A classy multipurpose flash drive that can go anywhere.

I am a child of the 1980s. Therefore I was around for the birth of flash drives. I remember using multiple floppy disks to be able to install operating systems on computers and hoping that my documents weren’t going to be too large for the 1.44MB capacity of said disks. I also remember when USB Flash Drives emerged as a technology. I remember the wonder and awe that the first 8MB flash drive caused from tech users. Now, we have large capacity dual-sided flash drives like the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C Flash Drive. It’s amazing how far personal storage has come.

DETAILS

The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C is a 2-in-1 all-metal flash drive. It allows users to transfer files between USB-C devices and USB-A devices without much trouble. The flash drive uses USB 3.1 Gen 1 with transfer speeds up to 150MB/s. This flash drive is designed to provide an automatic back-up option with the use of the SanDisk Memory zone app on your smartphone. It features a swivel design that is built to protect the drive’s connectors. With this flash drive, you can easily free up space on your USB-C compatible smartphone or tablet simply by plugging it in. The flash drive comes in several different capacities (listed in the table below) and is compatible with most modern operating systems.

Capacity: 32GB, 64GB, 128Gb, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
Interface: USB 3.1 Gen 1
Connector: USB 3.1 Type-C
Sequential Read Performance: Up to 150 MB/s
Warranty: 5-year Limited
Dimensions: 0.34 x 0.48 x 1.75 in (H x W x L)
Compatibility: Compatible with most Android devices. Check for your smartphone or tablet at www.sandisk.com/dualdrive-c
Software: Windows® 7 Windows 8 Windows 10 Mac OS X v10.9+; SanDisk Memory Zone(3) app for AndroidTM (available on Google PlayTM)

USER EXPERIENCE

When we talk about ‘user experience’ in a review, we try to cover all the facets of the process from start to finish. In this case, it means talking about the awful packaging that is typical with flash drives. While it’s not quite as frustrating as pneumatic packaging, the cardboard sandwich (as I so lovingly call it) with the plastic-encased flash drive is a type of package I could deal without. I realize that it’s minimalist packaging at its best, but when you follow the instructions (cut at the line) to open the container and you still have to rip it to shreds to get into it, something should be changed.

After the flash drive emerged from its cocoon, I was able to fully examine it. The dual-sided storage device is aptly named since it has a USB-C plug on one side and USB-A on the other. This comes in very handy when you are transferring files from one device to another. A couple of years ago, we actually reviewed a cousin to the Dual Drive Luxe — the Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C. It’s also a remarkable little flash drive, but one of the features it has that the Luxe version does not is the ability for both ends of the flash drive to be covered. With the Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C both ends retract into the body of the flash drive. With the Luxe version, one end is always open to the elements. Now, the only reason I don’t like this is because of pocket lint. Historically speaking I’ve always just dropped my flash drives into my pockets. If they retract or have a cap, I don’t have to worry about pocket lint and/or other dirt getting into the flash drive. With an open-ended product like the Luxe, that is certainly a possibility.

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Aside from that little observation, the design of the Luxe is stunning. It kind of reminds me of a space-age vehicle with its curved lines and chrome finish. It’s a very practical device and I love being able to swap back and forth between the USB-C connector and the USB-A connector. As part of my testing process, I completed two different speed tests. The first was a drag-n-drop test. With this type of test, you select a file or file folder to drag from your computer to the connected drive. In my case, I had a folder that was 6.11GB in size. I dragged it from my MacBook Pro’s hard drive and dropped it onto the Dual Drive. Because it’s only a USB 3.1 Gen 1, the maximum speed I could expect was 150MB/s. It took approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds to transfer the file. That’s a transfer rate of 22.6MB/s. The second test I ran was using Blackmagic Speed Test. The screenshot below shows the results of that test. It has the read speed sitting at 152.4MB/s, but the write speed at 62.6MB/s. This was much more in line with speed test results I was expecting.

As for the software that is mentioned — the SanDisk Memory Zone app. It’s only available for Android devices through Google Play. There is a PDF pre-installed on the flash drive that features download instructions. The app is designed to provide users with a list of their device’s memory options including internal memory and attached memory cards. It’s not only a memory monitor, but also a manager as you can move items between the different modes of storage for your device. The app is a free download and is a very useful app — especially for people who deal with lots of media files.

CONCLUSION

The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive Luxe USB Type-C flash drive is a very nice storage option to carry with you. If you have one of the larger capacity options — like the 1 TB version — then it’s perfect for transporting media files from one place to another. I do wish there was a better way to protect both connector ends at the same time, but I do really like the swivel design. The design of this device is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what SanDisk does next with its flash drives.

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