Imation Defender F200 biometric flash drive (32GB)

A fingerprint scanner adds a higher level of security to the Imation Defender F200 flash drive

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 6
Imation ANZ Defender F200

Pros

  • Biometric security, doesn't come cheap

Cons

  • IronKey offers better performance

Bottom Line

Overall, the choice of Imation's Defender F200 comes down to a matter of security options over performance. If you really like the idea of a biometrics reader, the F200 makes sense. But if you're concerned with performance, the IronKey has the F200 beat hands down.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 6 stores)

  • 8 Gb Defender F100 Usb Flash Drive 227.81
  • 4 Gb Defender F100 Usb Flash Drive 172.85
  • 2 Gb Defender F150 Usb Flash Drive 122.62
See all prices

Setting up the drive for use

Because I used a MacBook Pro to test this drive, the autorun feature did not automatically boot up the drive's setup window when I plugged the drive into the USB port. As the drive's manual instructed, I simply opened the drive's file system and selected the start.exe folder, and off I went. (Note: The setup window is also where you configure your administrator account and password for corporate control of multiple F200 flash drives).

The first thing the setup procedure asks for is your language (English is the default). It then asks you to personalize the drive. You can choose "standard" or "custom." By choosing "standard," you get only the biometric (fingerprint) security option, with no need for two-factor (password) authentication.

Like most good USB sticks with encryption, the Defender allows 10 password attempts before the drive permanently locks and requires a user to reformat it, wiping all data stored on it.

The default setting is for the entire drive to become one private partition, but you can also create multiple partitions. The ability to create multiple partitions on a flash drive is relatively new but by no means unique.

Performance

On the performance side, the F200 fell short. Using Simpli Software's HD Tach benchmarking software, the drive revealed an average sequential read speed of 18.6MB/sec., a burst speed of 19.8MB/sec., a random access time of 0.8 milliseconds and a CPU utilization rate of 9%.

I then tested it with the ATTO Disk Benchmark software. This freeware provides you with both read and write speeds. The drive's read speed again peaked at 18.4MB/sec. Its write speed peaked at 8.1MB/sec.

I compared it against the IronKey Secure Flash Drive, which Computerworld reviewed a couple of years ago. The IronKey is also FIPS Level 3-validated, and has anti-malware and remote administrative control features.

HD Tach showed that the IronKey had a burst speed of 31MB/sec., an average read rate of 29.6MB/sec. and a 6-millisecond random access rate. In other words, the IronKey is almost twice as fast as the F200. (The IronKey's CPU utilization rate was also, at 22%, vastly higher than any other drive we tested.)

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Imation's Defender F200 seems high, but you have to remember that you're paying for an extremely secure device.

The drive comes in capacities ranging from 1GB for a suggested retail price of US$99 to 32GB for $349. As of this writing, it was only available to resellers, but it should be on the general market soon.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Read more on these topics: secutiy, secure storage, storage, biometrics, imation

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?