If you remember a while back, Mimoco released a set of Mimobot flash drives featuring Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity. They were kind enough to lend us a couple of units to review/ give away, so here goes!
The most notable thing about the drives, of course, is their appearance. The packaging is frustration-free, to the point where I could open it without anyone being able to tell I’d done so (apologetic note to whoever wins the Rainbow Dash unit in the giveaway: Sorry, it’s slightly used. It’ll still have all the bonus stuff intact, though.)
Pictures speak louder than words in this respect, so have a gallery at the bottom of the article. The size comparison I used is a 3DS game case, at about 3 7/8 in. (12.5 cm) tall by 4 1/4 in (13.5 cm) wide. Surprisingly, the drive is slim enough to play nice with other standard size USB plugs without getting in the way.
There’s also the bonus material that comes with each drive, some of which is actually fairly interesting. Aside from a digital copy of MLP #1 (which you should all go read), you also get digital versions of some of the original pencils used in the issue. On top of that are a few things which are slightly less cool. There’s a preview of the MLP children’s book Under the Sparkling Sea, if that’s your thing; the full version of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic theme (along with video), which makes my ears bleed; and a few other audio-only songs from the show, obviously not recorded by the original voices. The only thing is the bonus material above is contained in an .swf (Flash) file, which I couldn’t get working in Linux. Lucky for me I triple-boot…
On top of that are a set of icons, wallpapers, and forum avatars (most of which are Mimobot-related, fortunately or unfortunately), and an application that apparently replaces the ‘inserted drive’ noise with lines from MLP. I wasn’t able to get this working in either OS X or Windows 8, but from what I’ve heard, these lines are also obviously recorded by interns.
Unfortunately, the actual functionality of the drives leaves a fair amount to be desired. The cap of the drive is missing any kind of loop or way to attach to a keychain, making it really easy to lose if one isn’t careful. Not that important in the long run, but something to note if you’re the type that has a hard time keeping track of things.
Worse still is the performance of the drives compared to other retail options. It is designed for USB 2.0; technically outdated by this point, but USB 3.0 isn’t as widespread yet, and it should still work with those ports anyway. However, it is still much slower than USB 3.0 drives, even on a USB 2.0 port. For testing purposes, I copied and then deleted about half my music folder (clocking in at about 3.7 GB, with multiple files and subfolders) to the Mimobot drive, and then my own Kingston DT101 G2 USB 3.0 drive. These tests were run with an iMac (10,1) running Ubuntu with the same USB 2.0 port, so the differences between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 shouldn’t come into play here. The results (mm:ss)?
Mimobot: 25:44 to copy, 5:19 to delete; Kingston: 10:42 to copy, 2:26 to delete. The Kingston was over twice as fast. Definitely something to consider if one is looking for function as well as form. Of course, if you’re not copying over large amounts of data at once, it shouldn’t be *that* much of an issue.
One positive aspect about the functionality, though, is the space. When it advertises 8 GB, it means it; even with the bonus material, there were 8 GiB (that’s Gibibytes) of empty space on the drive, something I’ve actually never seen before in a storage device.
All in all, these are cute MLP flash drives with some decent bonus material (seriously, MLP #1 is a $3 value already) but several issues in the functionality department. If Mimobots in the future were USB 3.0 with performance to match, with a way to attach the cap to something less easily lost, I’d be all over this.
Expect a giveaway of the drives and some other goodies in the coming days.