at this price point. We went toe to toe with our best pick. It also won in terms of its warranty. SanDisk is providing a five-year warranty on the device. If the device is not physically/liquid damaged you can even get it replaced at SanDisk customer care. The customer service representatives are also very good at customer handling. You can call their customer support or mail them. Be sure to register the pen drive at their website for warranty lookup and faster support.

SanDisk Ultra Fit Back Side

This device comes with a one-year subscription from RescuePro Deluxe. It is data recovery software and is really easy to use. It is quite lightweight and can be used to recover mostly small files. The time span is also not that long but at least you can recover your important documents if deleted by mistake.

If you bought this product online then be sure to check if the product is duplicated or not. Some buyers on Amazon reported getting fake products from many sellers. You can try the registration link after buying the product. If it checks out, then you get a genuine product. But also please check the pen drive finish and nubs. Check out Amazon’s comments to find out more. And also make sure Do NOT BUY THE PLASTIC VARIANT of this flash drive. The plastic quality is not very good and it might break apart easily.

The Divide

SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB Metal

Score : 8.8

"his small, low-profile flash drive fits snugly in your device's USB port and is designed to stay put, so you don't have to worry about it falling out or breaking. And with 32GB of storage space, you'll have plenty of room for all your photos, videos, music, and games."

**Please note price mentioned here might change according to offers and discounts.

Price Check:

Pros:

  • Stylish Design
  • Ultra Portable
  • Good Speed

Cons:

  • A little too small
  • Need to use key-chian to keep track

Our Ratings

  • Design 94%
  • Build 90%
  • Performance 82%
  • Style 75%

SanDisk Ultra Dual 32GB USB 3.0 OTG Pen Drive

Another great flash drive from SanDisk is SanDisk Ultra Dual OTG. This is the only penning drive on this list with an OTG support. It was a very hard choice for us to state a rank for Ultra Dual and Ultra Fit. Both had similar reading and writing speed. It was portability and durability VS OTG support but in the end, we chose Ultra fit for the second best budget USB 3.0 flash drive. The sole reason was Ultra Fit’s greater burst and Ultra Dual’s plastic frame. Keep reading…

SanDisk Ultra Dual 32GB Boxed

Build and Design

The SanDisk Ultra Dual is one of the kind on this list. It also has a very unique design. The actual pen drive is one long device with a USB type C at one end and a USB male connector at the other. There is a slider that is actually a hollow piece of plastic. The pen drive can be either used for a pc or a USB type C at a time. The metal part is quite shiny and very sturdy, unlike the plastic part. We felt the plastic part was the most fragile part of the flash drive. One simple wrong move can easily break the plastic parts. But even if you break the plastic slider by mistake the pen drive will work just fine.

SanDisk Ultra Dual Size

The device is 6.54 gm in weight which is actually quite light. The dimensions of this device are 3 x 2.5 x 1.2 cm (L x W x H). It is smaller in size than HP x765w and also lighter. But plastic quality is not the same as our best pick. You can easily carry it around in your jeans pocket or throw it inside your laptop bag.

Ultra Dual Closed

Read and Write Speed

Ultra Dual performed well when we started our performance tests. It gave similar speed as Ultra Fit and also went toe to toe with our best pick. The average writing speed we obtained was 39.5 Mbps on the same system and reading speed of 106.58 Mbps. We also observed that pen drives heat up if used for a longer period. When the heat increases the writing and reading speeds go down slightly. This is not a very big issue, but it might cause slower copies of big files.

Graph of SanDisk Ultra Dual

After looking into everything we can confirm that this pen drive is worth buying if you want to go with an OTG flash drive.

 

Durability and Portability

As mentioned several times before the durability flaw lies in the plastic slider. The plastic slider from SanDisk Ultra Dual is the most fragile part. We didn’t do any drop tests on this one because of this obvious reason. But when it was dropped from the desk during testing sessions, the plastic rim survived. We found the type C and USB tip is quite rigid and sturdy.

In terms of portability, Ultra Dual is good enough. You can simply carry it around in your jeans pocket. Or throw it inside your backpack without worry. Just do not put too much pressure on them. It is not very small to be lost either too big to carry around. I have been personally using this one for a long time and haven’t faced any issues.

 

Additional Details

Similarly, SanDisk is also providing a five-year warranty to Ultra Dual. This is a greater plus than other flash drive manufacturers. If anything happens you can simply call up SanDisk support and they will help you get your issue fixed.

Ultra Dual Opened

Also while using this mobile with your android you will get similar speed as a PC. We downloaded the SanDisk Memory Zone app as recommended. The experience was quite good with this app. We easily transferred files around from your OTG to your phone and vice versa.

SanDisk Ultra Dual 32GB

Score : 8.5

"The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive m3.0 makes it easy to transfer content from your phone to your computer. With a micro-USB connector on one end and a USB 3.0 connector on the other, the drive lets you move content easily between your devices-from your Android smartphone or tablet to your laptop, PC or Mac computer."

**Please note price mentioned here might change according to offers and discounts.

Price Check:

Pros:

  • Stylish Design
  • OTG support
  • Small Size

Cons:

  • Fragile Plastic
  • Slide Mechanism prone to break

Our Ratings

  • Design 86%
  • Build 73%
  • Performance 83%
  • Style 87%

 

Corsair Flash Voyager Slider , USB3.0, 32GB

This is the most costly flash drive on the list. It is not in the 4th position just an extra entry. We didn’t consider this flash drive as a budget item because the budget is too high. This is the only reason we are writing about it in the end. Corsair Flash Voyager simply outranks all other flash drives on this list in terms of performance. Made by Corsair this pen drive is mostly for professional users. If you can spend some money and look for the best, then we strongly recommend you to go with this one.

Flash Voyager 32 GB

Build and Design

This flash drive is made of ABS plastic body and is very sturdy. By touching it we got a premium feeling all over it. The design is quite unique and very attractive. The flash drive is jet black in color and glossy; it looks. The Corsair logo is printed near the USB tip which gives it an attractive look. This is also a slider pen drive. But the slider mechanism is very impressive and doesn’t stop working with time. We have done nearly 1000 slides in and slide outs, but still no issues. The flash drive is nearly 14 grams in weight and 5.3 cm in length. It is more of a heavy and bulky side, but this weight makes it premium.

There is a notch at the tip of the slider to attach a key chain or key loops. When you slide it, it sets the USB tip with a ‘click’ noise. The looks of the design are just fabulous and worth every penny.

 

Read and Write Speed

During the performance testing, we kept our eyes peeled for any performance drops. We got an average of 48 Mbps in writing speed and 135 Mbps reading speed. Which is quite phenomenal. We tried to overheat it and failed, we tried to slow it down and failed again. This flash drive is a beast among its genres.

Corsair Voyager Graph

If you are more of an office person who wants to keep their documents handy, this will be a choice for you. You can transfer it in the blink of an eye. It will also suit your style. Unlike most flash drives the files that have been copied in this drive haven’t gotten corrupted (source: user interviews). So as for safety, you can easily rely on Flash Voyager.

 

Durability and Portability

Corsair Flash Voyager is the most durable flash drive on this list. You can simply search on YouTube for “Corsair Flash Voyager Stress Test” and find out how durable this flash drive is. We used all of our drop tests on this pen drive and found it still working. The pen drive is very sturdy and has very little flex to it. The sliding mechanism is also very good and long lasting.

Voyager Full Body

It is not as portable as Ultra Fit but if you want to keep it in your backpack then it will not be a problem. This monster is big and size does matter in this case. So in terms of portability, it is not better than Ultra Fit. For me, it wasn’t any problem I generally carried around in my laptop bag.

 

Additional Details

Similarly, SanDisk, Corsair is also providing a five-year warranty to this product. You can simply visit their customer support or call them to claim warranty. Corsair RMA is flawless if you buy it from their website. Before buying this flash drive: “Do NOT buy it from Amazon Global Store.” If you are buying it from a global store you will not be able to claim any kind of warranty.

Corsair Flash Voyager Slider

Score : 9.8

"Flash Voyager Slider combines high performance and cap-less convenience at an affordable price. With USB 3.0 speed, USB 2.0 compatibility, and backed by Corsair "

**Please note price mentioned here might change according to offers and discounts.

Price Check:

Pros:

  • Good Speed
  • Great Performance
  • Highly Durable

Cons:

  • Little big in size

Our Ratings

  • Design 96%
  • Build 98%
  • Performance 93%
  • Style 90%

Footnotes

These are the The Best Budget USB 3.0 flash drive according to us. If you feel there is any other flash drive we could add or reconsider please let us know. Comment, or ping us on Facebook or tweet us we will be happy to take your suggestions. Some of these flash drives are not very well known. If you are skeptic about buying them we recommend you to read Amazon customer reviews first.

 

Competition

SanDisk Ultra SDCZ48-032G-U46 : Get blazing fast transfer of photos, videos, and music to any computer with the SanDisk Ultra 32GB USB SDCZ48 Pen Drive and free up memory in your smart phone. It has a copious space of 32 GB which helps you to store, manage, organize, and back up your multimedia files on this device easily. This pen drive is highly functional, secure and a reliable storage device to serve your routine purpose of saving important files and multimedia content.

 

Lexar JumpDrive S25 : The Lexar JumpDrive S25 is a high speed multi-purpose pen drive that uses USB 3.0 technology. This means that the stored content can be transferred much faster and securely. Moreover, the pen drive is backwards compatible with 2.0 USB format devices as well. This pen drive not only delivers robust and fast performance but also ensures quality and compatibility with your system. You can easily rely on the device as it has undergone major testing in the Lexar quality labs. Ideal for college students and professionals alike, the device is affordable and light on the pocket, making it a must have. The 32 GB capacity is good enough to store your important documents, files, movies and music.

 

Strontium Nitro Plus : Strontium Nitro OTG USB 3.0 flash drive can store and share digital contents such as movies, pictures, and music from your OTG supported devices like smartphones or tablets to your PC or Mac computer with amazing transfer speed using its dual micro-B and standard Type A USB 3.0 connectors. It is used for high speed data storage and transfer between OTG-compatible devices without cable

 


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Prince

Prince

Prince is a blooming blogger and a lead tester at TactfulMinds, an in–depth and detailed tech review blog. He works as a software engineer having sound knowledge on web designing, development and data management. He is a tech enthusiast, a passionate gamer and above all a complete nerd.

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