Patriot-Memory-Stellar-C-open

Patriot Memory has a lot of great options as far as flash drives go. I regularly use flash drives from the company’s Supersonic Rage series of products, which boast some insanely high read/write speeds. That being said, I was very intrigued when I received one of their newer products, the dual-sided Stellar-C flash drive.

Design

Compared to products from the Supersonic Rage series, the Stellar-C isn’t anything to write home about. Featuring a USB-C connector on one end and a USB-A connector on the other, it feels more like an experimental product, especially considering that USB-C isn’t very popular in devices right now.

As far as design goes, however, Patriot nailed it. It’s a very small flash drive, and this allows you to easily carry it around in your pocket, or attach it to your keychain via a little clip at the top of the adjustable cover.

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Speaking of the adjustable cover, it seems to function as an extra layer of protection for the USB-A connector, preventing any dust or debris from getting inside the connector. Unfortunately, it provides little protection for the USB-C side, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you consider just how small the USB-C side really is.

The only downside of the design of this particular flash drive is the paint. Surprising, right? After only a couple of weeks of using it, the black paint on the adjustable cover is now chipping/wearing out, and frankly it’s not very attractive.

Having said that, Patriot Memory’s Stellar-C flash drive is definitely well designed, and is the perfect product for those who need something lightweight and portable.

Hardware

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The Stellar-C comes in two models: one with 32GB of storage and the other with 64GB of storage. I’m using the 32GB variant, though the 64GB model will be ideal for those looking to transfer larger files on a regular basis.

It has some quick read and write speeds, at least for such a small and compact flash drive. Patriot boasts of read speeds up to 110MB/s and write speeds up to 20MB/s. These speeds depend on many different factors, with the big one being that whether or not you’re transferring files from a USB 3.0 port or USB-C port. But even then, I wasn’t personally able to reproduce Patriot’s posted speeds, getting only about 15MB/s (sometimes as low as 2MB/s) write and 30MB/s read speeds.

I benchmarked the device multiple times and below are the results I got. Read speeds are green and write speeds are red, with the y-axis being the data transfer rate. The x-axis is basically just the benchmark program testing for speeds from 1KB to 16MB chunks (not necessarily as important as the data transfer rates, in this case).

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Nevertheless, while it may not be the fastest, it’s still a handy gadget to have readily available on-the-go.

Who Is This For?

This is the big question: Who is Patriot Memory’s Stellar-C flash drive for? Well, not many people, and that’s particularly because USB-C has yet to be widely adopted. If you have one of the few USB-C devices out there today – the Macbook, ZenPad S 8.0, OnePlus 2, etc. – this could be a cheap and easy solution for quick file transfers. Beyond that, there’s not really an audience for this product, and there won’t be until USB-C becomes more mainstream.

Many manufacturers are still building smartphones and tablets with a micro-USB port, thus making the dual-sided micro-USB to USB-A the more popular option. USB-C will catch on  no doubt, but it’ll take some time for this to happen, just as it took a while for micro-USB to catch on when it was in its infancy.

For now, though, it’s a cool experimental product to play around with, and can be useful if you own a USB-C device.  The drive is currently available on Amazon for $19.99.