To continue using memory sticks with traditional USB plugs on Macbooks with USB-C (but also with new generation smartphones and tablets) a hub is enough but if you want to simplify the storage and exchange of files with these devices, the the quickest solution is to purchase a key with the new USB-C plug.
And this is where SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C comes into play, a long name that labels one of the most useful accessories that our editorial staff has had the opportunity to test in recent weeks: a very small and practical key equipped with a double plug, USB-A on one side and USB-C on the other, to be used with any device that has at least one of these two ports.
How it's made
This stick is really small: the ruler in the hand measures just 3.8 x 1.7 x 0.9 cm and its construction, mainly in polycarbonate, makes it also very light (just 9 grams).
Much of the external body is reinforced by a satin aluminum plate that has two small holes inside which it is possible to pass a strap to be able to hook it for example to a bunch of keys, but it is a pity that there is not even one supplied. the shadow, which means that if you want to take advantage of this feature you will need to buy one on your own initiative (on Amazon there are several even for a few euros).
The two USB-A and USB-C plugs are well hidden inside the structure: on the one hand this makes the key even smaller, on the other hand in this way during transport there is no risk of accidentally bending them.
To extract one or the other, just move the small slightly protruding selector switch that we find recessed along the edge of the key in the direction of the desired plug: the relative plug thus comes out through its tortoiseshell-style opening and locks at the end of the stroke. to prevent it from re-entering when it is inserted into its socket.
There is also a locking system for the rest position of the selector, also in this case to reduce the risk that one of the two pins can be extracted when inserting the key into a bag or trouser pocket.
How is it going
We mainly used it with our 2019 MacBook Air, so plugging it in via the USB-C plug, and the results were truly remarkable.
First of all, the thickness seems to be made on purpose so as not to hinder the use of the second USB-C socket: for example, a few millimeters pass between the Apple cable for the computer power supply and the key, enough to avoid bending one of the two plugs. and thus allowing full use of both ports.
As for performance, we relied on the usual Blackmagic Disk Speed Test for a more in-depth analysis. The USB-C socket of the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C roughly promises a read speed of around 153 MB / s and a write speed of around 41 MB / s. This with the transfer of a 1GB file. If, on the other hand, we deal with heavier documents, for example with a 5 GB file, the speed is slightly reduced to about 130 MB / s in reading and 42 MB / s in writing.
The program reported performance almost comparable to these even with the use of the USB-A plug, equipped with USB 3.1 technology. In this case, the connection to the same computer was made via a dedicated hub.
On one occasion we also used it with a smartphone with USB-C (the Xiaomi Mi A3) to transfer a series of photographs taken with the latter on our MacBook. In the stick there is the SandiskMemoryZone.apk application that facilitates this process: we actually did not have the need to install it as we used the simple file manager installed on the Android device and everything went smoothly without major impediments. However, if you are interested in using this software, we recommend that you make a backup copy of it somewhere or never delete it from the memory of the key.
The only defect of the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C, if we want to call it that, concerns the construction of the USB-C connector: in the sockets of our MacBook Air it fits only by pushing very hard and the strong “clank” that is heard when completing the connection could scare you. In reality we have repeated this operation over and over again without detecting damage to the machine and to the key itself. Probably this is dictated by an imprecise construction of the connector, which by the way is not built in a single piece – it is formed instead of a metal sheet bent to the size of USB-C – as is the case with the plugs of many accessories. of excellent quality (one of all Apple cables).
Perhaps not very precise construction aside, SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C has been our daily companion for two whole weeks and has greatly simplified our document management, especially from the point of view of data transfer speed.
Having such a small accessory capable of carrying a myriad of documents with you is a must when dealing with computers and devices equipped with USB-C without having to use additional hubs or bulkier accessories.
SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C is on sale on Amazon in different memory sizes: it starts from 16 GB through the 32 GB of the model we tested, up to the more capacious 64, 128 and 256 versions GB. Prices, outside of promotions, range from € 15.99 up to € 52.99 for the model with greater capacity.