As we described a couple of months ago, size truly matters when it comes to technology. This time is the case of the USB Flash drive, which is casually used to store large files on-the-go and which is desired to be as tiny as possible, by more and more users. Today we are going to exploit most possibilities one can take advantage of and present a list with the smallest USB drives released until the moment.
Whether it’s Kingstone, Verbatin or any other well-known memory manufacturer, clients look to several factors when choosing a portable USB stick. Of course, the most important is the storage quantity and the generation of the USB standard used (some even come with 3.0 which is claimed to be faster than Thunderbolt), but when these factors clash equally or even before taking them account, a customer will analyze the form of the device.
While plenty manufacturers opt for a design to trigger the purchaser’s attention, many users look for something that’s small enough to be attached on a keychain or worn in a tiny pocket.
Top 10 small USB flash drives
Years passed since the launch of the first USB stick and while devices became smaller, the storage quantity increased, eliminating the most stressing disadvantage of a tiny Flash drive. Prices dropped as well and now smaller devices can be bought approximately at the same price of regular-sized siblings. Now let’s take a look at what your money can buy:
PQI Intelligent Drive i810 Plus
The PQI i810 comes in various colors and can accommodate storage options ranging from 1GB to 32GB, which is more than enough for a common use, especially at this size. Speaking of sizes, i810 can be safely attached to a keychain using the existing hole. It weights a staggering 2.5 grams and it’s deemed water and dust proof, thanks to a special COB packaging technology.
Unfortunately, its very small size renders the product a bit fragile, while the sliding mechanism comes loose after repeated use. The product may be purchased in various colors and configurations, right from Amazon.com for $34.99.
Corsair Flash Voyager Mini
Corsair produced a mini Voyager version wrapped in the traditional rubber case which can withstand most shocks while offering a nice feel. The product comes in 4GB to 32GB capacities and almost as thick as the standard USB connector. It has a retractable plug so users won’t have to worry about losing the cap with ultra durability properties and water resistance warranties.
The darn thing is so tough that manufacturers played a bit with it, by dropping, boiling, baking and even running the Voyager Mini over with a SUV. Corsair offer 10 years of warranty for the USB 2.0 drive and those interested can purchase the 32GB version right from Amazon, at the price of $22.59.
PATRIOT Signature Xporter Mini
The Xporter Mini is a USB 2.0 compatible tool with easy plug and play functionality and a highly portable body. Weighing just 6.8 grams, the Flash drive is wrapped inside a rubberized housing which absorbs shocks and withstands water. It’s a bit larger than most tiny-sized competitors but offers a nice compromise between performance, size and most of all price. The 8GB variant can be ordered for just $6.99 from Amazon, a staggering offering which includes 5 years of full warranty.
Kingston DataTraveler Mini Slim
Kingston developed the Mini Slim variant of the DataTraveler as one-piece equipment with reasonable sizes and the lightest of weights: 1.81grams. The product has no moving parts, a reasonable transfer speed and it’s available in black, blue and pink variants.
Although a bit fragile, the Mini Slim can accommodate up to 16GB of storage space and temperatures reaching 60º C, all under a five-year warranty. The 8GB model can be picked up from Amazon, for a low price.
The tiny piece of equipment from HP is a sturdy, plastic-made USB Flash drive which can stream 1080 HD videos without a fuss. Its mini compact size can withstand water and an infinite amount of use, while offering high performance and low power consumptions.
The model is 30.5 mm long, 16 mm wide and 9.4 mm high. It weights around 4.8 grams and can be found in multiple colors, with 2GB to 32GB capacities. The most advanced version can be purchased for $22.19, right from Amazon.
Pico USB offers a solution more user-friendly, where the device itself has less chances of actually being lost because of its size. The model is a bit larger than most competitors presented, measuring approximately 1.50″x0.50″ and weighting around 6 grams.
Its body is fully water resilient and can withstand to most harmful factors because of its rugged retractable protection. The company offers several models, with different shapes and sizes, but in a general presentation the range of USB sticks arrive in various storage options: from 2GB to 32GB.
All models are built using USB 2.0 technologies and come with an extended warranty, for different prices. Here’s the short list of options:
- PICO-A: Swivel
- PICO-B: Retractable
- PICO-C: Capless; rugged
- PICO-D: Swivel
- PICO-E: Sliding Lid
They can all be ordered from here.
LaCie MosKeyto is an ultra-small USB drive which extends only 6mm outside the paltop and may accommodate even 32GB of storage. The model is compatible with various audio systems and does not require software tools to be installed, but the company will gladly supply a bundle of security tools for those who want to customize its options.
MosKeyto measures 20 mm in length and weights just 10 grams. It has a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface which can transfer up to 480 Megabits per second and comes with a 2-year limited warranty, for only $19.99. The company can ship its product in 8GB, 16 GB and 32GB versions, but you may have to wait a while until their stock is replenished.
DEONET Custom Micro
DEONET is actually the name of the Dutch manufacturer which produced this USB stick, marketed as the “smallest in the world” at the start of the year. The product measures just 19,5 x 14,5 mm and its only 2,9 mm thick, thanks to its Micro UDP chip approach. This technology manages to save space by integrating all electronic components into a single molded plastic drive.
The drive is so small that it completely vanishes when inserted into a normal USB port, so the only way users will remove it afterwards is using the attached logo. This logo can also be customized to include an original message, while the accessories attached may be engraved manually before purchase.
The unit offers 4, 8 or 16 GB of storage space and a life-time warranty, all at a price which varies daily. The product ships worldwide and arrives in five days.
Verbatim TUFF ‘N’ TINY
Smaller even than the i810, Verbatim’s option offers up to 32GB of memory in a small, sturdy case that’s though and real tiny for its price. The product is made using a one-piece design and has a tiny hole to attach it to your keys. It measures 1.19 x 0.5 x 0.006 inch and weights surprisingly less. Its very durable design and resistance makes it a noteworthy competitor, at the price of $21.99 for the 32GB variant.
Bottle-O Pocket Disk
Packed inside a stainless steel casing, the Bottle-O Pocket Disk can actually be mistaken for a simple bottle opener. The Flash drive borrows the same look and functionality of the tool, while integrating a premium reliable memory with USB 2.0 support and 10 years of data retention warranty.
The USB drive weights around 18 grams and is a bit larger, its body measuring 76 x 33 x 4.5 mm, and it can be purchased from a wide range of retailers in two versions: 8GB and 16 GB.