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Power Quotient International (PQI) SSD S533-E

Five USB 3.0 Flash Drives For Your Pocket
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Do you carry around large amounts of data? Do you need to transfer it between devices in a hurry? We're examining five new USB 3.0-based portable storage solutions that might fit your needs. This time around, the focus is on maximizing portability.

Unable to supply the previously announced 128 GB version of its latest key-sized USB 3.0 UFD, PQI instead picked the closest capacity match with its pocket-sized S533-E solid-state drive (SSD). Intel’s formidable X25-M 2.5” SSD fills the S553-E’s standard USB 3.0 pocket enclosure.

One might not expect anything spectacular from the design standpoint, but PQI does specify a brilliant-red anodized finish for the drive’s brushed-aluminum shell.

PQI’s S533-E uses a full-sized Type A connector, making it compatible with both USB 3.0 and previous-generation cables. The drive requires a little more power than what the USB 2.0 front-panel ports of some systems are able to provide, which hinders backwards-compatibility. A 5 V connector can supply power from a second cable.

A basic user guide describes how to connect the S533-E to a USB port, while a soft vinyl pouch protects its case from scratches. PQI includes a USB 3.0 cable, but does not add a USB 5 V power adapter to enhance compatibility with older systems. Older systems are usually capable of powering the drive from rear-panel ports, and we confirmed both the front- and rear-panel solution on a previous-generation Asus motherboard.

PQI formats its drive in FAT32 for compatibility across multiple operating systems and puts FNet TurboHDD software on that partition. A software license is included on a small slip of paper in the box. Because users are unlikely to have this software installed for every system on which they connect a portable drive, we tested the drive both with and without the added software.

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    Anonymous , 29 December 2010 20:07
    I have a supercrypt 16gb ,its fast and secure ,but far from being a thumb drive it may well fit in the pocket but is at least twice the width of any other thumbdrive I know of ,if you plug it into a multiport it blocks any ports immediately left or right of it . a small usb extention cable of say , a couple of inches would solve this annoying problem ,super*talent are you listening .???
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