USB Novelty Flash Drive Roundup – 36 Tested and Compared

DSCF7907

Sushi, Strawberry, BBQ Chicken, Cookie, Hamburger, Pizza, Watermelon and Shrimp, sounds like something you might find at a buffet right? Well throw in a ninja, a teddy bear, a fox, a shoe, a sandal and skull, then what do you have? One heck of a party that’s what!  Seriously though, we could even add a lot more odd things to that list as well. What all these things have in common is that they are USB flash drives. Yes, we love our flash drives, we love testing them and comparing them.

I’ve done something that no one else has done, I’ve taken 36 novelty USB drives, tested and compared them to each other. You might ask why, well I ask why not? USB novelty drives are a large market, and people buy them obviously, but I’ve never seen anyone really compare them to see how they perform. So I took quite a bit of time and ran lots of tests, on 1gig, 2gig and 8gig novelty style USB drives to see how they stand up to each other.

So here are some pictures of the drives themselves, in packages and opened:

novelty DSCF7907 DSCF7896 DSCF7897 DSCF7899 DSCF7901 DSCF7906

I’ve got 1gig, 2gig, 4gig and 8gig sized drives, the majority of these drives are from USBGeek.com. They’ve got tons of interesting USB gadgets that you might not see elsewhere.

So here’s the 1gig drives:

DSCF7854 DSCF7857 DSCF7903

Here’s the 2gig drives:

DSCF7881 DSCF7855DSCF7870 DSCF7869DSCF7878 DSCF7860 DSCF7863 DSCF7871 DSCF7887DSCF7876 DSCF7882 DSCF7888 DSCF7883 DSCF7884DSCF7890 DSCF7894 DSCF7872 DSCF7877 DSCF7865 DSCF7891 DSCF7853 DSCF7889 DSCF7893 DSCF7892 DSCF7864

There’s one 4gig drive:

DSCF7885

and here’s the 8gig drives:

DSCF7862 DSCF7866 DSCF7867 DSCF7861 DSCF7859 DSCF7858

That’s enough drives I think for testing. Quality wise, most of these drives are decently made, and the food ones actually look like food, for the most part… The jewelry ones are a bit questionable, I’m not sure who would wear these things, but they’re about the quality of costume jewelry.

So, for testing I used SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3 and Diskbench.

We’ll start with SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP3 Removable Storage Benchmark first.

Here’s all of the drives compared to each other, ordering is worst to best. Sorry is the font is a bit small, but that’s a lot to cram in there, you can click it to get a bigger view. I named the drives what they are, i.e. Monkey USB Drive is a ‘Monkey 2gb’.

sandra all graph

Next up I compared only the 2gb drives, and I threw in the Sandisk Cruzer Enterprise 2gb as well for comparison. Same ordering worst to best.

sandra 2gb drives

As expected the Cruzer just blows them all away easily…

Next up is the 8gig drives only being tested, I threw in the Super Talent Pico-D 8gb drive as well for comparison.

sandra 8gb drives

Surprisingly the Super Talent isn’t the fastest… the Strawberry is?!?

Ok, now I’ve got a bunch more charts for you for the testing with DiskBench. I had to do individual charts for the Copy To and Copy From as it was already a bit crowded. I used a 350MB .AVI Video file for testing on all of the drives.

First up is Copy to or the write speeds of the drives. First we’ll take a look at the times, in seconds, it takes to transfer the file to the USB drive. Chart is ordered best to worst, lower time is better of course.

diskbench copy to graph

Stay away from the wood, almost three minutes to transfer the file. The bracelet though is surprisingly fast.

Now we have the Copy To or Write times for the 2gig drives, again I threw in the Sandisk Cruzer 2gb for comparison.

diskbench copy to times 2gig

Sandisk wins of course.

And here are the times for the 8gb drives, with the Super Talent Pico-D 8gb included as well:

diskbench copy to times 8gig

Here we see the Pico-D has the fastest time.

Here are three more graphs showing the transfer rates in MB/s for the above tests, ordered best to worst, or fastest to slowest.

diskbench copy to xfer graph 

diskbench copy to transfer rates 2gb 

diskbench copy to transfer rates 8gb

 

Now we have the Copy From or read speeds/times of the drives. Times are in seconds, ordered best to worst, or fastest to slowest.

diskbench copy from times all

Here we see some of the positions have changed, though the bracelet is still the fastest.

Next up is the 2gig drives, with the Sandisk in there as well:

diskbench copy from times 2gb

Sandisk wins, but just barely….

next up is the 8gig drives:

 

diskbench copy from times 8gb

The Super Talent Pico-D wins by a nice margin.

and finally here’s the transfer rates for those Copy From/Read tests:

diskbench copy from xfer rates all 

diskbench copy from transfer rates 2gb 

diskbench copy from transfer rates 8gb

 

What have we learned from all of this? Besides the fact that I’ve got way too many USB drives floating around here now…

Well we learned that USB Novelty drives just aren’t that good for doing anything but looking cute. Though the USB bracelet actually performed fairly well compared to the others. Though I’m not sure who would want to wear it…but it is well made.

DSCF7885

One thing about these novelty style drives is that, most of the time, they are a lot more expensive than their ‘regular’ counterparts. Looking at the USBgeek site we can see the 8gb BBQ Chicken costs $42.00, while the Super Talent Pico-D 8gb drive can be had for as little as $17. That is ridiculous to pay more than twice the amount for the same size and get a lot less performance.

I guess they have their place out there, or they wouldn’t be on the market right?

Who buys them? I guess people who prefer cute over performance.

Well I hope you learned something from all of this, I think I did.

..but be sure to check back as we’re going to be giving these drives away here, and be sure to follow us on Twitter as we’ll be tossing a few up there just for our followers to get! As you can see, we’ve got a lot of them, so chances are good you can snag one.

If you’re looking for a ‘real’ USB drive then check out my other articles about them:

 

USB Flash Drive Comparison – 21 Tested and Compared

USB Flash Drive Comparison prt2 – FAT32 vs NTFS vs ExFat

16gb USB Flash Drive Comparison – 17 Compared

 

and stop by the main site where we’ve got hundreds, if not thousands of them reviewed and indexed. The category is USB Flash Memory.

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