If you’re looking to buy high performance USB memory sticks with fast read/write speeds then you’re best not to buy them from a company supplying promotional USB sticks.
The reason is simple – the vast majority of promotional USB sticks that are purchased are typically given away as part of a sales and marketing initiative of some description. As a “giveaway” the primary requirement is not speed and performance but value for money coupled with a product that looks good and can show off the brand that is printed on it.
Performance and speed comes at a premium and in the highly competitive promotional USB market most prices that are banded around will be for “standard promotional grade” USB sticks. What this means is that if you’re lucky you’ll get a Grade A (new and non-recycled) product that has read/write speeds of around 3MB -6MB per second. If you’re unlucky you could easily end up with sticks that look good on the outside but contain Grade B (re-cycled) components – these will be slow, they may be masked (the memory size is faked) and they are likely to have a short lifespan (the number of read/write cycles they’ll support will be small).
Forget any ideas of getting the sort of performance you’d normally associate with good quality high performance branded USB sticks you’d pick up in the high street – whatever anyone says unless you specify high performance chips and you’re willing to pay a premium (albeit often a small premium) then the USB sticks you’ll get from most companies selling “promotional” USB sticks will perform commensurate with this definition.
To be fair a decent promotional USB stick from a reputable supplier will be fine for most everyday needs. Problems only really occur when whoever buys then or uses them wants to transfer lots of large files onto them or wants to run large high quality video files from them – large files or multi-tiered data with complex file structures will challenge a promotional USB, often to the point of breaking – it won’t physically break but the data loaded onto it will either fail or corrupt.
For certain industries, professional photographers for example, speed, performance and a reasonable lifespan (backed by a decent warranty) are an absolute must. If these are attributes you want from your printed USB sticks then be very clear to tell your supplier what you plan to use them for and follow their advice. When and if they recommend you spend a little more money to buy an upgraded product remember that they are not doing it to squeeze a few extra pennies out of you they are doing it because they want the product they supply to work and for you to be happy and come back and buy again!
At USB2U we always recommend that professional photographers and videographers buy upgraded, high-performance USB sticks.