Many Android and Windows tablets have a micro-USB port, not a full-size one. Fortunately, there are flash drives in that format so users can easily expand their tablet’s storage capacity. Even better, some of these, like the Strontium On-The-Go USB 3.0 Flash Drive, also have full-size USB jacks, so they can be used with a wide variety of computers.
Strontium’s accessory is available in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions, with even the highest-capacity selling for under $50.
Build and Design
This dual-port flash drive has a USB Type-A jack is on one side and a micro-B jack on the other, with practically nothing in between. This makes it just about as small as it can be: 1.26 x 0.45 x 0.28 inches (31.94 x 11.50 x 7.10 mm). It’s very pocketable; if it was much smaller, it would be too easy to lose. However, anything inserted into one of a tablet’s ports has the potential to be in the way when the device is being held.
A swiveling cover has been designed to protect the tiny micro-USB jack, which is a bit more delicate than the full-size jack. This cover can be used as a place to attach a lanyard to this drive to allow it to be added to a set of keys.
Storage capacity goes up to 64 GB, which is enough to store 16,000 MP3s or 16 hours of Full HD video.
As its name makes clear, Strontium’s On-The-Go USB 3.0 Flash Drive supports USB 3.0. This means it can transfer data very quickly, as long as the computer its connected to also supports this standard. Its maker says this drive can read data as fast as 120 MB/s and write it at up to 40 MB/s. In our tests with a Microsoft Surface Pro 2, copying a 500 MB file to the drive took well under 10 seconds, and copying the same file off the drive took about 5 secs.
For Android tablets to be able to use this accessory, they have to support USB On-The-Go (OTG). Virtually all high-end and mid-range models do, but most cheap, low-end devices do not. And Android tablets do not support USB 3.0, so data transfer will be considerably slower.
The 16 GB and 32 GB versions of this flash drive are formatted in FAT32, which is supported by Windows and Android. The 64 GB version is formatted in exFAT, which Windows supports but Android does not. While there are ways to reformat a drive like this one to FAT32, that would be up to the user, and an operation performed at their own risk.
Windows users will need no additional software to access the contents of this removable drive, but those with an Android tablet might need to add a file manager, like the excellent ES File Explorer.
The Strontium On-The-Go USB 3.0 Flash Drive is ideal for people who want to carry around a collection of files that they access from a variety of computers, including tablets, PCs, and Macs.
The same can be done with a cloud-storage system, but storing the files on a physical drive is more secure. Data access is also much faster to/from a removable drive, and accessing the files doesn’t require Internet access.
As the 64 GB version is available online for $48, and the 32 GB one is as low as $27, Strontium’s product is a good value.