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Review | 64GB Kingston 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash Drive

Kingston, known for their zodiac themed flash drives, sent us the latest one for 2021 – in the form of the Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash.

The Mini Cow USB is a part of the thematic refresh of Kingston’s yearly limited edition flash drives that actually started last year with the 2020 Year of the Rat flash. These designs are cuter, ovular-shaped and comes with their unique containers as opposed to the older limited edition drives (2019 and older). Comes with shock-resistant rubber material too for the extra ruggedness too on top of its accessible MSRP of 1,150 Pesos.

Technical Specifications

Storage

Capacity 64 GB
Controller
Flash Memory
Form Factor Flash Drive
Sequential Read 100 MB/s
Sequential Write
Random Read IOPS
Random Write IOPS
Warranty 5 Years
TBW
Dimensions
Length 43.16mm
Width 28.96mm
Height 27.31mm
Weight 91.6g

Packaging and Accessories

Kingston used a milk bottle themed packaging for the 2021’s Mini Cow flash. The following should be located inside and or outside:

  • Kingston 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash Drive
  • Label / Warranty information
  • Rubber bottle cap
  • Mini Chain

Other than the flash drive, you’d also get a foam, a label that also comes with the drive’s information at the back and a chain.

Design, Layout and Build Quality

The Limited Edition Kingston Mini Cow deserves its title. It’s a cute storage device and a really small one as well with a weight of about 17.6 grams. Colorway is also lively too –  something that we could really use in these trying times.

The actual drive itself is a small golden USB 3.2 Gen1 device. It is attached to the snout – or it actually is the snout rather. I wager the body – which is made out of rubber, also serves as a water resistant casing on top of its shock proof design. I have tested this myself, and it holds its seal rather well.

Drive alone is really small but with the body attached, it is kinda fat and will create a noticeable bulge on your pocket. Luckily, like many Kingston flash drives out there, this one comes with an attachment for key chains.

There are a few things I’d like Kingston to improve here like adding a USB Type-C adapter and a thicker rubber for the snout. The bottle could use a threaded cap too instead of the push fit one.

Test Setup and Methodology

Our storage device reviews revolves around the use of various storage benchmark tools and real world benchmarks. Our setup fills up the test drive to at least 50% of its capacity. This is done so to negate the FOB (Fresh Out the Box) performance of the drive; ensuring that we are testing the drive near its expected usage. The drive is formatted under NTFS and is attached to its natively supported interface. This is to ensure the system is at its optimal testing state.

Default Test System Specifications
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX B550-I Gaming
Cooler AMD Wraith Stealth V2
Memory ADATA Premier 2666MHz 16GB
GPU ASUS ROG Strix RX 570 4GB
Storage Plextor M9PE NVME 512GB
Case Mechanical Library JXK-K3
PSU Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 650W
Display LG UF680T
OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Throughput Performance

Throughput performance measured in MB/s is measured with CrystalDiskMark. First up on the test is the Sequential read and write performance, measured with a block size of 1MB and a 1GB transfer size. This test is more in line with large file transfers; similar to watching a movie.

The second one is the Random 4K read and write performance, measured with a random block size of 4KB and a 1GB transfer size. This test is more in line with small file transfers; similar to transferring installation files and reading game data.

Sequential transfer rate performance figures are just decent. Nothing exceptional – rather low even compared to its rated performance. While sequential performance is just alright, the Random 4K performance leaves us wanting. Still, this drive should be able to play 4K UHD content without any issue.

IOPS Performance

Input/Output Operations per Second is is measured with AS SSD. The Random 4K-64Thrd read and write benchmark is used for this test. Performance is measured with a random block size of 4KB, a 1GB transfer size and 64-thread IO requests. This tests the storage medium’s ability to use Native Command Queuing (NCQ) at higher Queue Depth. A Useful metric for server side applications.

Random 4K-64Thrd performance shouldn’t be your major concern on this kind of drive and it shows. It can’t even complete the benchmark.

Access Time Performance

The read and write latency is measured with AS SSD using a 512KB block size. Access Time is just as important as the throughput and IOPS performance of the drive; allowing us to peak into how fast or slow a storage medium can access a given data. Latency is measured in milliseconds.

Access time performance is good – as far as read goes. Write struggles to finish for some reason.

File Copy Performance

Our real world performance test consists of 3 file folders containing 6GB worth of text files, images and videos each. The files are copied within the drive using TeraCopy to evaluate the storage medium’s performance. File copy performance is measured in seconds.

Copying files within the drive tells us that it could keep up with some drives we got – at least on the image and video file test. For smaller files however, you may want something else.

Software, Lighting and Special Features

The 64GB Kingston 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB doesn’t come with any extra software but it makes up for it with its looks and presentation.

This is again, a shock proof drive and should withstand any normal punishment. Part of its feature is also its limited run nature.

Final Thoughts

Kingston refreshed their yearly zodiac offering with the Year of the Rat back in 2020 and this year’s iteration just made the new line-up even better. That’s with an updated capacity and an even more thematic presentation.

Now performance wise, this drive should be enough for content consumption and storage due to its decent sequential speed and 64GB of storage capacity – 58GB usable. Don’t ask for more though since this is not a high performance flash drive.

The 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash Drive is not fast but it is cute and presentable. Kinda nice as a key chain drive too since it doesn’t look like a flash drive at all. A collectible device that you could actually use for years to come.

TechPorn Awards 2018 (3)

64GB Kingston 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash Drive

  • Performance - 7/10

    7/10

  • Build Quality - 9/10

    9/10

  • Features - 8/10

    8/10

  • Design - 9/10

    9/10

  • Value - 9/10

    9/10

8.4/10

Summary

The 2021 Limited Edition Mini Cow USB Flash Drive is not fast but it is cute and presentable. Kinda nice as a key chain drive too since it doesn’t look like a flash drive at all. A collectible device that you could actually use for years to come.

Pros

  • Decent sequential performance
  • Cute and presentable design
  • Value oriented price point
  • Collectible AF

Cons

  • Random 4K performance
  • USB Type-A interface only

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.