The first patent for a USB Flash Drive was filled in 1999, which means that these little handy, dandy portable digital storage devices have been around for almost 20-years now. In the two decades that have passed since their release, USB Flash Drives have evolved in many ways, but none have been exciting as the latest changes the humble “thumb drive” has seen.
In the past year, a lot of hype has been generated about the new USB 3.1 Type-C standard that was first announced in late 2014, and we are just beginning to see the new standard hit mainstream. In truth, the USB 3.1 Type-C standard is actually two standards in one. The USB 3.1 standard defines that the interface is capable of up to 10 Gbit/s, while the Type-C portion denotes the type of connector that is utilized. Don't let that number fool you though, as it is purely theoretical. Real-world speeds will be much lower.
The USB Type-C standard defines a new small reversible-plug connector for USB devices. The Type-C plug connects to both hosts and devices, replacing the need for the various Type-A and Type-B connectors and cables that we all have laying around. This standard is meant to be future-proof, similar to the now ubiquitous Apple Lightning and Thunderbolt connectors. USB Type-C features a 24-pin double-sided connector that provides four power/ground pairs, two differential pairs for USB 2.0 data bus, four pairs for high-speed data bus, two "sideband use" pins, and two configuration pins for cable orientation detection, dedicated biphase mark code configuration data channel, and VCONN +5 V power for active cables.
What does all of this have to do with this review, you ask? The subject of today’s testing is the new 32GB Stellar-C USB 3.1/Type-C Flash Drive from Patriot Memory. Unfortunately I do not have any devices yet that feature a USB Type-C host connector, so I will be unable to test that portion of the flash drive. Fortunately, the Stellar-C series feature a standard USB 3 connector on one side while the Type-C connector is located on the opposite end of the flash drive. Let’s move on to the review and learn more about this new portable storage solution from Patriot.