Kingston continues its annual tradition of adding a new member to its DataTraveler Chinese Zodiac line up with its latest but limited Year of the Rooster DataTraveler. For those who has been collecting the Chinese Zodiac DataTraveler drives since the Year of the Rat design, this is definitely a new and must have addition to your collection.

We got our hands on one here at Tech Critter’s lab thanks to Kingston Technology and of course, we’ll be on our usual routine for USB flash drive to check out what kind of performance we can expect from this adorable USB flash drive.

Product Highlights

  • Capacity: 32GB
  • Interface: USB 3.1
  • Read: 100MB/s
  • Write: 10-15MB/s
  • Casing Material: Aluminum 
  • Package Includes: 1 x Kingston CNY 2017 Rooster 32GB Pendrive
  • Warranty: 5 Years Limited Warranty 


Packaging wise, the Year of the Rooster edition DataTraveler comes in a cherry red box with reflective Chinese floral patterns, with a cutout where the drive sits under an egg shaped hard plastic cover.

At the bottom right corner of the box, you’ll find some meaningful characters that is related to the Chinese 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches. Do note that there’s a full cycle involving the stems and branches with a specific order,one stem will be paired with a branch every year until it reaches a full sub-cycle (12 years) before it proceeding to the next stem. 

A wild guess we would like to make, is that Kingston might have the plan to complete the full cycle and you’ll probably have to pass down your collection to your grandchild to complete the collection of 120 unique edition as a whole.

Closer Look

So, what’s your first impression of the Year of the Rooster DataTraveler at first glance? To us, it looks like the rooster is resting on a cloud that floats above raging sea. Unlike the Year of the Monkey DataTraveler, the metal rooster can actually be separated from the main body of the flash drive, which is the bottom section.

The rooster separated from the main body of the drive can be used as the cover to minimize the oxidation process of the USB connector copper surface in case you decided to put a good use to it instead of having it sitting on the shelves just for display.
The DataTraveler has a total capacity of 32GB and it comes in the size that is close to the DataTraveler Micro 3.1 as well as a tiny slot for you to put on a strap for it.

Synthetic Benchmark 

We did a quick data read and write test with the CrystalDiskMark and it seems that the drive performed much better than what has been presented on the datasheet. Just so you know, it has a rated 100MB/s read and 10-15MB/s write.

Real World Test

If you wonder whether it can perform has as well in the real world test, the screenshot above is the result of our test with test data which consists of different sizes and types of files that is compressible and incompressible.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a collector of the Kingston Chinese Zodiac DataTraveler, adding the Year of the Rooster edition to your collection is already a 100% sure and we don’t even have to convince you with our recommendation. As for those who of you who just wanted to use it as your daily USB flash drive that slides easily into your wallet, the data writing speed of 20MB/s average is something you might want to consider. While the reading speed is great at 120MB/s average, transferring large files into the drive alone can be a pain if you’re in a hurry.