windowslivewriterkingston16gbmicrosdhccard 11098dscf4873 thumb 2 Kingston 16GB microSDHC Card

Our mobile phones have become much more than just for making calls, I know mine also doubles as a media player, GPS device, and portable office among it’s many other uses. With all of these uses we need more storage, my phone, an AT&T Tilt is capable of supporting up to a 32gb microSDHC Card, but they’re not out yet, so I’ve been using a Kingston 8gb one for the last few months and it works, but more is always better. On February 16th Kingston announced that their new 16gb microSDHC card would be available soon, and about a week later one arrived on my doorstep for review.

>Kingston is well known for their memory products, and they just doubled the capacity of their microSDHC card lineup with the introduction of a 16gb version. High capacity is nice, but can it perform? Not that it really matters much though when it comes to cellphone, you don’t necessarily need a super fast card to store data and play music or movies from, but I’m curious to see how it compares to other cards I’ve got on hand. So read on to learn more…

The Kingston 16gb microSDHC card comes in a cardboard blister pack, it’s a combination cardboard and plastic inside, much better than those sealed plastic clamshells. We can see the card and it’s adapter though the front, along with a little information.

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There’s nothing in the package, just the card and the adapter:

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Well it’s a microSD card, it looks like all the others out there, not much special looking about it… I think I’m tired of the plain black cards, when are companies going to come up with colored ones?

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Specifications:

Kingston 16GB microSDHC (Class 2) High Capacity micro Secure Digital Card

The Kingston 16GB microSDHC card (Kingston part #: SDC2/16GB) has a suggested price of $90.00 (MSRP U.S.). Although the microSDHC card format is identical in physical size to the original microSD card, microSDHC is compatible with microSDHC host devices and not backward compatible with standard microSD-enabled devices or readers.

microSDHC (High Capacity) Card
miniSD High Capacity microSDHC cards offer higher storage for more music, more videos, more pictures, more games — more of everything you need in today’s mobile world. The microSDHC card allows you to maximize today’s revolutionary mobile devices.

In capacities ranging from 4-16GB, microSDHC cards offer higher storage for more music, more videos, more pictures, more games — more of everything you need in today’s mobile world. The microSDHC card allows you to maximize today’s revolutionary mobile devices. Kingston’s microSDHC cards use the new speed “class” rating that guarantee a minimum data transfer rate for optimum performance with devices that use microSDHC.

Identical in physical size to today’s standard microSD card, the microSDHC cards are designed to comply with SD Specification Version 2.00 and are only recognized by microSDHC host devices. They can be used as full-size SDHC cards when used with the included adapter. To ensure compatibility, look for the microSDHC or SDHC logo on host devices (e.g. phones, PDAs, and cameras).

Wherever you find yourself in the mobile world, you can trust and rely on Kingston’s microSDHC cards. All cards are 100-percent tested and are backed by a lifetime warranty and free live technical support.

16GB microSDHC Features/Benefits
– Compliant: with the SD Specification Version 2.00
– Versatile: when combined with the adapter, can be used as full-size
SDHC card
– Compatible: with microSDHC-enabled devices/readers only
– File Format: FAT 32
– Reliable: lifetime warranty

16GB microSDHC Specifications
– Capacity(+): 16GB
– Dimensions: 0.43" x 0.59" x 0.039" ( 11mm x 15mm x 1mm)
– High-Speed Class Rating: Class 2: 2MB/sec. minimum sustained data
transfer rate
– Operating Temperature: -13°F to 185°F (-25°C to 85°C)
– Storage Temperature: -40°F to 185°F (-40°C to 85°C)
– Weight: 0.05 oz (1.4g)

Kingston microSDHC Part Number: SDC2/16GB

(Price at time of review $42.00 online.)

Ok, for comparison to the Kingston 16gb microSDHC Card I’ve got these cards:  Kingston 2gb microSD, Kingston 8gb microSD, Transcend 4gb microSDHC and a Dane Elec 4gb microSDHC card.

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16gb microSDHC cards are fairly new, taking a look around online I see only three of them available, the Kingston one I have today, one from Sandisk and one from Patriot, hopefully I can get a hold of those one way or another for a comparison of the 16gb cards out there today, but for now I’ve got what I’ve got…

First up I’ve got SiSoft Sandra 2009 SP2 Removable Storage Benchmark, higher scores are better and I’ve arranged the graph from highest to lowest scores:

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as you can see the Kingston 16gb card doesn’t fair to well overall.

Let’s take a closer look at the 256MB files test:

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Here we see why the Kingston 16gb SDHC card didn’t do to well, it’s the Write Performance that slows it down, but that is for large files obviously as the test suggests.

I went back and looked at the other tests, 64MB, 2MB and 256kB tests, it shows the Kingston card equaling the performance or even surpassing the performance of the other cards in those tests. So looking at just one part of the test doesn’t give us the whole picture really. So I felt that I needed to get a bit more in depth with this review…

Here’s the 64MB Test:

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We see things getting a bit more even in terms or Write Performance.

Now here we have the 2MB Files Test:

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We bounce all around with these scores, at least for the Write Performance part of it, but the Dane Elec Card that seemed to be the fastest now doesn’t seem so anymore.

and finally here’s the 256KB Files Test:

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Relatively speaking most of the cards are close in Write Performance, at least close enough that you most likely would never notice the difference in real world usability.

Next up we have DiskBench times and transfer rates to Copy To, Copy From and Read From the microSD cards. For all tests I used the same 350MB .AVI video file.

First up is the times to complete the tasks, time is in seconds and of course the lower the time the better. I used the Copy To or Write Speed as a reference for creating the graph, so the graph is arranged from fastest to slowest:

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Again here we see the Write times on the Kingston 16gb card is very slow, then again all of them are really. The Read and Copy From speeds though for the Kingston 16gb card are very good overall.

I use my microSD card for my phone, the only time I transfer large files is if I’m transferring a movie, but that rarely happens, if anything I’m transferring small programs, pictures and music. Of course the card is also used as storage for the phone for taking pictures or movies, those end up to be small files, which the Kingston card can handle easily.

Anyway, here’s the Transfer Rates for the above test:

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No surprises here, the Write Speed is slow for writing a 350MB file, but we knew that already.

It might seem that the new Kingston 16gb microSDHC card is slow, well it is and it isn’t really, it all depends on what your intentions are for the card. In a phone this card will perform fine, and that’s pretty much it’s intended use, it’s not made to replace a USB drive, or any other portable storage device.
When I sit down to write a review I like to look online for the most recent pricing, I found the Kingston 16gb at NewEgg for $41.95 with $2.99 for Egg Saver Shipping, the only other they carried was the Patriot 16gb card and it was $74 with free shipping. I also checked Google for some prices on the Sandisk 16gb microSDHC card and found the cheapest price to be $50 plus $6.56 shipping. Now to me those prices make the Kingston card the better deal overall, but I don’t have those card for comparison so I can’t tell you for sure if they out perform the Kingston card or not, just based on price though it’s well worth it I think.


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Conclusion:

The Kingston 16gb microSDHC card is a decent performer overall, especially if you’re using it for your phone, which is it’s intended use, it’s more than fast enough to handle your cellphone’s storage needs.

This card is also the least expensive of the 16gb microSHDC cards out there today, making it a very good deal for a large amount of storage for your phone.

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Pros:
Inexpensive compared to other 16gb cards
Relatively fast, especially with smaller files
Kingston quality

Cons:
Large file write speeds are slow

Grades:  
Overall score 8 10 thumb1 Kingston 16GB microSDHC Card
Design score 10 10 thumb1 Kingston 16GB microSDHC Card
Performance score 7 10 thumb1 Kingston 16GB microSDHC Card