I routinely get my hands on a lot of IT hardware and gadgets in the course of my writing and blogging. Out of sheer necessity, I typically form an opinion of new products and services within a very short period of time. While I am mostly correct in my quick appraisals, there were occasions where an item I deemed as “so-so” turned out to be a gem.This was the case with the Nitro Plus Micro SDXC flash memory card, a product I almost turned down for being “just another memory card”.
Despite its lesser known brand in a world of SanDisk and Kingston, the Strontium Nitro Plus Micro SDXC card offers UHS-1 Class 3 performance for an impressive rated performance of 80MB/sec read and 60MB/sec write. In theory, this means that the card is more than capable of supporting 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) recording, which requires at least 30MB/sec.
The Nitro Plus memory card is available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, and the bundle includes a USB reader and SD card adapter. The product also comes with a full version of MyBackup Pro Android backup app worth US$4.99, though I did not test it.
So how did it perform? I think the benchmark numbers say it all.
As you can see, CrystalDiskMark gave the Nitro Plus 77MB/s for read and 60.7MB/s, which gave it a write performance is just a whisker faster than the advertised speed. All tests were conducted on a Lenovo X240 ultrabook, which comes with USB 3.0 slots and a built-in SD-card reader.
(I did configure CrystalDiskMark to what I consider a more real-world setting with the use of a 100MB test file)
- Wicketly fast performance
- Comes with a USB adapter for use as a flash drive
- Included SD card sleeve for use with laptops, with handy read-only lock
- Bundled USB adapter makes the memory card slower
- Largest Nitro Plus flash memory card tops off at 64GB
While most would peg the higher price of the Nitro Plus as a disadvantage, I believe in paying for performance. As it is, the price of US$98 for the 64GB card is not unreasonable for the sheer performance that you get. Of course, I do need to point out that your normal smartphone may not necessarily benefit from the raw performance that the Nitro Plus is capable of.
As it is, a superbly fast micro-SD card makes perfect sense on an SD-card equipped laptop, especially on space-constrained SSD models. In addition, an increasing number of tablet devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 could use a fast storage card to bolster its on-board storage capacity.
In fact, I’m currently testing out the Strontium Nitro microSDXC memory card in a review unit of the Surface Pro 3 right now. Stay tuned to hear my thoughts on that soon.