Lexar JumpDrive P10 review

Compact, well-made flash drive with a great turn of speed.

Lexar is the consumer-facing side of Micron, one of the world’s leading flash memory manufacturers. We’ve already seen one of Micron’s drives in another external flash drive sold by LaCie, while Micron’s second consumer brand Crucial is a leading supplier of SDRAM and solid-state drives to computer enthusiasts.

Lexar’s little JumpDrive P10 is more like one of the classic USB thumbdrives which are freely passed between friends and colleagues to exchange data. But it gains entry to this prestigious group by virtue of some startling quick performance. Its write speed, perhaps ironically, also bests that found in the aforementioned LaCie Porsche Design device, despite that drive taking a full-size solid-state SATA drive.

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While some USB thumbdrives are designed to be almost disposable, taking the cheapest flash chips available and encasing them in throwaway plastic, Lexar’s P10 is crafted a little more carefully. The main body of the drive is hewn from an unnamed metal alloy with a smooth semi-matt finish. On top is gloss black plastic, and a slide button in the middle of the drive pushes out the USB plug.

There’s nothing particularly new or innovative about the design or style, but it is well executed to create a solid-feeling device that ought to last. Importantly, with the plug extended there’s no chance of it retracting as you insert it into a port, unless you press firmly down on its slide button first.

Available in 16, 32 and 64 GB capacities, it seems almost dwarfed by the 500 GB or potentially more offered by other drives in the group. But like the saying about cameras, the best one is the one you actually carry with you, and we certainly found this tough little drive was the one we’d end up carrying with our loose changes.

Keeping it quite compelling was the high speed it could deliver. We’re yet to see UASP mode available in small thumbdrives, but it kept up good performance nonetheless. Its sequential read and write speed were essentially the same at 237/238 MB/s. Small-file write characteristics were a mystery though, as the Lexar P10 inexplicably failed to run this part of the QuickBench test, no matter how we formatted it.

OUR VERDICT

It’s smaller than most fast flash drives, and relatively inexpensive at £48. But since it’s also the smallest in capacity of the drives on test here, it’s also actually the poorest value in price/storage terms – that’s £1.50 per gigabyte, and so eclipses even the dearest Elgato unit. But it remains a compact, well-made flash drive with a great turn of speed.

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