Rob-ART Morgan analyzes USB3 thumb drives for new Mac owners and comes to this surprising conclusion:

If small size is the priority and you have a 2012 Apple laptop, you should consider using an SD card as your jump drive. That’s because the fastest SDHC card on the newest laptops is more than twice as fast as the same SD card in the SD slot of the 2011 and older Apple laptops.

I didn’t see that coming. I griped on Twitter a week or so ago that I would really love to get my hands on a Thunderbolt powered thumb drive — something around 100GB — mainly because it would be a great medium to store my current working Aperture and LightRoom libraries on and would be fast as hell. I hadn’t even considered the SD card slot, but I like that solution (not, mind you, for my photo library just yet).

I keep about 50GB worth of thumb drives in my backpack all the time and I cannot tell you the last time I used a single one. I am now to the point of giving them to people with data on them, and not caring if I get the drive back. SD cards would be even more disposable, and yet even more useful for other things — like my camera.

Especially when you consider the Lexar 32GB thumb drive is $234 and 128GB Lexar Pro SDXC (they work in the Mac SD card slots on Retina machines) is only $155 at Amazon.

Seems like a no brainer to go with an SD card — most Macs have a slot to read them now too. I would love that Thunderbolt thumb drive though if someone wants to build that for me.

Side note: I hadn’t heard the term sneaker net before, but I love it.


Posted by Ben Brooks