Lexar JumpDrive Triton - USB 3.0 review: Lexar JumpDrive Triton - USB 3.0
Lexar JumpDrive Triton - USB 3.0
The Lexar JumpDrive Triton is something of an upgrade to the Lexar Echo MX Backup Drive.
Compared with the Echo, the now-USB-3.0-based Triton offers much faster speed; in fact, it's the fastest in writing among all USB 3.0 external storage solutions I've seen, including full-size drives. It also comes with a better retractable port design and a more aesthetically appealing and sturdy casing than the Echo.
The Triton is not a total upgrade, however, since it doesn't have a visible storage gauge and caps at just 64GB (the Echo caps at 128GB). It also doesn't come with any backup software.
At a suggested price of around $55 for 16GB (or $80 for 32GB and $200 for 64GB), I find that the new drive, though slightly pricey, is totally worth the investment and a much better alternative to the Echo.
Design and features
|Compact external USB portable drive
|USB 2.0, USB 3.0
|0.9 x 0.4 x 2.5 inches
|16GB, 32GB, 64GB
|Capacity of test unit
|Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Other than the lack of a visible storage gauge, the Triton has a much better design than the Echo drive. It's now housed in a shiny metal alloy base and a high-gloss mirror finish plastic top that are not just good looking but also very sturdy. On top, it has just one white LED that shows the status of the drive. Solid white means it's powered on and ready, while flashing white means there's data being written to or read from it.
On one end, the Triton comes with a little eyelet opening to be used with an included lanyard in case you want to hook it to a key ring. Though this is convenient, I found that the drive's sturdy housing is susceptible to scratches, however, so you might not want to mix the thumbdrive with too many keys. One the other end, the drive's USB head is retractable into the drive's housing and can be pushed out easily with using one hand.
The drive's USB head comes in blue, indicating that the drive supports USB 3.0. It's in fact the first thumbdrive I've worked with that supports this latest, much faster USB standard. The Triton also works with USB 2.0 and the original USB standards. To take advantage of its speed, however, you'll need to use it with an USB 3.0 port on a computer. Note that currently Macs generally don't support USB 3.0.
Nonetheless the Triton supports both Mac and Windows computers out of the box by being preformatted using the FAT32 file system. There's no setting up; all you have to do is plug it into your computer's USB port and you're set. The computer will recognize and assign a drive letter to the new drive and you can use it just like any other drive already installed on the computer. The Triton comes blank, with no software or any data preinstalled on it.
The fact that the Triton is preformatted in FAT32 also means that it can't be used to store files that larger than 4GB. This is just the limitation of FAT32. In order for it to host large files, you'll need to convert or reformat it to the respective platform's native file system, such as NTFS for Windows or HFS+ for Mac. You can only convert to NTFS from FAT 32 without losing data already stored on the drive.
I tested the Triton with both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 and it offered stellar performance.
When used with USB 3.0, the drive scored 90.8MBps for writing, topping the chart of all USB 3.0-based drives, including those of much larger physical size. At this speed, you can copy 10GB (about the size of one full 1080p Hi-Def movie) to it in less than 15 seconds. It also averaged 112MBps for reading, being the second best, just a bit slower than the LaCie Fastkey.
Note that I tested the drive the way any of us would use the drive for: copying a large amount of data to and from it. This means that these are real-world numbers that you will likely experience at home. This also explains why the scores are lower than the 150MBps Lexar claims for the drive.
With USB 2.0, the drive registered 28.8MBps and 33.13MBps for writing and reading, respectively, being among the top five fastest USB 2.0 drives I've seen.
The Triton got rather hot in my testing after being used for an extended amount of time. This is most likely because its metal housing is designed to dissipate the heat. The drive cooled down almost immediately once I unplugged it from the computer.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
Lexar backs the JumpDrive Triton drive with an impressive lifetime warranty. For a storage device, the warranty time is the most important in terms of support, and Lexar delivers. At the company's Web site, you'll find a page dedicated to the drive with more information on it.
Compact, great-looking, and offering stellar performance, the Lexar JumpDrive Triton makes an excellent portable storage device despite its relatively high price tag.