Teamgroup unveiled a new USB flash drive at Computex 2023, the C231, which has a capacity of up to 2TB, making it the biggest memory stick on the market when it goes on sale later this year.
Kingston had a 2TB DataTraveler Ultimate GT flash drive but it was retired a few years ago, partly because it was an awkward design and partly because it was extremely expensive at around $2,000.
The C231, I am told, will cost around $190 (about GBP150, EUR177, AUD 291) with actual retail price likely to be much, much lower (especially as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday) and is likely to go in our best USB flash drive buying guide due to its capacity.
You can already get 1TB USB flash drives for less than $70 (Buffalo SSD-PUT1.0U3B, SSK); Teamgroup’s own C212 – our editor’s choice for memory sticks – being one of the cheaper at about $75. What sets the C231 apart though is the fact that it claims to offer SSD-like performance in such a tiny form factor. The press release sent to us mentions “maximum read and write speeds of up to 1000MB/s” thanks to the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connector.
The document also underlines a “convenient push-and-slide mechanism also eliminates the need for cap storage, making data transferring even simpler” as well as the USB stick’s “sleek matte black metal exterior adds a stylish touch to users’ daily device collection, while the hole design allows users to attach it to key rings, backpacks, or other accessories for easy carrying and storage on the go.”
I’ve asked for a sample for test as soon as it is available. There’s no confirmed release date as well and I expect to see a three-year warranty attached to it.
Beware of fake USB drives
A lot of the better known USB drive brands have stopped short of unveiling higher capacity flash drives (and memory cards). Samsung for example doesn’t do 1TB memory sticks or 1TB microSD cards. This vacuum has encouraged the growth of an entire industry of fake USB drives that sell bogus 1TB, 2TB and 4TB flash drives on the cheap.
Online marketplaces like Ebay, Alibaba and Amazon have been inundated by these; it is very much buyer’s beware and not surprising that there’s quite a few vendors that would warrant cautious. As always, with that big of a capacity, always backup your content, either with a cloud backup or a backup software.