Technology

PNY Elite-X Type-C Flash Drive Review: Perfect for Smartphone Transfers

Key Takeaways

  • The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive is a fast, compact, and convenient solution for local smartphone photo and video storage.
  • It works with most USB-C devices and offers impressive transfer speeds for quick file transfers.
  • However, its small size may make it easy to misplace, and an LED indicator and USB-A adapter would be nice additions.


If you’ve been looking for a savvy way to store your smartphone photos and videos locally, the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive may be the perfect solution. It transfers files quickly and works with most devices, but considering its small size, I’d recommend adding a GPS tracker to pair with it.

The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive

PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive

With its blistering-fast transfer speeds and ergonomic design, the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive is an excellent foray into the world of bite-sized USB-C local storage.

Brand
PNY

Capacity
128GB

Speed
Up to 200MB

Connection
USB-C

Pros

  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Works with most USB-C devices
  • Retractable design
  • Built-in lanyard loop
Cons

  • No LED indicator
  • Could be easy to misplace
  • USB-A adapter would be nice

Design: Let There Be Light

The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive in the open position
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

At only 2.2 inches from top to bottom and 0.5 inches from side to side, I found the Elite-X Type C exceptionally small. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many external storage devices can take up a ton of space.

That being said, I can see the Elite-X being very easy to lose, whether that’s between couch cushions or wedged into the bottom corner of a backpack pocket. While some built-in Tile or other GPS tracker would have been nice, the Elite-X’s lanyard loop does make it easy to slap an AirTag or other detection gadget onto the drive.

The glossy-black plastic housing doesn’t do much to make the Elite-X stand out from the crowd. This is the shell that covers every part of the flash drive, except for the USB-C connector.

I found myself wanting an LED status indicator on the drive. You’ll know whether the drive is working or not based on your host device’s ability to detect the Elite-X, but a simple pulsing white light on the drive to say “Hey, I’m connected!” could have been nice.

I also wish PNY would have incorporated a little more defense for the retractable connector. To insert the flash drive into a smartphone, tablet, or another device, you simply push on the back end of the drive housing (where the lanyard loop is located) to expose the connector. When you retract the USB-C prong though, both the top, left, and right sides of the connector are exposed, leaving the connector open to dirt and moisture.

Features: Capable and Compatible

The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive plugged into a Samsung phone
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Even though most phones, tablets, and computers are switching over to USB-C, there are still a number of old and new devices that support both USB-C and USB-A connections. Unfortunately, you won’t find a USB-A adapter packaged with the Elite-X, which means you’ll be restricted to USB-C ports only. This means that you may want to invest in a USB hub if you plan on connecting the Elite-X to a smart TV, soundbar, or A/V receiver that doesn’t have USB-C ports.

PNY claims the Elite-X Type C delivers max read speeds of up to 200MB and is up to 20 times faster at writing files than PNY’s standard USB 2.0 flash drives. Based on my own file-transfer experience with the drive, I can stand behind these numbers.

In terms of compatibility, you’ll be able to use the Elite-X with PCs running Windows 7 and up, Apple hardware running macOS 8.6 or later, and some USB-C-equipped smartphones and tablets.

Using the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive: A Great Experience

The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive plugged into a laptop
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

I was able to test the Elite-X Type C Flash Drive using a late 2020 MacBook Pro. Seeing as the drive is optimized for USB 3.2 Gen 1 transfer speeds (up to 5Gbps), I was expecting some pretty zippy performance, but the true results were superlative.

Importing every single photo from my MacBook’s Photos app took less than five seconds. In fact, I would say once I hit “paste” to dump all the pics onto the drive, about half of them were almost immediately uploaded in the first two seconds or so. I’m still rocking an iPhone 12, but if I were to upgrade to any version of the iPhone 15, I would want the Elite-X Type C just for smartphone photo storage alone.

After adding some GarageBand projects to the Elite-X, I went ahead and duplicated all the files, which tasked the Elite-X with partitioning over 640MB. It took around three minutes to complete the upload, which was pretty good in my book.

Available in 64GB, 128GB (my test model), or 256GB sizes, I was able to get my entire photo library and several layered GarageBand tracks onto the drive quickly. While it may take a bit longer for larger files, like 4K HDR content, I can totally see the Elite-X completing a 20GB upload in around 10 to 15 minutes.

Should You Buy the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive?

If you’re sick of external hard drives and cloud storage platforms, the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive is an excellent local storage alternative for most phones, tablets, and computers. While there are a few design elements that could use some tweaking, this is one of the best non-network storage mediums for most USB-C hardware.

The PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive

PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive

With its blistering-fast transfer speeds and ergonomic design, the PNY Elite-X Type C Flash Drive is an excellent foray into the world of bite-sized USB-C local storage.

Brand
PNY

Capacity
128GB

Speed
Up to 200MB

Connection
USB-C

source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button