The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

I collect thumb drives.  At least it seems that way, as I have a whole bag of them.  One of these days I’d like to replace all of the smaller ones with one larger one or a few larger ones.  This 8 GB SanDisk Ultra flash drive is my second 8 GB flash drive and one of my favorites.  Let’s take a look at its features.

  • Speedy – Faster file transfer speeds
  • Stylish – Attractive slider design houses your data in style
  • Secure – Store your private files in a password-protected and encrypted vault on the USB flash drive
  • Added Protection – Secure online backup (up to 2 GB*) offered by SanDisk’s online backup partner
  • Assurance – Backed by a five-year limited warranty

The SanDisk Ultra has one of my favorite features in a flash drive, and that is that it has no cap.  The majority of my flash drives are like this, and it’s the number one thing I look for when I am looking at new drives.

The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

This drive has a hole at the end so you can attach a lanyard.  I probably won’t be doing that as I usually end up breaking the lanyard or it gets twisted and tangled with other stuff in my bag.

The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

When you slide the USB connector out, the end feels almost like a long finger nail.  I dislike this and much prefer the design of my other 8 gig with its closed end.

The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review


The SanDisk Ultra is supposed to be a fast drive.  I did a test with a 100 MB file copying it from my netbook to the SanDisk Ultra and 4 other drives I have.  The drives tested against the Ultra were an 8 GB SanDisk Cruzer, a 4GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro, my 2GB Badtzmaru Mimobot and a 4GB Kingston Traveler.  The 8GB SanDisk Ultra was the fastest of my 2 8GB drives, but my 4 GB Kingston Traveler was the fastest of the 5 drives in the test.  Even so, the Ultra is the fastest of my larger flash drives, and it’s plenty fast.

8GB SanDisk Ultra: 11 seconds

8GB SanDisk Cruzer: 22 seconds

4GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro: 23 seconds

2GB Mimobot: 14 seconds

4GB Kingston Datatraveler: 8 seconds


The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

The drive comes with some software, but I rarely use the software that comes on these drives, as I usually already have software that will work with the drive. I’ll cover what comes with it anyway, and maybe it may be of use to someone!

The first “software” is merely just an invite to download Club SanDisk’s offerings of Chrome, an IE 8 sidebar for eBay, McAfee Internet Security software, a trial for GoToMyPC and RoboForm.  Not knocking any of this software, but most of this can be downloaded on your own if you need it.  It really doesn’t need to be included with a flash drive.

The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review

The Ultra also includes encryption software.  The Windows version comes on the drive, and if you have a Mac you can download the version for Mac OS X.  This software works well, but I prefer software like Truecrypt much more.  Truecrypt works on ANY OS I have a need to run it on including most Linux distributions.  Plus it has abilities that the SanDisk software just doesn’t have including hiding the Truecrypt volume so you don’t even know it’s there until you use Truecrypt to unlock it.  SanDisk has none of this with their included encryption software, so if they stop supporting this version in the future, you are out of luck if there’s an unknown vulnerability.

SanDisk also includes 2 GB of online backup with their partner, YuuWaa.  I already use Dropbox for non-critical stuff and Crash Plan for my home backups, I do not need to use it.  Getting only 2 GB of online storage is actually on the low side now considering I can back up way more data with Crash Plan.

I don’t look to SanDisk to include software with a thumb drive.  All I want is storage so I will probably delete all the software and reformat the drive to reclaim the storage.


SanDisk still is a favorite brand of flash drives and I will continue to buy them.  This drive is just as good as every other SanDisk flash drive in my collection and I would still choose SanDisk over no-name brands as they have proven their reliability to me for many years.  Some of my oldest flash drives are SanDisk drives and they get used a lot.  I want to thank SanDisk for sending this nice flash drive that I am sure will last for a very long time.

MSRP: $47.99, but I have found this online for as low as $14.95.

What I Like: Decent file transfer speeds; Capless design; Solid SanDisk reputation

What Needs Improvement: I like the SanDisk Cruzer design much better than the new Ultra design, but this is a minor issue

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

1 Comment on "The SanDisk Ultra 8GB USB Flash Drive Review"

  1. One important thing wasn’t mentioned and this is: Is the SanDisc Ultra U3? I have been looking for a U3 on eBay but so far no luck. I bought an 8GB SanDisc Micro on eBay apparently U3 but noyhing in it!

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