As technology matures components shrink, the same thing hold true for USB drives. Super Talent fielded the Pico Mini series and they are really small but pack a big storage punch.
It’s funny watching movies from just a few years ago. Spy’s sneaking about with 3.5 inch floppies stealing data in clandestine operations. The technology often dates the movies and we’re continually amazed by the miniaturization of components. When we got a shot at the Super Talent Pico Mini 16GB USB drive we were thrilled. So small it makes a quarter look large, small enough to really be clandestine, but storing over 11,111 times the capacity of an old 1.44MB 3.5 inch floppy. That’s a lot of storage punch in a very small package.
We told you it makes a quarter look large. If your tired of hauling around a portable hard drive, need a drive that won’t slow you down or fill your pocket with an unsightly lump, the Pico Mini 16GB USB drive offers a ton of storage in a very small form factor. Makes those spies hauling around 1.44MB floppy disks look a little silly doesn’t it?
Coming is at 1.5 grams with a transfer rate up to 30MB/s and compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 the Pico Mini isn’t going to slow you down or fill your pocket. It’s water resistant, USB powered, Hot plug and play and has up to 10 years data retention time. Small, durable, with massive storage and capable of storing data up to 10 years without loss and doesn’t require an external power source, that’s the type of portable storage we like to see. We have the Black Pico for review but there are other colors to choose from and with the small sze of the Pico Mini 16GB drive a little color might make it easier to find.
All the Pico Mini needs for retail packaging is a simple hang card with a plastic bubble over it making it pretty Eco-friendly on packaging. We always hate seeing a small product shipped in a huge box and the Eco-waste that it incurs. The Pico Mini has attractive packaging and only one small plastic shield over it that’s not going to make a huge impact on the environment, yet displays the product attractively.
Pictured by itself you can’t really get a good idea of how small the Pico Mini really is, we had the Pico Mini strapped to a key chain in our pocket for a couple of weeks and we’re amazed at how tough the drive really is, and how well it took a beating from keys and a pocket full of change,
With a Quarter next to the drive we’d have to say the Pico Mini takes up about the same surface area as the quarter.
Up close and personal with the Mini Pico 16Gb drive you can see the connectors are slightly recessed to help protect them and the drive is made out of some really tough plastic composite material.
The back of the drive is unremarkable except for a couple of indentations to lock the Pico Mini into place in the USB port.
We used the Super Talent Pico Mini 16 GB drive in every day operations for about a week before testing the transfer speeds. In a review environment that’s a lot of use because we are always reaching for our Flash storage to transfer files and pictures from rig to rig. This also helps us get a feel for the daily operation and transfer speed of the Pico Mini.
Once we had a few miles on the Pico Mini we fired up our lab laptop, a Toshiba L355 model with a 2GHz T5800 Core 2 Duo and 4 GB of ram. We run Vista Home Premium 64bit on the laptop and it has USB 2.0 ports so it should be fine for testing the Pico Mini. Any decently modern computer with USB 2.0 should produce similar results for the speed of USB drive testing. For benchmarks we chose HD Tach, Crystal DiskMark, and ATTO.
ATTO gives us a good range of transfer sizes and the Super Talent Pico Mini 16GB USB drive hits it’s stride at the 64kb transfer size. Churning out 32.263 MB/s read and 11.11MB/s write, pretty typical speeds for a USB drive. Notice that from 0.5kb up to 16kb the speed steadily increases in a predictable pattern. That’s what we like to see, a steady predictable increase in speed up to maximum speed, then very little change once it’s hit the maximum speed.
The Pico Mini starts out at 29.33 MB/s read and 12.43 MB/s write in the Crystal DiskMark Sequential test. The 512k test the Pico holds up on read speed but drops to 2.436MB/s write speed, that’s nothing to be alarmed about it’s pretty normal for USB flash storage to drop speed as transfer size decreases. When we hit the 4K test speeds drop dramatically and again that’s pretty typical for USB based flash storage. It’s pretty deceptive in a way. First your not going to be transferring 4k files all day, then the 4k transfer happens so fast you won’t even notice.
HD Tach give us an opportunity to see the Pico Mini’s transfer rate graphically. You can see it averages 27.9MB/s and the transfer speed is fairly consistent at about 28MB/s all the way across the graph. That’s a good indication of high quality components. Drives with lower quality components will show more variation in transfer speeds.
The Super Talent Pico Mini 16GB USB Drive is incredibly small, so small that we expected at least some cost to transfer speed. We were pleasantly surprised when it offered transfer speeds right in line with larger USB drives. About the only problem we see with the Pico Mini is it’s size and has nothing to do with performance. With that small a form factor it would be easy to lose the Pico Mini. We’re not particularly prone to losing things so it’s not really an issue for us. With the included lanyard we suspect a lot of people will key chain the Pico Mini.
Massive storage in a Mini form factor is what the Super Talent Pico Mini is all about and it delivers on those things very well. Transfer speeds were more than acceptable for any USB flash drive. It survived a week in the pocket of a very busy reviewer and that says a lot for the durability of the Pico Mini.
The ginormous storage the Pico Mini 16GB offers with it’s small form factor makes it an attractive storage option for on-the-go people that don’t want a larger drive cluttering up their pockets or briefcases. As for the Spy movies, they need to catch up to reality, with storage devices this small clandestine takes on a whole new meaning.
We are using an addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
- Performance 9
- Value 9
- Quality 8
- Warranty 9
- Features 8
- Innovation 8
+ It’s Tiny
+ Good Transfer Speed
+ Same Performance As Larger Drives
+ No Moving Parts
- Small Enough To Lose
The Super Talent Pico Mini 16GB USB drive amazed us with it’s tiny form factor and great transfer speeds, it’s small durable and fits the bill for massive portable storage so it earns a: 8.5 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal Of Approval!