Kingston DataTraveler 310 (256GB) USB thumb drive

USB 2.0 thumb drive with a massive 256GB capacity

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Kingston DataTraveler 310 (256GB)
  • Kingston DataTraveler 310 (256GB)
  • Kingston DataTraveler 310 (256GB)

Pros

  • Oodles of storage, attractive design, included security software

Cons

  • It's expensive, you'll probably lose the lid

Bottom Line

The Kingston DataTraveler 310 is currently the highest capacity USB flash drive on the market: its almost like having an external HDD in your pocket. Unfortunately, you have to pay a fair whack for the privilege. Nonetheless, if you require lots of storage on-the-go, this is the thumb drive to get.

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The Kingston DataTraveler 310 is a USB 2.0 flash drive with a gargantuan 256GB of storage. This is the highest capacity currently available on the market; putting it in the same league as some entry-level external hard drives. (Not bad for a device that’s smaller than a tube of lipstick.)

The Kingston DataTraveller 310 also comes equipped with PasswordTraveler; a security application that protects important files in a secure zone. On the downside, it definitely isn’t a cheap device; with an RRP of $1299. Data transfer speeds are also a bit sluggish — especially compared to ‘proper’ external hard drives, such as the Western Digital My Passport Studio and the LaCie Rikki. Nonetheless, if you require lots of storage in an ultra-portable format, the Kingston DataTraveler 310 is incredibly hard to beat.

The Kingston DataTraveler 310 is fairly bulky for a USB thumb drive; with dimensions of 73.70x22.2x16.1mm (hey, all that memory has to fit somewhere!) That said, it is still small enough to slip inside your purse or jean pocket, so the extra millimetres aren’t that big of a deal. The casing is both attractive and durable: we particularly liked the metallic red finish, which is a nice change from the typical shades of silver.

Unfortunately, Kingston has opted for a traditional lid for the DataTraveler 310 (as opposed to the swivelling variety found on competing thumb drives like the Lexar 360 range). Consequently, losing the lid forever is a distinct possibility.

To test the Kingston DataTraveler 310’s file transfer speeds, we copied two folders onto the drive and then back onto the desktop. We also copied the folders from one location on the drive to another to test its speed when simultaneously reading and writing files. Each test folder contained a variety of files adding up to 3GB and 19.2GB, respectively. In the table below, we compare the results to some of the external hard drives currently on the market. [Note: the DataTraveler 310 is a thumb drive, so a slower performance is to be expected.]

Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results
Model Price Storage Capacity Read
speed (MBps)
Write
speed (MBps)
Read/write
speed (MBps)
Kingston DataTraveler 310 $1299 256GB 20.3 6.8 5.8
Hitachi SimpleDRIVE mini $109 320GB 26.1 17.5 11
LaCie Rikiki (USB Boost enabled) $159 500GB 30.9 17.2 11.1
LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive $139 320GB 24.5 17.1 11.1
Astone ISO GEAR 290 $149 500GB 20.5 13.5 9.7
HP SimpleSave Portable $139 320GB 26.1 17.5 11
Transcend StoreJet 25M-R $159.95 320GB 23.8 15.3 7.2

Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results
Model Price Storage Capacity Read
speed (MBps)
Write
speed (MBps)
Read/write
speed (MBps)
Kingston DataTraveler 310 $1299 256GB 24.5 13.8 8.2
Hitachi SimpleDRIVE mini $109 320GB 28.9 23.8 12.7
LaCie Rikiki (USB Boost enabled) $159 500GB 37.7 26.7 13.3
LaCie Starck Mobile Hard Drive $139 320GB 27.4 25.9 12.7
Astone ISO GEAR 290 $149 500GB 28.7 25.2 11.5
HP SimpleSave Portable $139 320GB 27.9 25.1 11.6
Transcend StoreJet 25M-R $159.95 320GB 28.5 24.3 11.9

As you can see, the Kingston DataTraveler 310 cannot hope to compete with an external HDD, but it still gave a pretty good performance for a USB thumb drive.

Despite being tagged with the ‘DataTraveler’ moniker, the 310 is equally suited to use in the home. Its small size and massive capacity make it an ideal accompaniment to a USB media streamer, such as the Western Digital WDTV or Sony SMPU10.

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