Storage Devices

Kingston DataTraveler microDUO 3C USB 3.1 Drive Review: Compact Reversatility

kdtusb3eDespite the wide adoption of cloud solutions, physical storage remains strong although it has evolved a lot from what was just common portable media before the advent of online storage. Compact sizes are expected and drives that are seemingly just USB connector ends are much more common, although having much faster transfer rates than what compact and floppy discs offer. The next evolution of USB storage media however, involves a new type of universal connector that delivers faster transfer rates and whose even more compact form makes it the choice for upcoming mobile devices: the Type-C connector.

Kingston Technology has updated their DataTraveler flash drive to include this new type of Type-C connector. The DataTraveler microDuo 3C boasts both a Type-A standard USB 3.0 connector on one end and a Type-C USB connector on the other. This makes the DataTraveler microDuo 3C live up to its name, boasting compatibility with the latest hardware and can act as additional storage for mobile devices with USB 3.1 Type-C ports.

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The Kingston DataTraveler comes in a blister pack with a fold-out backing information sheet inside that also contains the string loop in the middle for attaching the USB drive to a key-chain.

Unlike other USB drives, the Kingston DataTraveler microDuo 3C is double ended with a Type-A connector on one end and a Type-C connector on the other. Laser etched on the aluminum body is the product name, serial number and capacity.

Only the Type-C side has a cover and this slides down and bends at a 90 degree angle to expose the Type-C connector. The loop for securing the string for the keychain is part of the body on the opposite side. Total dimensions are 29.94mm x 16.60mm x 8.44mm.


Capacities 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
Speed USB 3.1

16GB — 100MB/s read, 10MB/s write
32GB, 64GB — 100MB/s read, 15MB/s write

Dimensions 29.94mm x 16.60mm x 8.44mm
Operating Temperature 0°C to 60°C
Storage Temperature -20°C to 85°C
Warranty/support 5-year warranty with free technical support
Compatible with Windows® 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1), Windows Vista® (SP2), Mac OS X v.10.8.x+, Linux v.2.6.x+, Chrome OS™

Test System

Item Name Provided by:
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (ES) Intel
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D15S with NT-H1 Thermal Compound Noctua
Power Supply
Corsair HX850W 80 Plus Gold PSU Corsair
Memory Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 2x8GB @ 2666MHz 15-17-17-35 2T (XMP) Kingston
Storage Silicon Power S80 240GB SSD (OS) Silicon Power
Graphics Integrated CPU Graphics
Drivers Intel (Z170),
Motherboard(s) Biostar Z170X Gaming Commander
Operating System Windows 10 Enterprise
USB drives
  • Kingston DTDuo3C 32GB
  • Mushkin Atom 8GB
  • Patriot Supersonic XT 32GB
  • Silicon Power Blaze B20 16GB
  • Lacie RuggedKey 16GB




Final Thoughts

Two quick benchmark sets verify Kingston DataTraveler Duo 3C’s performance promised in the official specifications. It even performs with twice as much writing speed. While this is not the fastest USB 3.0 drive available, it is pretty good for a micro-sized drive and out-performs the Mushkin Atom (although the Atom has higher random read).

Design-wise, the DataTraveler Duo 3C is meant to be inconspicuous because of its size and is functionally sound with its keychain loop conveniently in the middle. The USB 3.1 cover requires a two-step positioning so it does not easily slide open and expose the small connector. It is quite simple yet ingenious actually. Even if it does get damaged however, the long 5-year warranty is quite generous and should assuage any concerns. Small, fast, versatile and reversible; it is what the future of portable storage looks like.

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