Verbatim V3 review: Large capacity memory stick in a small size

The V3 provides light, affordable storage

Flash memory sticks are a handy option for carrying around a few files in your pocket, but they’re traditionally quite limited in terms of the storage capacity that they offer. In contrast, portable hard drives are now widely available in sizes as high as 1TB or 2TB, and at highly competitive prices too.

However, Verbatim has recently updated its V3 range of Flash memory sticks, with models that include as much as 128GB of storage. That’s still not enough to rival a conventional hard disk, but it does put the V3 on a par with many of the SSD drives that are now available – including, of course, the 64GB and 128GB solid-state drives that Apple includes in several MacBook models. This means that a memory stick like the V3 is now a realistic option for backing up the entire contents of your MacBook’s internal drive.

Prices for the V3 start at just £22.00 for a 16GB model, with the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models costing £37.99, £57.99 and £124.99 respectively. It’s an extremely compact little device, measuring a mere 58mm long, 20mm wide and 11mm thick. It only weighs 10g too, so you can slip it into your trouser pocket or shirt pocket and not even notice it.

It’s quite sturdy, though, as the USB connector withdraws into the body of the device to keep it safe when it’s not being used. It also has a glossy, scratch-resistant coating to keep it nice and smart, and there’s a little hook on the back so that you could even carry it on your keyring if you wanted to.

But while Flash memory sticks such as this can technically be described as ‘solid-state drives’ – as they don’t contain any moving parts – they do tend to use less expensive components than the solid-state drives used in Macs and PCs, and in external drives such as LaCie’s Porsche P’9223. This means that they also tend to provide lower performance – although, to be fair, Verbatim does acknowledge this by quoting quite realistic performance levels for the V3.

Rather than quoting the maximum 625MB/s speed available from the V3’s USB 3.0 interface – as many manufacturers do – Verbatim merely quotes Read performance at 175MB/s and Write performance at 80MB/s. Our tests actually produced average scores of 155MB/s and 81MB/s respectively, but those are still better than most of the conventional portable hard drives that we’ve seen recently.

You can get better performance from a solid-state drive such as the LaCie Porsche, but these still tend to be more expensive than memory sticks like the V3 – and, of course, you can’t slip them into your trouser pocket either. 

OUR VERDICT

Flash memory still can’t match the performance of more expensive solid-state drives, so if you’re looking for maximum performance then the V3 isn’t the best choice. But if you just want a really light, compact back-up device that will allow you to carry your important files around in your pocket then the V3 will do the trick without breaking the bank.

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