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In this report

Basic USB flash drive models

As flash drives increase in capacity and speed, prices shoot up as well. Perhaps for that reason, basic and budget drives still get a notable amount of user feedback.

One good example is the Kingston DataTraveler 101 G2 (*Est. $14 for 16 GB) , our best-reviewed pick in the budget category largely on the strength of an overwhelming number of user reviews. Kingston's DataTraveler line has been around for a long time, and the DT 101 G2 has been out since 2010, but it's still a very popular drive among users. Amazon's primary listing for the drive has more than 700 reviews, most very positive. You won't get many extras: There is no lanyard, and the speed, while consistently tested by users and experts to be faster than claimed, won't win any awards. Still, for the price, it's a bargain, users say.

Corsair's earlier USB 2.0 Voyager models are also well-reviewed and available in capacities as low as 8 GB, at a significantly lower cost than the newest models. The original Voyager has both 16 GB (*Est. $18) and 8 GB options. These drives will not be as fast as newer models like the Best Reviewed Patriot SuperSonic (*Est. $60 for 32 GB) or the upgraded Corsair Voyager USB 3.0 (*Est. $40 for 32 GB) , but are a good choice for those who don't need super speeds or more than 16 GB of storage.

Mini flash drives are also good budget picks

Most USB flash drives look like a small pack of gum, but a few are even smaller than that. The Corsair Flash Voyager Mini (*Est. $24 for 16 GB, $17 for 8 GB) and Super Talent Pico-C (*Est. $24 for 16 GB, $14 for 8 GB) are both mini drives, weighing only around 7 grams and measuring just over an inch long. The Pico is quite stylish, with 24K gold plating and a gold chain or nickel lanyard. The Voyager Mini's appearance is described as "impressive" by HardwareHeaven.com, and the reviewers like the soft rubber casing and retractable connector.

Both drives perform adequately. The Pico earns an Editor's Choice award from HardwareHeaven.com, while the Voyager Mini earns their Heavenly Gold award. Neither is as fast as full-sized USB flash drives, and neither offers a USB 3.0 version. Editors at HardwareHeaven.com find that the Flash Voyager Mini is a bit faster than the Pico when transferring small files, but the two are neck-in-neck when it comes to larger files. However, neither of these drives is designed for speed; they're made to read and write files. Reviewers say both the Corsair Flash Voyager Mini and Super Talent Pico do well in that regard.

For even tinier drives, consider those designed to be stay plugged into your laptop or portable device for extended periods of time. The Lexar Echo ZE ($50 for 8 GB) and the Verbatim Store n Stay ($10 for 8 GB) both receive praise from The-Gadgeteer.com for their extreme portability. Both leave only a tiny plastic bump exposed after being plugged in, flush with the computer's shell.

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Corsair 8GB Flash Voyager USB 2.0 Flash Drive CMFUSB2.0-8GB
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $10.15 $7.54   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Corsair Flash Voyager 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive CMFUSB2.0-16GB
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $24.99 $14.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Corsair Flash Voyager 8GB USB 2.0 (CMFUSBMINI-8GB)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $33.00 $29.10   
Average Customer Review:  
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Patriot Supersonic 32 GB USB 3.0 High Performance Shock Resistant Flash Drive (PEF32GSUSB)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $122.00 $84.95   
Average Customer Review:  
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Kingston DataTraveler 101 Gen2 with urDrive 16 GB USB 2.0 (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $41.99 $4.50   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB USB 3.0 (CMFVY3S-32GB)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $44.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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Super Talent Pico-C 32 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive STU32GPCG (Gold)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $106.99 $23.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

USB Flash Drives Runners Up:

Corsair Flash Padlock 2 *Est. $45 for 16 GB

3 picks including: Amazon.com, EverythingUSB.com…

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 *Est. $145 for 64 GB

3 picks including: Softpedia.com, Techgage.com…

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ *Est. $25 for 16 GB

3 picks including: Amazon.com, PCMag.com…

Super Talent USB 3.0 RAIDDrive *Est. $230 for 32 GB

3 picks including: LegitReviews.com, BenchmarkReviews.com…

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 *Est. $70 for 32 GB

2 picks including: Amazon.com, CDRLabs.com…

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Corsair 16 GB Padlock 2 USB 2.0 Flash Drive CMFPLA16GB
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $87.99 $32.14   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Kingston Digital HyperX 3.0 DataTraveler (DTHX30/64GB)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $193.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Kingston Data Traveler Locker+ with Encryption 16 GB USB 2.0 Hi-Speed DataTraveler  DTL+/16 GB
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $84.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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Super Talent RAIDDrive 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive STU32GSRK (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $259.99 $48.99   
Average Customer Review:  
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NEW - 32GB USB 3.0 DATATRAVELER ULTIMATE G2 - DTU30G2/32GB
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  

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