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Silicon Power Ultima 150 Flash Drives Print
Written by Scott Harness   
Friday, 11 July 2008
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Silicon Power Ultima 150 Flash Drives
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thumb.JPGSilicon Power Ultima 150 Flash Drives

Flash Drives are everywhere these days. We check out some elegantly styled units from Silicon Power, the Ultima 150 Flash Drive in 4GB and 16GB capacities.

One of the earliest reviews I wrote for Viperlair was on a Flash Drive, which at the time was an emerging technology in the market place. It was a 128MB (huge capacity back then) Disk-On-Key from M-Systems, USB 1.1 and almost twice the size of today's average Flash Drives. It was also very expensive and I remember commenting that until prices come down, Flash Drives would never replace Optical media (CD's) for portable small storage, although all the other obvious advantages would make them highly desirable when they were cheap enough.

Fast Forward to today and sure enough, Flash Drives are not only cheap, but they are also everywhere. I have quite a collection now, all of different colours, shapes, sizes and capacities. I use them in my day to day life for a number of reasons; in my car they (partially) hold my MP3 collection, on my keyring I have a bootable drive with some essential files for on the spot repairs and also a large capacity drive I use for transporting work files, personal files and making backups of system files when it comes time to wipe my drive. My kids use them to bring home their school work to work on at home or just to show the old man their latest projects.

These days it's very common to see differing styles and designs of drives ready to fit in to your life style, and one of the more petite and elegant drives we have seen brought to market is range. Constructed to be as small as possible from shaped Aluminium, we asked if we could get a look at these modern attractive devices and they obliged.


1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB

Sapphire Blue, Mysterious Purple


59.0mm x 18.0mm x 9.2mm(LxWxH)+/-1mm





Operating Temperature

0℃ ~ 70℃

Storage Temperature

-40℃ ~ 85℃

Operating Humidity


Storage Humidity 5%~ 90%


Windows 98*, Win ME, Windows 2000, Win XP, Win Vista Mac OS 9.0 & higher, Linux 2.4.0

Lifetime Warranty


box box box 

The packaging for the Silicon Power Ultima 150 drives are small and simple, showing off everything you get in the package, which is basically just the drive. You do however have the option of downloading the SmartKit software from Silicon Power's website. The reverse of the pack shows off the features of the drive such as it's RoHS compliance, CE and FC standards. It isn't exactly heavy with information, however it's not like you really need it; all the basic information is there. The inside card has a warranty form

color color color

Silicon Power sent us two drives in the two colours from the Ultima 150 range. A 16GB and 4GB in Sapphire Blue and Mysterious Purple. The finish is excellent in both colours; a matt metallic, anti-scratch, finger free surface on aluminium. While the purple is clearly a purple colour it does have a tendency to move into the dark red lipstick range under certain lights. The sapphire blue can look a little grey rather than blue a lot of the time, as you can see in the photos.

size size size

From a size point, the drives are 59mm x 18mm x 9.2mm, so not much bigger than an AAA battery and lot smaller than an external 2.5" drive; and in the case of the 16GB, it almost matches the 2.5"'s 18GB for capacity. Provision for attaching a keyring or carrying strap is made on the one end, but no keyring or strap is provided with the drive. Also, the end cap is designed to pull off and be slipped onto the other end, the end you would attach a keyring or strap. The Ultima 150 drives have an elegant 'waved' design along the length of the drive which combined with the colours and size makes them quite attractive in a modern simplistic way in my opinion.


On each of the USB connectors themselves, the capacity of the drive has been imprinted. This is a good placement as it keeps the drives looking uniform but still provides the information you will need, especially if you have more than one drive in the same colour.

Capacity of the drives, as mentioned before is 4GB and 16GB. The purple drive is the 4GB, and we have a sapphire blue 16GB. Obviously the size you need will be down to your own individual requirements, but I have to say that a 16GB drive holds a lot, especially for the price they cost these days. And the 16GB drive is the same size as the 4GB drive which means you really only need decide on your budget and capacity needs.

These Ultima 150 Flash Drives are the first drives I have personally seen without any activity/power LED built in. I guess it will be a matter of preference as to whether this will bother you, but personally I can't see it being an issue for day to day use; I have an on-screen indication of usage and don't recall looking at any other drives activity lights while they were in use. However should the drive not function properly for any reason, a power light would have been useful for basic diagnostic purposes. Like most Flash Drives, no drivers are needed unless you are still running Windows 98/ME, in which case you can get them from the Silicon Power website.

Overall, the Silicon Power Ultima 150 drives are attractive and well designed, so let's move on to the more practical part; performance.


MSI P45 Platinum, Intel E6420, 2x 1024MB Patriot DDR2, MSI 8600GT, Maxtor 500GB SATA II 16MB Cache, Vista Home Premium SP1

Comparison hardware will be the 512MB Cyber Snipa Dog Tags, Freecom Databar 512MB, Maxell 2GB, and a Novatech 1GB.


Testing Suite

Read/Write Small Files Collection – A collection of random small files - music files (96.9MB), text documents (24.8MB), photos (20.5MB) and a video file (350MB) - totalling 518MB in size was transferred to the drive and back again, with the time recorded for writing to and reading from the device. The test was performed three times and averages recorded.

Read/Write Large File – The small files used in the above test were then zipped into a single file of 498MB and used to test read/write times.

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