Top positive review
Great value for money - but total capacity isn't quite what you paid for
Reviewed in Australia on 23 December 2020
I've long been a fan of Sandisk USB flash drives, and having picked up the 32GB Ultra from another store last year, I was pretty happy to get this 128GB version from Amazon for less than I paid for one a quarter of the size!
The good: This is not the fastest USB 3.0 drive out there, but in terms of speed versus price it's hard to beat. I notice some customers have complained that it writes very slowly on a USB 2.0 port. Well, plugged into a USB 3.0 port - in my case, on a 10-year-old motherboard that was one of the first USB 3.0 options out there - it does a stellar job of writing at a decent speed. My 32GB drive writes at around 30 MB/s, but this 128GB version is noticeably faster, coming in at between 30 MB/s and 40 MB/s (yes, that's megaBYTES, by the way), reaching 70 MB/s briefly at the start of a large file copy - presumably as it (or Windows 10) fills its buffer.
I measured read speed, on a 20GB file I'd copied over, to be consistently 103 MB/s. That's probably being hampered by my old motherboard/CPU and running my SSD as SATA-2. It's still plenty fast for accessing the stuff you've stored on the little thing, and will handle high bitrate streaming video with ease.
The bad: Despite being advertised as a 128GB flash drive, it is not. The actual usable capacity on mine was only 123GB, and that translates in Windows to 114 GB, rather than the 119GB it should be. Sandisk hints at this with a disclaimer on the package that not all of the capacity is available for user storage, and their support site says that "a portion of the total capacity is used to store certain functions including optimizations of the memory that support performance and endurance and therefore is not available for user storage."
Sandisk has basically fenced off 5GB of the drive's space, presumably for "overprovisioning" - it's the first time I've seen a flash drive that doesn't deliver its advertised capacity. It's still great value for money, but be aware that this is effectively a 123GB drive.
I presume the star rating on this page for "Warmth" refers to how warm it gets in operation; unlike my other Sandisk flash drives, this one barely gets warm at all, even through a long copy of a 20GB file to it.
Overall, I still recommend it, especially when the price gets down close to the $20 mark. Just be aware of what you're really getting in terms of drive capacity.