I have been planning to buy a USB flash drive from quite some time now. My current 256MB flash drive is of no use in the sense that it runs out of space too quickly.
My 30GB iPod could have served as an alternative; however its little bulky to carry around and the “proprietary” cable that has to be tagged along with the device makes it much more difficult.
Transcend and Sandisk are the 2 major vendors of USB Flash drives. I had a look at the products offered by both vendors and was more impressed with the Sandisk range.
Sandisk flash drives looked much better; cute and compact. However compared to Transcend they are priced on the higher side.
The other reason for choosing Sandisk was because of the 2 Year International warranty. Transcend provides lifetime warranty only at the place/country where it is bought (The one I got was bought in Taiwan )
After going over the entire product portfolio, I finally settled on a 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro.
Let’s go over the specification first
Sandisk Cruzer Micro is U3 Smart Enabled. Devices powered by U3 are touted as the next generation USB flash drives. Other than allowing you to store/secure your data, U3 enabled drives come with a host of pre-loaded software ! And additionally you can install hundreds of other U3 compliant software’s.
U3 addresses one of the basic problem that probably everybody using a flash drive would have faced.
To give an example, if I had a 3gp file on the flash drive and if I had to play it in one of my friends PC, I would have to rely on his PC having the software capable of playing the 3gp file. However with a U3 Zoom Player installed on the flash drive, I would never have to worry about the software being installed on a host PC.
U3 Applications are allowed to write registry information to the host computer and this information is removed when the flash drive is ejected.
On inserting a U3 Smart drive, the U3 Launchpad is invoked.
- Skype – Make VoIP Calls.
- Hp PhotoSmart – Picture viewing software
- Avast Antivirus
- Sudoku and Mahjong games.
- CruzerSync U3 Edition – Allows you to synchronize Browser Bookmarks, profile data (Outlook mails/Documents) etc.
- Mozilla Firefox for U3
- Foxit Reader for U3
- Putty for U3
- WinSCP for U3
- FileZilla for U3
You can also use U3 Launchpad to configure the installed applications as well as setting the Launchpad preferences. If U3 Launchpad is too annoying for you, there is an option even to uninstall it. (You could re-install the program back as well)
If you want to know more about U3, here are some useful links:
If you are feeling sleepy after reading this lengthy review you should probably check some of the “Amazing Photos” of Cruzer Micro taken in my camera
The 4GB Cruzer cost is around 1450 INR (35 USD). Ebay India seems to be selling the same for around 1900 INR.
Would you go for a U3 Smart Drive ?