The 7 Best Mini Flash Drives

Updated November 02, 2017

7 Best Mini Flash Drives
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Digital storage has been getting smaller for years, resulting in today's ability to preserve thousands of songs, movies, and other media on miniature devices no larger than a coin. These low-profile mini flash drives, also known as nano thumb drives, are a great way to transfer large files of all types between devices without having to connect to a network or the cloud. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best mini flash drive on Amazon.

7. Lexar JumpDrive

With a limited warranty period of three years, the Lexar JumpDrive provides low-profile USB data storage topping out at 150MBps reading and 45MBps writing speeds. A protective plastic cap with a slot for a key ring lets you take your documents or media anywhere.
  • includes 256-bit encryption software
  • flashing led light is rather bright
  • not as durable as most choices
Brand Lexar
Model LJDS45-128ABNL
Weight 1.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Corsair Voyager Vegas

With a one-piece, scratch-resistant, metallic construction, the Corsair Voyager Vegas will transfer data between devices easily. A blue LED light tells you when the drive is being accessed, but it isn't bright enough to distract you or illuminate a dark room.
  • fast enough for business use
  • speed may decrease over lifespan
  • slightly larger than other models
Brand Corsair
Model CMFVV3-64GB
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Transcend Jetflash

With a sleek, all-metal design, the ultra-small Transcend Jetflash is a rugged, dust- and shock-resistant solution for when you need to transfer media to your Blu-ray player, gaming console, computer, home theater, or car stereo.
  • silver or gold finish available
  • curved body allows for easy removal
  • expensive for 64 gigs of storage
Brand Transcend
Model TS64GJF710S
Weight 2.9 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. SanDisk Ultra Fit

Available in up to a 128 GB capacity, the SanDisk Ultra Fit is capable of transferring a full-length movie in just 30 secs with one of the highest tested speeds on the market. A 5-year warranty ensures that this is a reliable choice for moving your files between computers.
  • bundled with data recovery software
  • reasonably priced option
  • runs hot and may overheat
Brand SanDisk
Model SDCZ43-128G-GAM46
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Elite-X 128GB

Testing highly in read and write speeds, the Elite-X 128GB upholds PNY's reputation for producing high-quality digital memory. This unit can seamlessly transfer documents, music or movies across devices without you worrying about harmful temperatures or data corruption.
  • great for booting up linux on a pc
  • stands up to extended use
  • also comes in 32 and 64 gigabytes
Brand PNY
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Store 'n' Stay

Well-known for their catalog of storage media, Verbatim offers the Store 'n' Stay with high read/write speeds and a trustworthy design, allowing for long-term data retention and transfer while only a tiny bump protrudes from your computer's USB slot.
  • no annoying led light
  • perfect for notebook computers
  • smaller than a nickel
Brand Verbatim
Model 98711
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Samsung Fit

Considering its resilience to magnets and X-rays, you won't have to worry about the Samsung Fit being wiped clean by any high-tech devices. A water- and shock-resistant design combine with industry-leading reliability in this fantastic choice for low-profile data transfer.
  • does not get hot during operation
  • led light indicates when it's active
  • reassuring 5-year warranty
Brand Samsung
Model MUF-64BB/AM
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Long History Of Recorded Media

Ever since Thomas Edison produced the first phonographs in the late 19th century, engineers have sought faster, more compact, more reliable means to store data. The 1950s kicked off decades of rapid technological advancement. IBM pioneered a memory revolution with the RAMAC 305 in 1959, a behemoth that needed 1,500 cubic feet of space and weighed over 2,000 pounds. This massive machine had a memory capacity of almost five megabytes — unprecedented at the time.

Of course, such a device isn't very portable. It wouldn't be until the 1980s before storage media could be easily transferred between computers thanks to the development of floppy disks. Entire operating systems such as Windows 3.1 fit onto just a few 3.5-inch floppy diskettes, and the disks themselves withstood many rewrites. This allowed for easy media distribution and sharing for years. But, thanks to Moore's Law, the floppy's 1.44-MB capacity would soon be rendered obsolete. In 1998, Apple's IMac G3 — the first mainstream home computer produced without a floppy drive — heralded both the end of the floppy disk's reign over portable storage, as well as the arrival of its successor: universal serial bus.

Born in the mid-1990s, USB is a communication standard that governs connections and protocol across a huge range of computers and peripherals. It's been widely accepted by companies around the world as one of the most effective ways for devices to communicate, and it's seen many advancements of its own since its adoption.

With ports capable of transferring hundreds of megabytes per second, it's no surprise that USB is the preferred method for transferring data. With computer chips shrinking in size at impressive rates, we can store more documents, videos, songs, and other files on equipment the size of a thumbnail. We've come a long way since filling a room with vacuum tubes.

Size Matters

One of the most apparent changes to our personal computing devices over time is how much smaller they've gotten. While a laptop once required a sturdy bag with reinforced straps and thick padding, ultralight 2-in-1 laptops now slide out of slim cases with the flick of a wrist. Though a musician once needed a desk on which to set up their external hard drives, artists can now perfect their set on-the-fly using their tablet while heading to the gig. No more cables or external power sources. Today's digital storage is ready to go whenever we are.

So, it stands to reason that a two-inch piece of plastic and microchips is the last thing you'd want sticking out of the side of your MacBook Air. If you're listening to your favorite podcast on the bus or sharing a video with friends at a party, that could easily lead to a preventable disaster. Should your full-size USB flash memory stick be knocked out of its socket accidentally, it could lead to corrupted data or even a permanently damaged port. But with a mini flash drive, these worries can go away.

Possibly even more important than safety is simple convenience. These drives are so tiny, they go almost entirely unnoticed on a keychain, until that crucial moment when you want to show that record producer your new music video on a portable projector. One of these minuscule devices makes it easier than ever to share your groundbreaking multimedia pitch with the marketing department. And there are few better ways to ensure your computer's versatility and security by dual-booting a secure operating system that will easily fit, in full, on a low-profile, go-anywhere USB drive. In this case, smaller really is better.

The Technical Side

NAND flash is the underlying architecture of today's USB memory sticks. This comprises many 128-kilobyte blocks arranged in parallel. Such a setup enables fast read and write times while slowing down random-access operations, making this kind of memory ideal for storing files and less so for running critical instructions within a computer's embedded hardware.

Because they have no moving parts, NAND products are perfect for the on-the-go media demands of many people. Mini flash drives, capable of incredible amounts of storage, are among the most physically resilient pieces of portable electronics you'll carry with you all day long. There's no screen, no motor, and no hinge. Many of them come with a dust cap, helping fight the biggest enemy to digital media: foreign particles. Some are even shielded against moisture and radiation, which is a must if you're traveling through the elements or an airport.

There are a couple minor drawbacks to NAND flash memory. The nature of the system requires each 128 kilobyte block to be erased on a repeated basis even when only a few values in the string are changed. The end result of this is some of the blocks wearing out, increasing the chances of a read/write error. Also, there's a bleeding effect that sometimes occurs between adjacent blocks, possibly corrupting data and filesystem arrangement. To mitigate these limitations, high-end flash controllers have means to label bad blocks as corrupt, preventing errors but slightly reducing total capacity. Some also employ wear-leveling to space out data evenly across a chip, preventing bleed. Both of these help to increase the overall lifespan of a NAND flash chip.

There are a lot of options to choose from in your search for the right mini thumbdrive. Some brands are more reliable than others — look for a company known for building reliable memory equipment. And while every manufacturer releases their own estimates of how fast their products are, remember that not all USB drives are the same. Some really approach those lofty claims, while others fall flat in crucial categories. You'll also find more nuanced differences like metal housing or LED activity lights. Whichever choice you make, you'll have the ability to carry vast amounts of knowledge and entertainment in your pocket whenever you like.

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Last updated on November 02, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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