Tag Archives: Gadgets

You Can Strap a GoPro to This New Hot Wheels Car and Ride Along on All Your Dangerous Stunts

Watching a race from the sidelines is never as fun as being in the driver’s seat, and with that obvious wisdom in mind, Mattel has partnered with GoPro to create a new camera-compatible Hot Wheels car that lets kids and grownups experience what it’s like to careen down those iconic orange plastic tracks. It’s also the…

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GoPro Had a Terrible Quarter and Will Delay Releasing Its Drone Until Winter


GoPro Had a Terrible Quarter and Will Delay Releasing Its Drone Until Winter

On Friday, GoPro released its figures for the first quarter of 2016, and they show that the company had a rough start to the year. As a result, the company has also announced that a delay in releasing its Drone, the Karma, until this winter.

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Mad Scientist Builds Fully Functional Hoverbike

Because a thermite-blasting cannon isn’t crazy enough, Colin Furze used a pair of motors and propellers designed for parasailing to build himself a fully functional flying hoverbike. It’s easily one of the mad scientist’s most dangerous builds to date, but seeing how maneuverable it is almost makes us want to build one too.

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Report: Tesla Is Using Google Glass to Build Cars More Efficiently

Google Glass has thus far been a flop for regular people doing normal things. But for more boring tasks enhancing productivity and increasing profit, there’s still promise. A report from Electrek claims that Tesla is using the new Enterprise Edition headsets at its Fremont factory.

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Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too

PC gaming gear can be fun, and even help you be more productive, but it’s rare to find ones designed to be customizable and high-performance for gaming but equally useful when it’s time to get things done. Das Keyboard’s new gaming line, Division Zero, manages both, with some caveats.

The Lineup

Division Zero is Das Keyboard’s first foray into gaming peripherals, a market already saturated by big names and popular brands. That doesn’t mean they didn’t bring solid gear to the table, but it does mean you have to weigh it against some well-known competition. Here’s the lineup:

  • The X40 Pro gaming keyboard ($149) is a low-rise, metal mechanical keyboard fitted with custom “Alpha-Zulu” switches. It features changeable aluminum top plates to customize the look of the keyboard, and red LED backlighting behind the keys turns itself off when idle. There’s a spare USB 2.0 port, and audio passthrough so you can plug in a microphone and headphones—which means you also have analog audio cables to plug into your PC, but you don’t have to use them.
  • The M50 Pro gaming mouse ($79) features an ambidextrous design, a 6400 DPI laser sensor, on the fly DPI control settings, and nine programmable macro buttons. It also features on-board memory to remember those macros and your per-application (or per-game) profiles, and a tilt-scroll wheel with multiple degrees of motion side-to-side.
  • The 47W Surface is Das’s flexible mousepad, designed for use with the M50, comes in three flavors, the Flex ($19), Control ($19), and Speed ($29). Das sent us the Control version, and it works beautifully with other mice as well as the M50. It’s a textured mousepad, thinner than a sheet of paper but even more flexible, and features a grippy underside that makes sure it won’t move, no matter how hard you move your mouse.

All in all, their prices are on par with other PC gaming peripherals: Pricey. If you’re rocking the keyboard and mouse that came with your PC, these aren’t for you. However, if you love features like programmable macro buttons, LED backlighting, customizable profiles, and sharp, enthusiast-focused design, then it’s nothing you’re not used to. If you’re a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, well. You’re definitely used to playing this much for a keyboard.

Where They Excel

After using all three, it’s safe to say they shine both for gaming and for getting work done, which is exactly how I prefer my peripherals. I want them to pull double duty on my desk, and for the amount of money you’d spend, you probably would too. They’re not perfect though, and have some glaring drawbacks that should make you think before pulling out your wallet. Let’s break them down into three big categories: build quality, customization, and usability, with special attention to those fancy custom switches.

Build Quality

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
A mess of cables, but all braided, fabric-wrapped, and with their own velcro for easy management.

Both the X40 and the M50 are sturdy and feel like you could put them through a long gaming session or an arduous workday. That’s exactly what I did, since my work and gaming are in the same physical place. I wound up using the X40 and the M50 for work all day writing, and I would swap them over to my gaming PC for a few hours of blissful, cathartic destruction, puzzle solving, and exploration. The X40′s aluminum build and heavy body served it a little better than the M50′s mostly plastic (but still heavy) build. The braided cloth cables on both are great for keeping dust away and avoiding tangles, and the cords are nice and long with velcro wraps to keep the slack managed.

http://lifehacker.com/the-logitech-m…

The M50 is a quality ambidextrous gaming mouse, which is nice to see. I found the scroll wheel really stiff and tough use (especially compared to the Logitech MX Master I use for work and the Logitech Proteus Core I use for gaming) but it loosened up over time (or maybe I just got used to it.) The 47W is grippy and won’t move or slide around even a smooth desk surface (like mine), and is large and nicely sized.

Customization and Key Macros

If you’re going to spend this much on gear, you may as well get the most possible use out of their customization features. The programmable macro keys work with third-party tools like AutoHotkey, which we’ve shown you how to use with your gaming gear, by the way, just as well as Das Keyboard’s own software.

http://lifehacker.com/why-i-started-…

In Windows, all you need to do is press Fn + F12 to enable macro recording. Making the special buttons on the X40 and the M50 do whatever you want them to do, whether it’s an Excel macro or a spell rotation, is easy. If you prefer to use AutoHotKey or another utility, it’s just as simple—just tap the button you’d like to assign the action to, program it, and away you go. You can easily turn the five programmable keys on the left side of the X40 into web browsing actions or music controls (technically there are function keys for that, although I miss the Das Keyboard 4′s hardware audio controls and volume knob) and then switch them out for weapon loadouts in your favorite shooter or attack rotations in an MMO.

The other big customization feature on the X40 is one that’ll cost you money: aluminum top panels for your keyboard. Das sent us two to switch out with the default aluminum silver: the “Defamer” in mustard, and the “Stryker” in red. Both have subtly different designs, and there’s also a Defamer in silver and a Stryker in olive green if you prefer those colors. Each additional panel will set you back $39, which is a lot, but if a fresh top panel will give you that fresh-keyboard-feeling without actually buying a new keyboard, we say go for it and swap them out when the mood strikes.

Usability

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
Each keyboard proudly displays the switch you chose. Linear is off-white, tactile is green.

Speaking of the keys on the X40, we discuss those new Alpha-Zulu mechanical switches that Das is so proud of. The switches come in “linear” and “tactile,” both offering the same 1.7mm travel distance and 45g actuation force, but the difference is how the two feel. The linear switches aren’t tactile or clicky, and the tactile ones still aren’t clicky, but they do require a little extra force to engage the key halfway through the travel distance. What that all means for you is that the “tactile” ones are for gamers used to half-pressing their keys and then engaging them fully at just the right time, while the linear ones are for people who hold those keys down and rely on long-presses. I tested the linear switches.

The switches are great, but they’re not perfect. They’re quiet but satisfying, and give you the depth and key traversal you want from a mechanical, but without the audible “clack-clack” that often comes with. However, if you’re a Cherry MX lover and you love that audible click, you’ll miss it. If you use the linear model and miss feeling the actuation point, you’ll miss that too.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-choose-…

When I switched between the X40 and my trusty Corsair K70 with Cherry MX Red keys, I definitely missed the sound, but after even a few days I was more than used to the quieter profile. (Which was especially nice, since the linear switches are similar to the MX Red.) They won’t drive you or anyone else nearby nuts while you work, and they’re still fun to play on.

Where They Fall Short

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
Even in low light, the keyboard is somewhat weak, but the mouse pulses brightly.

Division Zero line has its strengths, but it also has weaknesses. We wouldn’t be writing about it if we thought it sucked, but there are some things you should pay attention to if you’re thinking about buying.

  • The LED backlighting is weak, and not just brightness-wise. The mouse’s LED is bright and strong, but the keyboard’s LED backlighting is dimmer and nothing to write home about. It’s decent, but it’s all red, and in an age of RGB keyboards, it’s a bit of a bummer that you can’t customize the colors (especially at this price.) Plus, it’s not per-key backlighting, so keep that in mind. That all said, it looks nice behind the aluminum backplates, but consider that you can get more customization, colors, and brighter LEDs for less.
  • The price. Das’ Division Zero line is new, and as with all PC peripherals, they’re more expensive today than they’ll ever be. The X40 is $149, the M50 is $79, and the custom faceplates are $39 each. That’s a lot of money, especially considering most of the keyboards the X40 is competing with, like the Razer Deathstalker, the Rosewill RK-9000, and some other entry level mechanicals are all closer to $99. Similar mice to the M50, like the Logitech Proteus Core and the Razer Deathadder, are both slightly cheaper, closer to $70. It’s a tough sell, but expect to see prices come down as Amazon and other retailers get their hands on these and start competing for business.
  • The keyboard’s single USB 2.0 port and extra cables. This is a bit of a nitpick for me, but since I generally don’t use audio passthrough on a keyboard, the analog audio cables on the X40 were just wasted space, velcroed together on top of my desk. It’s a nice feature to have, but I just don’t know many people buying a keyboard wishing they could plug their headset into it. I would have much rather had a second USB port right next to it, get hardware audio and volume controls, or have that port be USB 3.0 instead of 2.0.

These drawbacks may be dealbreakers for some of you—especially the price. If you don’t mind splurging, or you’ll use yours for gaming and for work, then they may be a good buy, especially when compared to its more popular—and in some cases more affordable—competition.

The Bottom Line: Pricey, but Sturdy, Sharp, and Fun to Use

Das Keyboard’s Division Zero Is Gaming Gear that Makes Work Fun Too
The “Defamer” keyboard cover, which includes the wrench required to swap top plates.

So that leaves us with the big question: Should you buy these? Well, we can definitely recommend the 47W mousepad and the X40 keyboard. The M50 is a little trickier to tell you to buy.

The mousepad is huge and grippy, and will probably stay on my desk long after the M50 makes its exit in favor of the less-ambidextrous but smoother-to-use Proteus Core, which is still my favorite mouse for gaming right now, and I’ll probably continue to use my MX Master for work. In short, the M50 is great, and great for lefties or people who just prefer an ambidextrous mouse, but it’s stiff, a little heavy, and while it glides across your desk easily enough and has all the right DPI settings, I still felt myself missing the button layout of the Proteus Core, and if I had to run out and choose one from a store shelf, the Proteus Core is cheaper.

Getting back to the 47W control surface though: You’ll have to choose the surface you think is best for you. I liked the Control surface a lot, and the price there is about right for a “gaming” mousepad, if that’s what you want. If you don’t though, well, it’s an easy one to skip.

The X40 is a bigger deal though. I liked it, enough to push over my Corsair K70 sometimes. I like the idea of the changeable top plates, but I’m also a sucker for customization like that. Little ways to make something you own feel brand new are a great way to spend a little where you could have spent a lot. However, the X40 is definitely missing things I miss from other keyboards. And like the others here, it’s pricey. Even so, it’s fun to use, great to type on and play on, and it’s the first keyboard in a while that I enjoyed writing on as much as I enjoyed gaming on. If you can try it before you buy, definitely do, and make your own decision, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

Logitech's Bluetooth Audio Adapter Turns Any Pair of Speakers into Wireless Ones

If you have a great pair of bookshelf speakers or even computer speakers, but wish you could stream music from a phone, a laptop, or another device without rearranging wires, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter is for you. It’s tiny, affordable, and makes any set of speakers you plug it into Bluetooth and wireless.

For about $27 at Amazon, Logitech’s Bluetooth Audio Adapter can turn just about any set of speakers into Bluetooth ones. That’s a huge deal if you have an audio setup that you love, or invested good money into, but you want the good sound your quality speakers offer but have laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other audio sources in your home that aren’t connected to them. Just connect the audio adapter to your receiver or your speakers via 3.5mm or RCA, power it up, and you have a new Bluetooth audio device in your home.

Put the adapter into pairing mode, and pair it with any other Bluetooth devices—your laptop that’s not connected to your stereo, your iPad or Android tablet, your friend’s phone (who’s over to visit and wants to play you his new favorite track), your spouse’s computer, whatever you want. Think of it as a more universal approach to technologies like AirPlay, Google Cast, or even a non-geeky approach to DLNA. Pretty much everyone understands Bluetooth, and you don’t need to download a special app or use a special tool to make this puppy work.

Of course, if you’re already a DLNA master and don’t need another gadget, or you’d prefer a Chromecast audio for your in-home streaming needs, you may not need something like this—but even for the money, the convenience, simplicity, and broad cross-platform, cross-device support just can’t be beat.

Bluetooth Audio Adapter | Logitech

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-980-0…

Magellan’s New Aftermarket Dash Cams Can See All the Way Around Your Vehicle

Many luxury vehicles offer a 360-degree view around your car on the dashboard which makes squeezing into tight parking spots much easier. Magellan now offers the same omnipotent vision to your junky ride with a new GPS nav unit that can connect to cameras mounted all around a vehicle.

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Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

Not every cool gift idea fits into a neat little category. In fact, some of the best stuff doesn’t. That’s why we have a special guide just for the awesome gadgets we fancied throughout the year. Here is some of the most awesome stuff we like.

Belkin WeMo Home Automation

Belkin’s WeMo home automation appliances can bring your home into the 2015 you’ve always dreamed of (and no, I am still not tired of making Back to the Future references). The company sells light switches (it’s dangerous to enter without lights on), power outlets, light bulbs, and more, all programmable using the company’s normal app or with IFTTT triggers. It’s awesome home automation without all the fuss of rewiring your whole house. Or buying a DeLorean. Okay, I’ll stop.

http://www.amazon.com/WeMo-Enabled-E…

http://www.amazon.com/WeMo-Enabled-C…

http://www.amazon.com/WeMo-Smart-Ena…

Roku Streaming Stick

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

As a long-time Chromecast fan, I was pretty surprised when I found out how awesome the Roku stick is. Of course, given the feuds between most of the other companies making streaming sticks, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The Roku Streaming Stick ($50) has a handy menu anyone in the family can use, a physical remote, and it supports virtually every major streaming service. Yes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play, and dozens of others all on one device. Hard to beat that.

http://www.amazon.com/Roku-3500R-Str…

A Good Bluetooth Speaker

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

You remember the 90s, when everyone was walking around with boomboxes strapped to their heads? Those were the days. While Bluetooth speakers don’t command quite the same presence, they’re still pretty awesome for bringing the party with you. The KOSS BTS1 ($58) is an affordable option with on-board controls and even a kickstand, so you don’t have to use your shoulder to prop it up. The future’s awesome. If that’s not your speed, you can also check out our list of the five best Bluetooth speakers.

http://www.amazon.com/Koss-BTS1-Blue…

Anker Astro Battery Pack

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

It’s almost a given at this point that your smartphone will die at some point during the day, especially if you use it a lot. This sucks. Fortunately, external batteries like the Anker Astro Battery Packs can give you the juice that phone manufacturers apparently can’t. The Anker Astro was voted the best battery pack by Lifehacker readers the last time we polled you, and it’s still a solid deal.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00…

A Good Set of Headphones

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

Picking the right pair of headphones is serious business. Everyone has their own personal preferences, so it’s hard to recommend one perfect headset (unless you’re buying for our editor-in-chief), but you guys picked your five favorite headphones, which is a good place to start. The Grado SR80e ($99) is the most popular, but the others are all good choices—and if you want something a little less pricey, you can also check out our guide to the best headphones you can buy under $20.

http://smile.amazon.com/Grado-Prestige…

FreedomPop or Karma Wi-Fi Hotspots

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

Losing internet access when you need it most is rage-inducing. If you want to spread joy this holiday season, instead of rage, give the gift of a Wi-Fi hotspot. Both FreedomPop (free) and Karma ($150) have excellent standalone hotspots, without subscriptions, that can provide you with a connection when your home internet or phone dies. Karma allows you to pay as you go, so you can just refill your data package when you run out. FreedomPop offers a free tier of 500MB per month, though you can pay for more when you need it.

Aqua Notes

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

We’ve recommended Aqua Notes ($7) for a couple years now, and that’s because it’s still awesome. If you’ve ever had a brilliant idea in the shower, when you’re too wet to write it down, Aqua Notes will save your creativity. Simply stick the notepad to your shower wall and, when inspiration strikes, scribble down your idea. When you’re done, you can yank off the page and go. Simple, but brilliant.

http://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Notes-Wat…

Primula Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

Cold brew coffee (which, as you’ll remember, is different than just making coffee and icing it) is delicious any time of year, but most cold brew methods require multiple tools to brew, steep, and filter, even at their easiest. The Primula Cold Brew Carafe ($27) does it all in one. Plus, it doesn’t look like a chemistry experiment in your fridge. Just grind your coffee, add it to the filter, add water, and let it steep. When it’s done, press the coffee, and pull the filter (and the coffee) right out for easy clean up, leaving tasty cold brew concentrate behind in the carafe. Enjoy.

http://www.amazon.com/Primula-Glass-…

Moleskine Pro Notebook

Give the Gift of Awesome Gadgets and Stuff We Like

If you (or your gift recipient) are the type to use written notes even in the digital age, it’s obvious how much a good notebook is worth. The Moleskine Pro ($20) pulls out all the stops, with ruled pages, dedicated to-do list sections, and a set of adhesive tabs to quickly jump through your notes. Every page is numbered, so you can easily find your place later, and there’s even space for an index in the back, pleasing even the most hyper-organized among us. If you like to use your written notes in tandem with an online service like Evernote, Moleskine offers a notebook specifically built for digitizing handwritten notes.

http://www.amazon.com/Moleskine-Foli…

Most Popular USB 3.0 Flash Drive: SanDisk Ultra Fit

Most Popular USB 3.0 Flash Drive: SanDisk Ultra Fit

When it comes to choosing a great USB flash drive, you need a few things: speed, portability, flexibility, storage, and affordability. We asked you for the drives that fit the bill, then looked at the five best USB 3.0 flash drives and put them to a vote. Now we’re back to highlight your favorite.

Most Popular USB 3.0 Flash Drive: SanDisk Ultra Fit

Apparently size does matter, because the SanDisk Ultra Fit took the top spot, but only by two freaking votes when the poll closed. At the end of the day, it’s huge capacity and tiny footprint—as in, “leave it in your laptop while you carry it around” small, earned 28.3% of the votes cast. The fact that many of you reported heat issues with them, and difficulty removing them when you needed to, didn’t sway many of you.

For those of you who were swayed though, you chose the more modest, but also more rugged and attractive Kingston Digital Data Traveler, which fell to second place by, like we said, two votes, earning 28.2% of the votes cast. All-aluminum with a ring on the back that’s perfect for a keychain or a carry-all bag, the Kingston earned your praise for being fast and reliable. Third place and 25% of the votes cast went to the SanDisk Extreme. Many of you pointed out that it’s a bit big, especially if you’re looking for something to carry around with you every day, but it’s read and write speeds are unmatched, and it’s one of the fastest drives you’ve ever used. Fourth place and over 10% of the vote went to the Corsair Flash Voyager Go, complete with both USB and microUSB ports and OTG compatibility so it’s rugged enough to travel but great for use with laptops and Android devices that support OTG. Finally, bringing up the rear with just shy of 8% of the vote was the PNY Turbo, a super affordable and portable USB 3.0 flash drive that’ll get the job done without breaking your wallet.

For more on each of these and the honorable mentions not listed here, make sure to head back to the full Hive Five feature to read more.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

With the convenience of cloud storage, USB flash drives might seem like old news, but the best are portable, fast, near-indestructible, and offer tons of space—enough that they’re worth having. This week we’re looking at five of the best, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week we asked you to tell us which USB 3.0 flash drives were the best. Maybe they were super tiny and portable, but packed huge storage for those files that are just too big for cloud storage. Maybe you just carry them around for access to important files on the go that you don’t trust the cloud with. Maybe they were just super cheap and had cool features like regular and mini USB ports.

http://lifehacker.com/whats-the-best…

We got tons of nominees, but as always we only have room for the top five (so make sure to head back to the call for contenders to see more options!) Here they are, in no particular order:

Kingston Digital 64GB Data Traveler USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Kingston’s Digital Data Traveler line of USB 3.0 flash drives are affordable, high-capacity, and totally portable. The photo above kind of tells the tale, too. The all-aluminum casing makes it just durable enough to go on a keychain and stand up to the drops and bumps your keyring might take, but it’s small enough to fit smoothly into a USB port anywhere without blocking adjacent ports. It’s fast and backwards compatible, thanks to the requirement that all of our contenders be USB 3.0, and it even comes with a five year warranty. The model above is Kingston’s 64GB version, which will set you back $30 at Amazon. If you prefer, you can grab 32GB or 16GB versions from Amazon for a little less, or head over to Kingston direct to buy their 128GB version—all in the same form factor, of course.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SOL9Z1M/

Those of you who nominated the Kingston Data Traveler praised its form factor and portability, and specifically loved the shape and form factor. Many of you said you kept yours on a keyring, others said you just liked how small it was for the amount of storage it offered. You universally loved the aluminum casing, saying that you’ve broken or damaged so many cheap plastic drives over the years that it was refreshing having a drive that last for years without breaking. You can read more personal stories and praises in its nomination thread here.


SanDisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

SanDisk makes some great SD cards, but they also make some of the fastest USB 3.0 flash drives on the market. The SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 64GB flash drive (shown above) boasts transfer speeds of 245 MB/s read and 190 MB/s write; pretty speedy even compared to some of SanDisk’s other drives (and more on that later.) The drive is on the large side, and definitely a stick you’ll want to keep in a bag until you need it plugged in, but the retractable USB port makes sure that it’s never damaged and kept safe for when you need to use the drive. If you’re interested, the 64GB version costs $35 at Amazon, with 32GB and 16GB versions available for a little less.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extrem…

Those of you who nominated the SanDisk Extreme praised its super high transfer speeds, and its retractable USB plug, both for keeping the port safe and clear of debris while you’re transporting the drive, but also for being a fun little fidget when you have nothing else to do with your hands. Plus, getting those transfer speeds for that price is a welcome thing, especially when you have a lot of data to move around. A few of you noted that you use yours as a USB installation drive, which is a great use case for when that added speed can actually make a difference. Some of you noted that it’s a bit bigger than a lot of drives these days though, so it’s easy to break if you’re not careful, and it might not be for you if you’re rough on your drives. You can read more in its nomination thread here, or this thread here.


PNY Turbo 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

PNY is well known for affordable storage and memory, and their USB 3.0 flash drives are no exception. PNY’s Turbo USB 3.0 line of flash drives are portable and tiny, easily stored in a pocket or anywhere in a laptop bag, boast solid and speedy transfer rates, and come in sizes big enough to carry just about anything you might need. We’re highlighting the 64GB version above, which will set you back a mere $20 at Amazon. In reality, it was the $30 128GB version that turned up in the nominations thread, which should point out exactly how price competitive these little things really are. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles here though, which is how the price stays down. It’s simple, affordable storage in a plastic housing with a cap to keep the USB plug clean while you carry it around with you. Either way though, if you need storage on the cheap, this is the way to go. If you’re not interested in the 64GB of 128GB version, there are cheaper 16GB and 32GB versions, and a massive 256GB version for a pretty impressive $73 bucks.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDUHDAC/…

Those of you who nominated the PNY Turbo pointed out that it’s hard to beat storage this cheap, even when it comes with caveats sometimes—some of you mentioned that these drives have failed you in the past, with seemingly-random disconnects and other issues. Others said you’ve had yours for ages with no issues or problems. Some of you noted that this has been so far your first and only USB 3.0 drive, and you’re pleased with the transfer speeds and the form factor—it has all the space of an external drive with none of the space. Many of you pointed out that you’ve frequently seen these on sale via Kinja Deals, and that’s how you pick them up so affordably. In any event, you can read all of those experiences, good and bad, in its nomination thread here.


Corsair Flash Voyager Go 64GB OTG Flash Drive

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

If you’re looking for a USB 3.0 flash drive that works well with your computer, whether it’s a Mac or a PC, and with your Android phone or tablet, the Corsair Voyager Go is a great option. You get 64GB in a tiny, rugged package with an aluminum case and a carrying strap that can connect to your keychain, or is small enough to fit pretty much anywhere you need to take it. After all, the thing is only about 37mm long. It also comes with an included adapter that switches the USB 3.0 port to micro USB, so any Android device that supports OTG (On-The-Go) will work with it and see it as added storage. Best of all, the cross-compatibility between desktops (and desktop operating systems) and mobile devices, storage, and portability won’t cost you more money—it’s only about $30 at Amazon. If you don’t need as much space, you can save a few bucks with the 32GB of 16GB versions. Hell, the whole thing even comes with extra caps in case you lose the included one. That’s a nice touch.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Voyage…

Those of you who nominated the Voyager Go praised it for offering USB 3.0 and microUSB in the same stick, being small enough to slip in your everyday carry bag or attach to your keychain, and for offering features you just can’t get on other drives without jacking up the price to get it. You praised it for not requiring drivers or apps or anything like that to work on your desktop or your smartphone or tablet. In fact, none of you even mentioned downsides. You can check out the nomination thread here.


SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Five Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives

For the ultimate in portability—the kind that I remember seeing mockups of on tech blogs years ago wondering if “flash drives could ever get that small,”—the SanDisk Ultra Fit is an amazing option. So small it barely sticks out of the USB drive you plug it into (its size is akin to the Logitech Unifying Receiver, if you’re more familiar with that), the Ultra Fit comes in a variety of storage options, none of which change the basic form factor. The 64GB version shown above is a mere $23 at Amazon, while the more massive (and more popular) 128GB version is only $44. All models are USB 3.0 and boast great transfer speeds, carry a five year warranty, and even come with a little protective cap to keep the USB jack clean when it’s not in use.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ultra-…

Those of you who nominated the Ultra Fit line of drives pointed out that the profile is so low and these drives are so small that many of you just leave them in your laptops and computers for added storage at the cost of a USB port. It’s small enough you don’t even have to take the drive out when you pack up your laptop to travel. Some of you did note that they can be tricky to remove though, especially when flush against a USB port, since there’s nowhere to really “grip” them, as it were, and others of you noted that while USB 3.0 speeds were great, if you’re using this in a USB 2.0 port, it’s unfortunately slow. Others noted that these things get super hot for their size, so take that into consideration too. You can read all about it in its nomination thread here.


Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to decide the Lifehacker community favorite:


Honorable Mentions

This week’s first honorable mention goes out to Corsair Survivor, a near-indestructible flash drive that will set you back $50 for the 64GB model at Amazon, but mostly because you could run over this thing with a truck or drop it from ridiculous heights and it’d not only survive, but work perfectly. These things board hard-anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housings, a waterproof seal, shock-resistant housings and bumpers, and the whole thing is backed by a five year warranty. If durability is your primary concern, this is the drive for you—it’s fast and durable. You can read more testimonials in its nomination thread here.

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Flash-…

We also want to higlight the SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive as our second honorable mention, which is SanDisk’s dual-port offering to compare with the Corsair Voyager Go in the top five above. The 64GB version is $23 at Amazon, and while it’s not quite as durable and rugged, it still offers dual USB 3.0 and micro USB ports to connect to your desktop and your Android smartphone or tablet. Plus, it’s still small enough to go anywhere, protects the jacks when not in use, and even has a little slot on the center ring that goes around the body to attach to a keychain or a lanyard for storage. You can read its nomination thread here.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-connec…

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at tips+hivefive@lifehacker.com!