With the seemingly gazillion Flash / Jump drives on the market, it can be difficult to determine which to acquire. I’ve tested many from Kingston to generic versions at companies like Microcenter. For the most part, it comes down to two factors: style and cost.
That is, cost per gigabyte. As time passes, the storage size of these drives increases and the cost decreases. This is good for consumers. As far as style goes, a lot of it comes down to personal taste. Does it fit on a keychain? Does it look “cool”? Is it protected from water damage? What material is it built with? Is it small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket?
The Lexar JumpDrive has a plastic build, unlike the solid metal casing of the Kingston DataTraveler SE9. However, unlike the Kingston, the Lexar has a collapsible outer casing. Both have a circular attachment for a keychain, but the one on the Lexar is thin and plastic; thus, not as strong as the Kingston DataTraveler’s thick metal.
Both do NOT have protection for the USB port. This means it is vulnerable to water and the elements, particular if you keep it on a key chain. If this is important to you, I suggest looking into something like the Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go, which has a rubber flap that protects the USB plug.
The Lexar is wider than the Kingston DataTraveler, but both are approximately the same length (even with the collapsibility of the Lexar’s outer casing).
Warranty is another consideration. The Kingston DataTraveler has a five-year warranty with free technical support. Whereas the Lexar only has a two-year limited warranty.
Speed is yet another, fairly important [to some] factor. Using Check Flash 1.16, the Lexar JumpDrive has a read speed of approximately 28.57 MBs per second, and a write speed of 9.98 MBs per second. Whereas the Kingston DataTraveler has a slower read speed of 16.95 MBs per second, and a write speed of 3.44 MBs per second. That said, I tested both in a USB 2.0 slot. For a little more, you can get the Kingston DataTraveler SE9 G2 which supports USB 3.0. 2.0 is the most common, but if you have a system with a 3.0 port, you can expect faster speeds from the Kingston G2 (for my purposes, I don’t have the G2, so I can only speculate on that).
Cost per gigabyte varies slightly between the two, with the Kingston slightly higher, but that can change depending on the day and the store. To me, the biggest factor is the material each is made with. I prefer Kingston DataTraveler’s metal casing over the plastic of the Lexar — if only for durability — but overall I think it really comes down to preference.