Lexar, a well known memory manufacturer, recently released a new series of USB sticks with an attractive design and blazingly fast read/write speeds. We test one of these new, high capacity USB sticks, the Ultra Lightning 4GB Lexar USB stick. We hope that its performance is as good as Lexar promises!
- Lexar JumpDrive® Lightning
Lexar offers a comprehensive line of high-performance USB flash drive products designed with a wide variety of features, capacities, and capabilities. With so many options, it's easy to find the perfect Lexar JumpDrive® USB flash drive to fit your needs and lifestyle.
Lexar JumpDrive Lightning is a premium Hi-Speed USB flash drive that offers lightning-fast data transfer rates, housed in a stylish stainless steel case. JumpDrive Lightning also features PowerToGo™ portable applications software and Secure II software for advanced data protection. Lexar JumpDrive Lightning is available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities.
Lightning-Fast Speed. The sleek style of the JumpDrive Lightning is more than just good looks. Beneath its attractive stainless steel exterior lies massive memory capacity and the power of blazing-fast read/write speeds—4GB capable of minimum sustained speeds of 30MB/s read and 21MB/s write—ideal for quickly transferring vast amounts of data.
Includes PowerToGo Portable Applications Software. If speed and capacity weren't enough, JumpDrive Lightning also includes PowerToGo software, which lets you install and run most standard Windows applications right from the drive, and also allows you to carry personalized settings and favorites with you wherever you go. With PowerToGo software, you can transform your JumpDrive Lightning into your own personalized PC on the go.
Advanced Security to Protect Your Data. JumpDrive Lightning comes pre-loaded with advanced security software that lets you protect your data quickly, securely, and easily. You can create multiple password protected areas called Encrypted Vaults that automatically encrypt your data with on-the-fly 256-bit AES encryption, while the File Shredder feature securely and thoroughly deletes files so that they can't be recovered, giving you peace of mind that your data is secure.
Serious Storage. JumpDrive Lightning is offered in capacities up to 4GB, so it can hold up to 4,000 photos, 65 hours of music, and 540 minutes of video. With blazing speed, massive storage capacities, and great features and software, Lexar JumpDrive Lightning is the ideal solution to quickly and easily store and protect all your valuable files, data, and images.
- Transfer, store, and share important files at blazing speeds
- Carry photos, music, video, and more anywhere you go
- Distinctive design in a stylish stainless steel case
- Includes PowerToGo™ software: Install and run many Windows® programs from the drive
- Enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost
- Encrypt and shred files with Secure II software
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Retail package
Lexar provided us with the retail package of their JumpDrive Lighting 4GB USB stick. The retail price is around ~€65 (+ shipping). The retail kit is small and includes only the USB stick in a protective plastic shell.
Let's take a closer look at the module:
The outer shell of the Lexar JumpDrive Lightning is made out of shiny stainless steel. It feels and looks durable and on the end includes a link for a key-chain or neckstrap, or you can plug the USB protective cap there so you won't lose it. There's a blue LED in the middle of the device, which is supposed to light up when reading and writing. However, it didn't work this way in our tests.
A big picture of the rear, which shows the capacity, place of manufacture, model number and certifications.
The protective cap safely attached to the link end.
To test the sick, we fired up HD Tach v126.96.36.199 and set it for the full bench test:
The full bench test scans the entire capacity of the module and graphs its average reading/writing performance:
The performance is very good. We had 35MB/sec average reading and 25MB/sec average writing performance. The Lexar JumpDrive Lighting is one of the fastest USB sticks, currently sold on the market.
3. PowerToGo Software
Lexar includes some software that is supposed to help you with various PC tasks, like encrypting your data or making backups of your documents. The whole package takes up around 46mb of the USB stick's memory:
We found it rather annoying that the software tries to connect to the Internet:
The PowerToGo window opens and prompts for various actions:
Again, more outgoing connection alerts:
We selected to load up PowerToGo :
At start up, it looks like the Windows start up menu:
Several options are available, such as encrypting your data:
While from the main options, you can set various features:
There are so many USB sticks on the market right now, that it is easy for users to get confused when deciding which one to buy. One strategy is to find the fastest and cheapest.
Lexar's proposal, the JumpDrive Lightning, is certainy one of the fastest USB sticks. Imagine being able to read at up to 35MB/sec while writing at 25MB/sec. Very impressive speeds if you ask me.
The Lexar JumpDrive Lighting is and feels very durable, thanks to its shiny stainless steel construction. Of course this has two disadvantages: fingerprints and slightly heavier than the usual USB stick. But these are probably the only two negative points we couldn't find.
The retail price of €65 Euro is not that cheap, compared with other proposals, but I don't know of many sticks out there with such high reading and writing speeds. We will not comment on the PowerToGo software. If you like it, you can use it. We prefer to have the extra 45MB on our USB module:-)