Dual Flash Drive Comparison: Kingston DT microDuo 3C, Samsung Duo Plus, Sandisk Ultra Dual
1 September 2021, Comments: Comments Off on Best USB-C Flash Drives with USB-A Compatibility

 September 2021         Ian Chiu

We tested five 64GB dual flash drives from Kingston, Samsung, and Sandisk.  These USB 3.2 Gen. 1 drives serve as a bridge between USB-C and legacy USB-A PCs, offering you the best of both worlds. In our July 2022 update, we have added benchmarks for Sandisk Ultra Dual Luxe, which is essentially an Ultra Dual Go with a metal body.

For those who are looking for single-connector flash drives (either USB-A or USB-C), then this round-up of the latest USB 3.2 flash drives might have what you are looking for. Those drives are mostly faster and more durable.

 Our Picks


Out of the five dual-headed drives we tested, the Samsung’s Duo Plus and the Sandisk’s Ultra Dual are our choices.   The Samsung excels in performance whereas the Sandisk is better suited for everyday use with its solid build quality and USB slider.  You’ll notice the write speeds are on the low side.  Having said that, performance of these drives is generally acceptable for most users unless your work is particularly taxing.

 What are Dual Flash Drives?


Dual flash drives – having USB Type-A and USB-C connectors on opposite ends – are becoming more relevant as more computers and smartphones ship with the reversible USB port exclusively.  They make sure you have readily access to your data on your future-proof USB-C devices (e.g. iPads, Samsung Galaxy tablets) as well as giving you backward compatibility on PCs and Macs with good old USB Type-A.  For this reason, it will never hurt to have at least one of these dual-headed flash drives in case you need a quick and easy file transfer solution.

Feature Comparison


Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo 3C
Kingston
DT microDuo 3C

See it on Amazon
$36.19 for 128GB
Samsung Duo Plus
Samsung
Duo Plus

See it on Amazon
$32.91 for 128GB
Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive
Sandisk
Ultra Dual

See it on Amazon
$17.69 for 128GB
Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive Go
Sandisk
Ultra Dual Go

See it on Amazon
$17.29 for 128GB
Sandisk Ultra Dual Luxe
Sandisk
Ultra Dual Luxe

See it on Amazon
$18.48 for 128GB
Storage:16 - 128GB32 - 256GB16 - 256GB32 - 512GB32 - 1TB
Interface(s):USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
Dimensions:30 x 16.6 x 8.4mm57.9 X 18.3 X 7.3mm38 x 20.1 x 9.4mm44.5 x 12.2 x 8.6mm44.5 x 12.2 x 8.6mm
Weight:4.5g7.7g9.1g3.7g17g
Build Material:Plastic & metalPlasticPlastic & metalPlasticMetal
USB Plug Protection?Rotating cap for USB-C connectorRemovable capsRetractable connectorsRotating capRotating cap
Color(s):SilverBlack & greyBlack & silverBlackSilver
Android File Manager?NoNoSandisk Memory ZoneSandisk Memory ZoneSandisk Memory Zone
Release Date:July 2015August 2018May 2016Jan 2020Feb 2020
Warranty:5 years5 years5 years5 years5 years

Pricing is last updated by Amazon on 2022-08-06 at 04:00.  When you buy through Amazon affiliate links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Benchmark Analysis


We carried out our drive benchmarks on two different platforms – Windows 10 Pro running on MacBook Pro (2018) and Android running on Samsung S8 Plus (2017).  Samsung proudly advertises the read speed of its Duo Plus can hit 300MB/s whereas Kingston claims read speed of 100MB/s for its MicroDuo 3C.  Lastly, both Sandisk Ultra Dual and Ultra Dual Go can deliver speeds up to 150MB/s under ideal conditions.

Bar chart comparing USB speeds between Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo 3C, Samsung Duo Plus, Sandisk Ultra Dual, Ultra Dual Go and Ultra Dual Luxe on Windows 10.

For our PC benchmark, our testing with the USB-C interface involved transferring a 9GB MP4 file back and forth between our MacBook Pro and the drives.  We then repeated the process with a 5GB folder containing 1000 JPEGs.  Tests were carried out on Nodesoft’s DiskBench

From the graph above, the Samsung Duo Plus was clearly ahead of the competitors but the advantages greatly diminished during write operations. Both Sandisk Ultra Dual Go and Luxe performed almost at the same level. The only difference between the two is Luxe’s metal body whereas the Dual Go has a flimsy plastic build.

Next, we looked into the kind of performance you can expect if you plan on using these dual flash drives for regular photo backups and large video imports on a Galaxy S8.  The Samsung flagship smartphone is equipped with USB-C capable of delivering 5Gbps; though, keep in mind not every Android handset released since 2017 is USB 3.2 Gen 1.  For this set of benchmarks, we repeated the same copying procedures with the same files we used on the MacBook Pro earlier.

Bar chart comparing USB speeds between Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo 3C, Samsung Duo Plus, Sandisk Ultra Dual, Ultra Dual Go and Ultra Dual Luxe on Android-powered Samsung S8.

From the graph above, the Samsung Duo Plus led by a fair margin across the board, and the Sandisk Ultra Dual is a distant second. It’s, however, important to note that all these drives were on the low end of expectations in terms of write speeds by today’s standards.

Beginning with iPadOS 15, a progress bar is introduced in Files app to indicate the amount of data being copied and the remaining time needed for the file transfer to complete. Apple must have also fixed USB-C transfer speeds as they are back to “normal” in both directions.

As with previous iPadOS versions, while copying from the flash drives to the iPad was completed in a timely manner, going the other way around was pitifully slow to the extent that we had to unplug the drives prematurely before the transfers were even finished. In other words, there was definitely something wrong with how Apple handled write operations on UFDs before iPadOS 15. It’s good to hear the issue has now been resolved.

Drive Design & Software


Every one of these drives except for the Sandisk Ultra Dual Luxe comes with an all-plastic body. For heavy use, we didn’t have to wait for the drives to cool down before pulling them out from a USB port whereas, in the case of the Luxe, we had to wait half a minute or so as it might get too hot to handle after several minutes of intense I/O operations.

Design-wise, the Luxe is also most durable with its metal body. It’s worth noting that Samsung’s Duo Plus is technically USB-C only as it is bundled with a USB-A adapter that can be pulled out from the opposite end.  There’s also a removable cap for the USB-C plug. So you end up with more parts to keep track of during daily use.

Kingston’s DataTraveler microDuo 3C, on the other hand, opts for a swivel cap that only protects the USB-C plug while the Sandisk Ultra Dual and Kingston DataTraveler Duo both go with a retractable connector design, which keeps the drives’ razor-sharp edges from puncturing your jean pockets.

On the software side, the Sandisk provides its own Android backup and file management app.  We didn’t have any luck getting our Sandisk Ultra Dual recognized by the company’s Memory Zone app on our Samsung S8+.  Since there’s already an abundance of third-party file browser apps on the Google Play Store, you should have plenty of options when it comes to managing files on your USB drives on an Android smartphone or tablet.

 Best Deals Online


Pricing is last updated by Amazon on 2022-08-06 at 04:00.  When you buy through Amazon affiliate links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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