The Sony Micro Vault Classic USM16GN is a discontinued 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive.
Ironically, it is anything but micro. The width and depth are relatively thin, but the height is long. In other words, the flash drive is tall and skinny; which is a concern. Inserted vertically into a USB port, the flash drive is sturdy and provides room to the sides for neighboring USB devices. However, inserted horizontally, the flash drive is unstable and sticks out too much. It’s just an accident waiting to happen as it could be easily snagged or snapped. As a result, horizontal USB ports should be avoided.
Style wise, the drive has an immediate Sony brand recognition to it. The front is primarily a nice matted dark grey, while the back is shiny dark grey / black. In addition, the Sony logo is clear and visible along with the drive capacity.
A retractable switch is on the side and is easily identified by a light grey color.
Construction quality is good as the case is composed of a rugged plastic with fine and smooth texture. There is no noticeable flex to the drive, and it inserts easily into a USB port.
The sliding switch on the side of the drive is well constructed. The knobby switch slides smoothly and snaps into place when the USB plug is fully extended.
Performance of the drive was disappointing. Read speed were surprisingly good at 21.20 MB/s. Write speeds, on the other hand, were inconsistent and poor. They ranged from 1.7 MB/s to 10 MB/s for file’s under 500MB. For files greater than or equal to 500MB, write speeds were notably slower and below average. As a result, the drive was reformatted and benchmarked several times. In all cases, results were inconsistent. However, the average write speed of the final test was 2.54 MB/s.
Overall, this USB flash drive should be avoided due to the poor write performance; which is a shame as it is well constructed and has a distinct Sony style to it.
Benchmarked below is the Sony Micro Vault Classic USM16GN formatted to have a single ext2 partition.
fdisk -l /dev/sdh
Disk /dev/sdh: 16.2 GB, 16225665024 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1972 cylinders, total 31690752 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x0000d89e
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdh1 * 2048 31690751 15844352 83 Linux
Device Read Benchmark (USB 2.0)
hdparm -t /dev/sdh1
/dev/sdh1: Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 3.02 seconds = 21.20 MB/sec
Device Write Benchmark: 1MB x 1000 (USB 2.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1M count=1000 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 1000+0 records in 1000+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 425.826 s, 2.5 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 10MB x 100 (USB 2.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=10M count=100 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 100+0 records in 100+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 453.754 s, 2.3 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 100MB x 10 (USB 2.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=100M count=10 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 10+0 records in 10+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 324.881 s, 3.2 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 500MB x 2 (USB 2.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=500M count=2 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 2+0 records in 2+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 450.586 s, 2.3 MB/s
Device Write Benchmark: 1000MB x 1 (USB 2.0)
dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1000M count=1 conv=fdatasync,notrunc 1+0 records in 1+0 records out 1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 443.827 s, 2.4 MB/s