There aren't too many reasons you'd buy a high-end USB 3.0 flash drive. Maybe you are a design or graphics professional, transferring hundreds of files on a regular basis where time is money. It could be that you need a combination of incredibly fast flash memory and capacious storage in one drive. Perhaps you just have too much money to spend on fancy PC peripherals. The Lexar JumpDrive P10, available in capacities up to a ridiculous 128GB, is even faster than the Sandisk Extreme Pro.
What Is It?
- Drive Type: USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
- Capacities: 16/32/64/128GB
- Write Speed: Up to 245MBps
- Read Speed: Up to 265MBps
- Construction: Aluminium, Plastic
- Warranty: Lifetime
The JumpDrive P10 isn't an especially new design — the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants were introduced around a year ago now — but the 128GB variant is a relatively new addition to the flash drive lineup. Lexar actually has one more capacious flash drive in the 256GB JumpDrive S73, but given that it's only capable of a piddling 100MBps read and 55MBps write transfer rate.
The P10, though, in its top two 64GB and 128GB capacities, can clock 265MBps read and 245MBps write rates; these are phenomenally fast speeds, eclipsing the performance of the traditional spinning disk hard drive in your desktop or laptop PC, whirring away running Windows, by a factor of two. It's about 24 times as fast as a good USB 2.0 drive, and probably 50 times as fast as the bargain basement USB drive you bought at the post office the other day.
As is the Sandisk Extreme Pro that it competes with, the JumpDrive P10 is quite attractive (as USB flash drives go). It has the same aluminium and gloss black design as the Extreme Pro, and has a retractable USB 3.0 connector with a spring-loaded latch — no more lost USB caps. If I had to make a guess, I'd suggest the Extreme Pro is slightly more durable because of its curved design and the fact that more of it is encased in metal, but the JumpDrive P10's retractable latch feels more sturdy.
What Is It Good At?
There's not that much that you can talk about with a USB flash drive, so I'm happy to report that Lexar's transfer rate figures are spot on. When transferring files to and from any modern mid- to high-end laptop or desktop PC — anything with a reasonably fast solid state drive inside — you'll hit the stated 245MBps transfer rate spot on. Copying files off, for long-term storage or to a faster scratch disk (although anything faster is only likely to be a high-end SSD like the Samsung 850 Pro, or a RAID setup), that 265MBps number is pretty smack bang on the mark as well.
The drive is sturdy, too. Like Sandisk's Extreme Pro, it's not rated to any waterproof or dustproof or shockproof level, but being a flash drive it's pretty resilient to two of those three — those exposed contacts aren't going to like prolonged exposure to water, obviously. While it's not going to stand up to being run over by a car, it does stand up to my not-insignificant 80kg weight pressing down onto it via a chunky Red Wing boot sole. It's not going to fall apart a week after you buy it.
What Is It Not Good At?
The JumpDrive P10 is expensive, obviously. $339 for the top 128GB model, as we saw on FishPond, is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a single piece of computer technology, and for a USB flash drive at that.
Lower capacity flash drives drop in price massively as you continually halve the storage, capacity, though, and you pay a massive premium for high capacity drives for the privilege of extra storage in a single device. It's worth considering whether two 64GB drives are better value for your needs than a single 128GB model, for example.
The lesser capacity drives of the JumpDrive P10 — the 16GB and 32GB variants — are slightly slower than their high-capacity siblings, due to the way Lexar provisions and allocates its flash memory modules. This same thing happens on mid- and high-end solid state drives too, to be fair, and it looks like the 64GB variant hits the sweet spot in terms of its price and capacity and transfer rates.
Should You Buy It?
Crazy fast transfer speeds are Lexar's hallmark with the JumpDrive P10. If you need the absolute fastest in read and write speeds for your (probably very specific) work or non-work purposes — perhaps it's for storing and transferring high-res video from an editing PC to long-term storage, for example — then this is the flash drive to get.
If you can justify the P10's asking price — and it's not an insignificant asking price, especially as you start to jump up in capacity — then it's a brilliantly fast and appropriately well designed flash drive. There are no real downsides to it apart from its price tag.
Not very many people need the Lexar JumpDrive P10, though. If you're one of the people that knows that they do, then you can ignore this, but for everyone else — maybe you should consider something a little more mainstream, and a little more affordable, like Lexar's own JumpDrive S73.
It feels like it'll stand the test of time in the same way as as pair of Bose headphones; if you are making an investment in a high quality USB drive for home or for work then it's worth considering the P10.