Flash drives are an indispensable part of today’s digital lifestyle. Thus, let’s take an in depth look at the newest Type-C convertible flash drive offering form SanDisk, the Ultra Dual Drive Type-C.
DESIGN / BUILD QUALITY
The Ultra Dual is an updated version of SanDisk’s earlier Type-C drive, with a revised design and improved performance. One major change is that it no longer comes with a swivelling cover, relying instead on a sliding mechanism that pops the Type-A or Type-C port out as needed.
Thus, new drive is slightly larger (9.4 x 38.10 x 20.07 mm) than the outgoing model, and the new “full cover” mechanism means that it comes with a new, largely grey plastic shell, with a simple metal insert around the middle of the drive.
Here it is compared to its main competitor here in Malaysia, the Kingston DT MicroDuo Type-C, which is considerably smaller – but is plagued with considerably more issues.
However, to say that the Ultra Dual Drive is solidly build would be a bit of an exaggeration. It rattles slightly when shaken, and the plastic shell creaks when pressed hard. It’s decent yes, but not quite “solid”.
In comparison, the DT MicroDuoTC has a rock solid full metal construction, that’s let down by an awfully loose (and generally useless) plastic cap.
That said, both the Type-A and Type-C connectors on the Ultra Dual Drive are of excellent quality, and plug into their respective receptacles smoothly (at least next to its Kingston rival). The drive capacity being inscribed on the top of the Type-A connector is also a nice touch.
Being the jack-of-all-trades solution for storage, people often give less attention to how fast their flash drives are compared to how big and expensive they are.
On the plus side, I’m pretty happy to report that the performs rather well, and at least approaches what was printed on the label (150MB/s).
Here is the performance figures from CrystalDiskMark 5, with relatively decent USB 3.0 (even if SanDisk says 3.1) sequential and random read/write performance, especially for the price.
Compare that to the performance from the DT MicroDuoTC, which is slower in all aspects except for random read performance. Write performance for the Kingston is downright abysmal too.
Note that the benchmark results for both were taken off the Type-A connector and similar results can be observed from testing the Type-C as well, so it’s omitted for to keep things simple.
The 64GB version of the Ultra Dual Drive can be found locally for RM90-100 (online/physical) which is similar to the prices that the Kingston DT MicroDuoTC is going at as well. Not really cheap amongst Flash Drives overall, but you do have to take onto account that it packs two connectors rather than just one.
Furthermore, considering that the Ultra Dual Drive comes with a 5 year warranty, the price seems a lot more decent, especially taking into account that the Ultra Dual Drive performs very well for its type as well.
Undoubtedly, Flash Drives are a rather important part of any Tech-Nomad’s repertoire, simply as its often the smallest, most portable self-contained digital storage medium available for quick transfers between devices.
And as Type-C ports continue to be adopted across the full spectrum of computing devices, “hybrid” Flash Drives that are capable of of serving both Type-C and – A ports will become more and more a necessity.
With good performance at a affordable price point, the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is an excellent contender for this particular (unfortunately underserved) niche. With all its features and characteristics taken into account, the Ultra Dual Drive gets an 8 out of 10 from us here at Technomadica, which also qualifies it for our HIGHLY RECOMMENDED batch of approval.