You just get one chance in your life to capture those precious moments and you just can't afford to lose them. It’s risky to store your entire collection of photos on hard drives, because they’re most prone to failure among all types of storage media. Although, optical media, USB flash drives and solid state drives are relatively more reliable, there’s no guarantee if they’ll last for the rest of your life. SanDisk has cashed in on this aspect and come out with their latest offering called Memory Vault.
The Memory Vault is essentially a USB flash drive, but what makes it special is its ability to preserve data long term. According to SanDisk, this storage device has been tested to support data retention for up to 100 years.
It feels like a solid block of metal
It does not come across as a USB flash drive, at all, by its chunky design. It measures 80 x 11 x 49 mm and when held it feels like a solid block of metal. It’s way too hefty for its size at 90gms. It’s designed this way to protect the flash memory and the controller from external factors, such as humidity and high temperature.
The device is metallic grey in colour and the top sports an LED activity indicator towards the bottom right corner along with the SanDisk logo. The bottom of the device mentions the capacity and has a rubberized grip that runs along the protrusion to prevent it from slipping. A micro USB slot has been provided to the left and it’s protected by a tiny rubber port flap.
Rubber base to prevent the drive from slipping
Apart from the cable, what you get is a velvet storage pouch and sticker labels to keep a track of what you’ve stored on the drive. There are pouch sleeves too to carry two drives. Since the drive is primarily meant to preserve photos and videos, we expected a backup software or photo/video organizer to come bundled, but on connecting the drive to our test PC, we found that it didn’t have a single file on it.
Memory Vault features a USB 2.0 interface, so we didn’t expect steroidal speeds. But, being a premium product, we certainly expected it to be faster than the regular USB flash drives that are commonly available in the market, which have read and write speed of around 18 MB/s and 8 MB/s, respectively.
Our first test was a synthetic test for which we used CrystalDiskMark and HD Tune Pro to assess the read and write speeds. The former reported sequential read and write speed of 17.9 MB/s and 4.3 MB/s, respectively. The size of data used was 500 MB and the test was looped three times. Similar scores were reported by HD Tune Pro in which we used the Benchmark module.
The read and write speeds could have been a lot better
For the real world test, we transferred JPG and RAW files amounting to 500 MB and measured the speed using a stop watch. The sequential read and write speed we got were 16 MB/s and 5.7 MB/s, respectively – quite close to the synthetic scores. Such slow transfer speeds can be overlooked, if you’re transferring small chunks of data. But, you’ll find the drive sluggish when you have large sizes of data to transfer. SanDisk should have used a faster controller for speedier file transfers.
SanDisk Memory Vault is available in two capacities – the 8GB variant costs Rs. 3,499 and the 16GB variant costs Rs. 5,499. You’ll find it way too expensive, if you compare these prices to those of portable hard drives. But Memory Vault commands a premium for its ability to preserve data for a 100 years. So, go in for this drive if this parameter is critical for you, or take the trouble and be safe than sorry by taking multiple backups.