GCN LAB REVIEW

Kanguru e-Flash drive burns candle at both ends

Kanguru e-Flash does double duty as a powerful eSATA drive and a USB 2.0 drive

Kanguru e-Flash driveThe Kanguru e-Flash is the Clark Kent of flash drives. It looks ordinary at first but use it to transfer a gigabyte or two of data and you’ll realize that it almost has super powers. The interesting aspect of its design is that it has a USB port on one end of the key drive, and an eSATA port on the other. So we decided to test both out to see how it worked.

GCN LAB SCORECARD

Kanguru e-Flash flash drive

Pros: Almost unbelievably fast file transfer, connects to most computers
Cons: The eSATA connection was not as plug-and-play as a regular USB flash drive

Performance: A+
Ease of Use: B
Features: A
Value: A
Price: $119.95, $116.35 government price for 32G version; $59.95 for 16G version

GCN Lab home page

About the size of a pack of gum, the Kanguru e-Flash offers, as Hannah Montana famously said, the best of both worlds. One end connects to your computer via an eSATA connection; the other end connects via a USB 2.0 connection. The ends are clearly marked, so you can’t mix them up, and the plugs won’t fit in the wrong place either. It will work with most computers on this planet.

How fast was it? It moved data faster than reporters swipe donuts from a newsroom kitchen. It was crazy fast, at least when using the eSATA connection, which basically makes the external drive more of an internal one in terms of computer layout.

We tested the 32G version. It comes with a separate eSATA connection and extension cord for the eSATA setup. We had to crack open our test PC, a Lenovo Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8500, and insert the eSATA connection, but this little surgery was most definitely worth it. When complete, an eSATA cord hangs outside the computer and you can plug in the drive to the dongle, much like you do when using the USB end. Of course the one disadvantage is that not every computer is going to have this dongle, but you can use it in hyper fast mode at your home base, and then simply use it as a normal USB drive everywhere else.

When the testing started, a little blue light lit up one end of the drive, and a red light lit up the end that connected directly into the PC, so we knew it was working.

The Kanguru’s eSATA drive transferred a 1G document to the Lenovo hard drive in 13.3 seconds, which is schmokin’, to use a technical term. I had to be careful not to blink while I was timing it or I would have missed the whole transfer.

It took the same document 27 seconds to move from the Lenovo hard drive to the e-Flash using the eSATA connection—again, ridiculously fast.

We turned the e-Flash around and tried the USB end, and it, too, was mighty fast. We could chat a bit while timing this transfer, but still, it was fast. To transfer 1G worth of data from the Kanguru USB connection to the Lenovo hard drive was 31 seconds, which is great given the slower nature of USB 2.0. The time to transfer a gigabyte from the Lenovo back to the e-Flash USB side was 61.3 seconds, which is more leisurely, but this was still fast enough for most purposes.

The e-Flash also comes pre-loaded with Hot Swap software, which facilitates the e-Flash’s eSATA connection and ejection.

At about this point I started to run out of synonyms for “fast.” The Kanguru e-Flash is dashing, accelerated, brisk, hypersonic, winged. It’s lightning fast, hummingbird-wing fast, UFO over Roswell fast. Don’t be at all shy about using the eSATA end of it because it will dazzle you with its speed. There’s a reason it’s called the e-Flash. It’s a flash of speed that will transfer your data in the blink of an eye.

I understand why there’s a picture of a kangaroo on the side of the e-Flash, but if I had to pick a totemic animal for this device, it would be a cheetah or some type of bird. No offense to our friends in the marsupial community, but speed is not the first thing you think of when you think of kangaroos. Although once you’ve worked with the e-Flash, you will probably want to carry it everywhere in your pouch, err, pocket.

Kanguru Solutions, 1-800-KANGURU, www.kanguru.com

Reader Comments

Wed, Apr 15, 2009 Mark P. Virginia

I know that USB will pass through power, but how does the flash drive receive power when using the e-SATA connector?

Wed, Apr 15, 2009 Ray

I wonder if this will get around the restriction on USB thumb drives at work (for those of us in the parts of the gov that banned them) if we use eSATA at work and USB at the rest of the world? With our luck, the same issues that have computer security stirred up will still be on the eSATA end. Other than that, I do not see much market for this unless the price is close to the standard USB thumb drives.

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