Black NAND USB Flash Memory Sticks – What’s That All About

If you’ve been shopping around looking to buy printed USB memory sticks lately then you’ll no doubt have been pleasantly surprised by the number of companies that can now offer you a solution albeit you might have been left more than a little confused by some of the pricing on offer.

Our own research suggests that the price for USB memory sticks (printed or engraved) can vary wildly with some suppliers using the old favourite of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to justify their own high prices. Comments that “black NAND” is often used by some suppliers and helps them drive down prices are designed to spook the buyer and encourage them to commit to higher priced products. But, are such suggestions fair and justified and just what is black NAND?

From the outside, apart from the aesthetics of the design, all USB memory sticks look equal but the real difference between them is often “under the skin”. It’s a bit like buying Ferrari from a non-Ferrari dealer without checking the engine specification only to find when it arrives that it’s powered by a Ford Focus engine. Sure it will look the part but it’s not exactly what you paid for and not exactly what you were expecting.

To continue the motoring analogy further if the USB memory sticks supplied were manufactured using black NAND then it’s likely that the engine would have failed Ford’s QA tests and was downgraded from a 1.6L to a 1.0L. Black NAND memory is not exactly re-cycled it’s just a memory chip that might have been destined to have been say a 2GB flash module but some elements of it failed the QA so it ended up as 1GB instead – it’s still new memory but it’s rejected memory because it’s not the original 2GB it was supposed to be. Because of this black NAND memory is cheaper and can occasionally have poorer performance and reliability issues.

The key thing when you’re looking to source printed or promotional USB memory sticks is to think about what you need – do you need Grade A, top quality, high speed flash drives that are underpinned with a good warranty from a top supplier or for your particular application perhaps it won’t matter if a small number of the flash drives fail and the read/write speeds of the drive are not particularly quick. If the latter is the case then you can simply buy on price and price alone. If the former is more the sort of thing you’re after then it’s critical that you get your prospective suppliers to define exactly what you’ll be getting – if you don’t do this you simply won’t be comparing “apples with apples”.

If you’re still not sure it’s always worth checking out 3rd party review web sites like Trust Pilot to see what other customers are saying about the service and product they get from any particular supplier of USB memory sticks.

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