by Lyle Smith

Samsung Bar USB 3.0 Drive Review (MUF-64BA)

The Samsung USB 3.0 Bar (or MUF) compact flash drive is designed for transferring files between PCs and Notebooks. Samsung new slate of premium USB drives has put a lot of focus into their design, and the Bar is certainly no exception. It’s a really one of the nicest looking devices we have seen and would make a perfect storage companion to the design-savvy consumer.

Performance-wise, the Samsung indicates that their new flash drives uses the company’s next generation SuperSpeed USB 3.0; however, they don’t give any quoted sequential read or write speeds, which usually means performance isn’t near the best-in-class. That being said, it is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

Samsung has also made the Bar impressively reliable so that you can have a peace-of-mind that this slick looking USB drive will be able to safeguards your data. Featuring Samsung’s 5-proof technology, the Bar is built to withstand the elements and bumps and bruises, as its water, shock, high temperature, magnetic, and X-Ray proof. Samsung is known for its pedigree in reliability, so this is unsurprising.

Backed by a limited 5-year warranty, the Samsung USB 3.0 Bar comes in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB priced at $11, $15, and $30, respectively. We will be looking at the 64GB model.

Samsung USB 3.0 Bar Specifications

  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Capacity: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
  • Environmental Specs
    • Operating Temperature: 0~60℃
    • Non-operating Temperature: -10~70℃
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 1.57" x 0.48" x 0.43"
  • Weight: 0.019lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years limited

Design and build

Samsung has really set the bar in the design category for its vast portfolio of storage products over the past several years, and their newest USB drive is certainly no exception. The Samsung Bar is a very slick looking device with its minimalistic, champagne color design. It also features a fairly large key ring hole for ultimate portability, which helps to prevent it from being lost as well.

Measuring 1.57 inches long, the Samsung Bar weighs just 8.6 grams. It features a high-quality, metal-based casing for surprising durability as well as a streamlined ergonomic design, which makes it easy to handle and use. Though slim in stature, jump drive stills feel very rugged when handled and certainly can take a beating.

Performance

Using our HP Z620 Workstation Testing Platform running Windows 8.1, we measured transfer speeds from the Samsung Bar with IOMeter.

We also compared it to our latest, similarly-classed USB 3.0 drives: 

When looking at sequential speeds, the Bar posted read and write activity with 47.61MB/s and 43.75MB/s, respectively. In comparison, we measured transfer speeds from the TransMemory U362 at 31.7MB/s read and 8.3MB/s write and the FIT hit speeds of 46.16MB/s read and 42.12MB/s write. These numbers are in line with mid-ranger USB 3.0 flash drives

When switching to random large-block transfers, the Samsung Bar posted 32.94MB/s read and 15.93MB/s write. The TransMemory U362 posted similar read speeds with 31.6MB/s, though writes were much slower at 1.45MB/s and the FIT posted speeds of 30.32MB/s read and 13.40MB/s write.

Our last flash drive benchmark measures 4k random transfer performance in IOPS. Here, the Samsung Bar recorded 965.23 IOPS read and 22.07 IOPS write while the TransMemory U362 showed a decent 1,410.9 IOPS read but very weak 1.7 IOPS write and the Samsung FIT posted 949.81 IOPS read and 42.00 IOPS write.

Conclusion

The Samsung USB 3.0 Bar is certainly a unique flash drive. It is one of the nicest looking portable drives to hit the market while still having a very rugged build with its water, shock, high temperature, magnetic, and X-Ray proof protection. It will definitely be an easy purchase for the design-centric consumer looking to have a modern USB drive to carry around with them.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of performance, however, as its recorded 47.61MB/s and 43.75MB/s in sequential transfer rates hover around the mid to lower range class of portable storage. That being said, transfer rates will likely satisfy most general consumer use cases. Its price tag also certainly makes up for the lack of any serious performance: The Samsung Bar starts at just $11 for the 16GB model, which is very impressive for a drive that is comprised of a premium build such as this.

Pros

  • Gorgeous design
  • Rugged build with great protection against the elements
  • Key hole works well

Cons

  • Mid to low range USB 3.0 Performance

Bottom Line

Offering enough performance to suit the mainstream consumer, the Samsung Bar is comprised of a premium yet rugged build and would make a great storage companion for the design-savvy user.

Samsung Bar on Amazon

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