Kingston 16GB Metal-Cased USB Drive (DTSE9) Review

The Kingston Data Traveller SE9
  • Product: Kingston Data Traveller SE9 with Premium Metal Casing
  • Manufacturer: Kingston
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Rating: 4/5
If you want a USB drive in your pocket, then the key (geddit?) factors are capacity, portability (the smaller the better) and sturdiness. So does this metal-cased Kingston drive fit the bill?


The product comes in fairly dull cardboard ‘blister’ packaging which we slashed open with a Spyderco bug. Easy enough to get to, and then straight into the recycle bin.

First Impressions

The drive is actually smaller than we expected, which is nice. It feels very sturdy, looks classy, and the large ring will make it easy to attach to a keyring. Looking good!

Performance & Features

It’s pretty stiff to insert a USB port, and I worried slightly for the well-being of my PC. But it’s one of those things where you have to bite the bullet, ram the stick into the bowels of your computer and hope for the best. Still, it is not an entirely comfortable process, perhaps because the whole drive forms the USB port, without the sticky-out connector of most drives.

Once detected, you’ll have 14.8GB of space. If you’re expecting 16GB, then you’ve fallen for the marketer’s trick of using base 10 instead of base 2 to count available space. A quick speed test gave a read of 19MB/s and write of 9MB/s – not going to set anyone’s world alight, but serviceable enough for day to day use.

A quick download of Ubuntu and a run-through with Linux Live USB creator and you’ll have an instant PC-in-your-pocket. if you choose ‘persistence’ during the install and all your files and settings will be saved. The whole shebang left 12.9GB of space left on the drive from (14.8GB when first inserted).

It fits very easily onto a keyring, where it’s likely to go totally unnoticed until you need to use it. It’s going to get bashed about, but we reckon it’s going to give as good as it gets.



This is a very reasonable priced, sturdy and reliable drive. If you can get over the sometimes slightly worrying process of inserting it into your computer, then you can’t go wrong. It may be unremarkable, but it will give you several gigs of space when you may need it most, and if you follow our lead, then you have a portable operating system in your pocket, ready to fire up whenever you need it. We say: buy one.

Question, questions?

Want to know something specific about the SE9? Shout at us in the comments, and we’ll whip out our drive and get right back to you!

4 / 5 stars     

40 thoughts on “Kingston 16GB Metal-Cased USB Drive (DTSE9) Review

  1. We certainly can, CuriousCat!

    We measure around 39mm long, just over 12mm wide and a shade over 4mm high – if you were to lay the drive down with the logo facing upwards.

    It’s a dinky little thing that fits on a keyring without you really noticing it.

    • Can confirm this: Average under 3MB/s copying large files (Dell M4800, win10). Quite pathetic now that we’ve gotten used to USB 3.0 and great development in flash and controllers.
      I’m still a big fan of the sturdy, compact design – and there /are/ a “new” USB 3.0 versions (DTSE9G2) available. But the write speeds are still very far from the >>100MB/s, I get from the old Sandisk Extreme sticks I normally use for backup.

  2. Even though it gets “hot”, it was an Awesome drive… for the first 2 weeks. Then, for no reason, the “chip” inside the metal casing just fell off. I realized it too late when the computer was not reading anything, and when I check the drive. . .

  3. I have DT 109 kingston USb of 8GB which was in plastic casing but after using few days it has been broke from front so will it be possible that i can change it`s casing to metal USB

    Plzzzzz Help…………!

  4. What are the quoted read/write speeds?

    Even Kingston’s own website doesn’t mention any!

    I’ve found my 16GB SE9 PAINFULLY slow.

  5. This drive is the slowest I’ve ever had. Not sure if I did the right thing buying this little (it is little) piece of shit.

  6. how do I recover all the data on my Kingston DTse9 that I accidentally deleted ? I inserted it into my Apple MacBook Pro
    help !

    • There should be a “trash” folder on the USB flash drive. You may not realise it is there because you do not access it by clicking on the flash drive itself. Rather, to view the flash drive’s trash folder, simply connect the USB to your computer and then look in the normal trash folder of your computer to see if the deleted files are now showing there. Then simply restore the deleted files back to the flash drive.

  7. I’ve washed 2 flash drive in the washing machine – both running oK. I believe this one will be not damaged as well, just dry it after washing 😉

  8. sir, I also have some question regarding this pendrive. is this pendrive waterproof ??
    I have this question because i had lost one before with water. But it was of another company. Hopefully Waiting for your answer……

  9. I have the 32GB version of this and love it but as with PV above, I find it painfully slow.

    Is there anyway to speed this little guy up?

  10. I would not recommend purchasing this flash drive. It may look pretty but it’s currently cheap for a reason. The Write speed is horrendous, stupidly slow. My Benchmark is located here >

    However on Windows 7 and now Windows 10 I get about 2MB

  11. Just a word on if this is waterproof. This pen drive dropped out of my pocket accidentally in toilet while unloading and it sat there for a full 12-14 hours before being discovered after 3-4 flushes. Believe it or not, It’s still working. There is a God, maybe it’s Kingston 🙂 I am not making this up.

  12. I accidentally pushed this USB in wrongly and mushed in the components. Can you recommend a data recovery plan or company? It has aa lot of information and photos that are not backed up.
    Thank you kindly,

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