Curious to obtain measurable results, I performed a read and write experiment using these devices to find out which was faster.
Which USB device is faster? In everyday usage, the Verbatim Tuff ‘n’ Tiny seems slightly slower in transfer rates than the Patriot Xporter XT, but let’s use the time command to find out how long it takes to read and write files.
A directory on an ext4 source contains 13 files of various sizes totaling 5.8 GB. Testing one device at a time in Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit, the same files were copied to both devices using the following commands to time the file transfer.
Write to USB from 7200 RPM ext4 hard drive
time cp -R directory '/media/Patriot 8g' time cp -R directory '/media/tuffy8g'
Read from USB to 7200 RPM ext4 hard drive
time cp -R '/media/Patriot 8g/directory' ~/test time cp -R '/media/tuffy8g/directory' ~/test
Both USB devices are formatted with the FAT filesystem. The commands were executed three times for each with the results averaged.
Device USB Write TO Read FROM ------------------------------------------- Xporter XT 8G FAT 14m1.523s 4m39.228s Tuff 'n' Tiny 8G FAT 22m41.094s 4m28.656s
Write: To USB with FAT filesystem
Read: From USB device with FAT filesystem to ext4 7200 RPM hard drive.
Writing Winner: Patriot Xporter XT 8G
The Xporter XT 8G is definitely faster at writing to the device by about 8 minutes less than the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny 8G.
Reading Winner: Tie
Both devices have almost identical read times with the Xporter XT 8G only slightly faster by about 11 seconds. Not a huge difference.
Verbatim Tuff n Tiny 8G
- Small size
- Difficult to break
- Slower write times than the Patriot Xporter XT 8G
- No LED to indicate file transfers are in progress
- Not keyed
- Subject to ESD (Electro-static discharge)
This is probably the best USB device for travel and concealment due to its small size. There are no moving parts, no lights, and nothing that could break except for the device itself.
It is very thin–almost the thickness of a U.S. penny, and it can even be submerged in water and exposed to dirt without damage. (Allow it to dry out first before connecting it to a computer.)
Since there is no keying for a USB port, it’s possible to mistakenly insert the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny upside down. No harm is done, but nothing happens either. Just remove the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny and reinsert it the other way.
When it comes to hiding, this is no doubt one of the best. It can be easily tucked into a shirt pocket or slipped between the pages of a book with minimal bulge. No moving parts and a simple design means there is little that could go wrong other than electrostatic discharge on the exposed USB connectors.
Patriot Xporter XT 8G
- Faster writing than the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny
- Rubber case with cap
- Protected from ESD
- USB connector prone to breaking
- Rather large
The Xporter XT 8G is significantly larger than the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny, but it’s also faster in both reading and writing. Its rubber case with cap make is resistant to dropping for tall heights, and blue LED indicates file transfers in progress.
This is a large USB device, so it sticks out from the USB port. On a laptop or netbook, extra care must be taken to ensure that the Xporter XT does not accidentally bend. Doing so causes the USB connector to break, rendering the Xporter XT useless. The connector is the weakest part of the device and most likely to snap off if pressure is applied.
For portability, durability, and concealment, the Verbatim Tuff ‘n’ Tiny wins, but for faster writing, the Patriot is faster. However, many reviewrs complain that the exposed contacts of the Tuff ‘n’ Tiny increase its exposure to ESD that kills the device.
The Patriot Xporter XT used in this experiment is the older USB 2.0 model. Patriot also manufactures the newer Xporter Rage and the faster USB 3.0 Supersonic Boost XTdevices for better performance and in higher capacities.
In the end, both are good devices and inexpensive, so it depends upon the user’s individual needs to determine which is better.