The safest and most secure way to transfer files between computers is with a flash drive, and a number of companies make drives that can connect to tablets and phones, not just laptops and desktops. And most people would like to have some additional storage for their mobile device.
One of the more affordable options for this is the JumpDrive M20 Mobile USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which brings up to 64GB of additional storage for your Android or Windows smartphone and tablet, as well as OS X and Windows computers. Lexar offers this in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, with prices starting at $21.99.
Those who have an iPad and/or iPhone should read our Lexar JumpDrive M20i USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review.
Build & Design
The M20 Mobile is a slider, with a micro-USB jack on one end and a full-size USB Type-A jack on the other. There’s a button on one side that allows the users to retract one of these jacks while pushing out the other. The button can also be set to hold both inside the casing, where they are fairly well protected. The ends aren’t covered though, raising the potential for lint to get inside the jacks, especially the USB-A one.
The body of this accessory is all plastic, with a white and blue color scheme. While not flimsy, this casing and the control button feels like they could break if they were stepped on.
At 2.0 x 1.0 x 0.5 inches it’s quite portable, though not as small as some rival devices. There’s a small loop on the micro-USB end that enables the M20 Mobile to be connected to a keyring.
Lexar says the 16GB version of this accessory is capable of 130MB/s when reading data and 25MB/s when writing, and the 32GB and 64GB versions are up to 150MB/s read and 60MB/s write. This, of course, requires them to be plugged into a USB 3.0 port.
We tested a 64GB model with a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and USB Flash Benchmark, which determined that the M20 Mobile had an average read speed of 30.3MB/s and an average write speed of 27.7MB/s when transferring a 100MB file. The smaller the files got, the slower the average transfer speed. Even the fastest reading and writing speeds are well below the theoretical maximums, but speeds can vary depending on the computer being used for the test. That said, the benchmark is probably indicative of real-world performance.
We also tested the M20 Mobile by copying a 300MB file to and from the drive with an HTC Nexus 9 running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In this test, it averaged 11.1MB/s reading data and 2.5MB/s writing it. The slowdown is because this transfer is done over USB 2.0, an older standard.
When inserted in a Windows or OS X computer, this accessory functions like any other flash drive, appearing as a removable drive. The user can move files around, rename them, copy, delete, etc.
Using the M20 Mobile with a tablet or phone requires that the device support USB On The Go. Most high-end and mid-range devices include USB OTG, but double check before purchasing Lexar’s product.
If mobile the device is running Android 6.x, plugging in the JumpDrive will give access to a very basic file manager that’s built into Marshmallow. This enables users to open files off the drive, or copy them to the tablet/phone. Those who want access to more functionality will need to download an app from the Google Play store. Lexar suggests Astro File Manager, but we recommend the excellent and robust ES File Explorer. Both are free, so people might try both and see which they prefer.
The Lexar JumpDrive M20 Mobile can be especially handy for those who have a phone or tablet without a microSD card slot to offer expandable memory. But it can also be useful to those who want to create a repository of files that can be accessed with their Windows, Mac, and Android devices at any time, without needing Internet access.
The design is good, if a bit “plasticky,” and the dual jacks are fairly well protected.
The list prices for this JumpDrive start at $21.99 for the 16GB version, the 32GB one is listed at $36.99, and the 64GB one is at $69.99. That said, it’s available online for much less. For example, Amazon has them at $9.95, $11.99, and $22.99 respectively.
This puts Lexar’s offering on par rival models. For comparison, the 64GB Strontium On-The-Go USB 3.0 Flash Drive is available for $21.10.