As a student and a trainee teacher I have found that one of my most valuable possessions is a USB pen. In my third year this became vital as I had a dissertation to write, and wanted to make sure I had it backed up in several places. Cue me popping into work at Currys and selecting two 4GB USB pens. And cue this review, almost 2 years after buying these life-saving devices!
I am a bit of a novice when it comes to USB pens, so I will be very honest with my choice of USB; I got it because it was the best value when you compared price and memory size, and there was a string and clip attached to the end of the USB so it could be attached to something, such as your phone, house keys etc. As I am prone to loosing things I thought that this would be an advantage, and made sure that any USB I compared had something to attach it to my keys - otherwise it got put right back on the shelf.
I can't remember how much exactly I spent on the USB pen, but I'm pretty sure it was £8. Considering that USB pens can go up to the £30 mark, I considered that £8 for a 4GB memory stick was reasonable - so reasonable that I bought two and still paid less money than I would have if I had bought one 8GB memory stick. Looking around nowadays for USB pens, I probably would have been able to get the same amount of memory for a lot less, but I was in need, and I had money in my pocket and it looked like I had a bargain, so off to the till I went.
The USB itself is absolutely dinky. It's a HP product, is a blue and white colour and is about 3cm long, 1 cm wide and half a millimetre thick, if that! The USB part slides out of the case, making it about 4cm long but still very small! It does look as though the USB won't fit into a computer as it looks far smaller than the ports; the only difference between this and a lot of other USB pens is that there are no sides to the part that slots into the computer - and this makes it look so much smaller! This is what allows for the compact size of the USB, otherwise it would be much thicker. The cord attaches to the end of the USB through a little hole either with a clasp (like on a necklace) or by threading the cord through the hole. I used the clasp so that the cord could fit through the hole in my phone, but either way would allow the USB to be attached to pencil case zips, phones, keys etc. The cord seems quite durable, as it has been attached to my phone for a couple of months and my keys for over a year and I have yet to lose the USB!
The memory size is plenty for what I use the USB for; one has over 600 photos on it and is roughly half full, whilst the other has schemes of work, dissertation, journals and essays on it and it isn't even half full yet. I do keep an eye on the documents I keep on it, but I have never filled it, and I don't really need to delete anything to make room on it. It runs smoothly with both the computers I have used it with - a Windows Vista computer and a Windows 7 computer, without slowing either the computer or itself down. When I chose to remove it from the computer I don't have any problems and it allows itself to be removed safely straight away - whilst my hard drive continuously tells me I'm using it and it can't be safely removed just yet. And removing a memory device safely is important, as it means there is less chance of getting a virus or damaging the work saved on it.
My only sadness (and annoyance) is that the USB pen that has work rather than pictures on it decided to get corrupted a few weeks ago. This resulted in a lot of my work being wiped from it - and a lot of turning the air blue! Luckily the lessons I was teaching that day were backed up to my computer otherwise I would have cried. I'm not too sure why it broke, as I had been very careful with it. I assume that as I was using it every day, and transferring it between my computer and my school computer it just got over-used and frazzled and threw a strop. Although it seems to work fine now, and I've had no problems since, I haven't used it and have instead purchased a new one. When a USB pen corrupts itself and wipes itself like mine did, there is apparently a very good chance that it may do so again - and considering it is vital to hold my resources on it, I cannot risk any more problems. On the other hand, the exact same USB pen that holds pictures rather than work is still working beautifully - I can only assume that this is because I do not use this anywhere near as much, and don't use it between several computers.
So overall these USB pens were a bargain. They are dinky, good looking, easy to store and look good poking out of the computer, without taking up too much space. 4GB appears to be a lot of memory and hard to fill without effort. The cost wasn't too bad, but I would advise shopping around in more than just Currys to ensure you get the best deal possible. The only downside is that, although the USB pen I used mainly lasted 18 months, when it failed it failed rather incredibly and my faith in it was perhaps jolted irrevocably. I am now very careful with my remaining little USB pen, and have backed up the pictures in several places - just in case.
This is one of my favourite memory sticks, I have about five different ones that I use for a variety of storage purposes. This is the one I use for a lot of work files and the like for data that I want to carry around and is likely that it will be stored in either my bag or a pocket in my laptop case. Either way it runs the risk of getting knocked about a bit and I'm always worried that the bit that goes into the usb socket will get damaged especially if it were protected by a lid that might fall off.
The design feature like with this HP 4GB Flash Drive is the fact that rather than relying on a cap to protect the metal bit it is retractable one which makes it very secure and limits the risk of damage to an essential component.
As far as functionality goes it is pretty quick to transfer data across to it and to retrieve files using a simple drag and drop and I have never had any problems with corrupted or lost files. There is nothing significant in terms of features that would make this memory stick stand out, it is well constructed and has a nice robust feel to it. It also has a small loop hole on the top through which you are able to secure it to a key chain if required.
The only real negative that I have with it is the fact that I paid £13.99 for it which given the memory size makes it a bit pricey when compared with similar models and certainly if you compare it to the 8gb Play.com one that is pretty much half the price.
Everyone loves HP, so when I received one of their memory sticks I was happy (and surprised, I had no idea HP made memory sticks). This is the 4gb version which is plenty big enough for what I use it for.
I'd probably class this as my personal memory stick, it's the one I'll use if I have photos or documents from one laptop to another or from the PC to the laptop. I've also used it many times to take a supply of recent photos down to my sister who lives in Northampton and doesn't get to see the kids' as often as she'd like. Charlotte's taken it to school a few times filled with coursework, although she does prefer a stick with a bigger memory to ensure she has room for (sometimes surprisingly large) downloads from the school computers.
Data transfers quickly and the drag and drop system is smooth and very simple to use. There's no lag or jerkiness when retrieving files from the stick and I've never lost anything through corruption (or even generally and completely lost something!) when transferring information using this HP stick. I use mine on a Windows laptop but my bro-in-law has successfully transferred photos and text onto his Mac computer on the occasion that he borrows my stick on one of his visits. And here's a plus point, this stick has been sent through snail mail several times back and forth between Birmingham and Northampton with no so much as a dent or scratch appearing in it's bodywork. A minor miracle considering how bloody careless those lot at the post office are!
The USB end slides into the body of the stick when not in use, this is a great idea as there's no cap to lose. I must admit I'm a bit OCD about memory stick caps so don't tend to lose them myself, but I know a lot of people do misplace them and this can lead to the stick being damaged. Saying that, the metal end of this one is starting to feel a bit loose and that's a worry - I'm thinking that although it's a smooth action maybe the constant pulling in and out is weakening it somehow. I can't see why it would if I'm honest though but it definitely feels like there's more wobble there now than there was before.
Overall though I'm very happy with this memory stick; it's been reliable since the day I first used it and even though it doesn't feel as solid now I'm confident I'll get plenty more use from it. It's not the cheapest memory stick you can buy, £15 is the average price just about everywhere - and despite the fact that I love this stick I do think you're paying for the HP name there as I use comparable sticks on a regular basis that were half the price of this one.
HP USB Flash Drive
I needed something to transfer from computer to computer easily, so went out and bought this HP Flash Drive for about £6.50 on Amazon. I have seen it priced on both Amazon and other sites since between £6.50 and £10.00.
The flash drive is a good looking little thing in a pale blue colour and slots directly into your USB slot. It is extremely light and not as durable as some flash drives around so care is certainly needed with this stick.
It is a 4GB drive so it holds quite a lot of items from files to photos and much more. I have transferred a large amount of different things and not yet filled it to its capacity. It is a very high speed flash drive and transfers couldn't be easier or quicker. The simple drag and drop feature is the easiest way to transfer on and off of the stick (as well as saving straight to it).
It is not the sturdiest flash drive on the market, or by no means the biggest, though for the money, it is a great buy. Those who need to use this for either gaming or more professional use may find it a little too small at times, though for photos and documents etc, I feel this is perfect. I have had this now for about six months and it still works as good as new.
Operating Systems Supported - Microsoft Windows 2000 * XP * Vista * Mac OS 10.3 and above
Read Speed 33MB/s
Write Speed 11MB/s
Dimensions 1.6cm (W) x 3.7cm (D) x 0.5cm (H) - Weight 0.03kg
The HP USB Flash Drive V135w 4 GB is a really handy bit of kit. I have been doing my teacher training at University this year and this flash drive has been perfect for carrying around my coursework and classroom material. The fact that it has 4GB of space means that if I am using video clips or sound files in my lessons, I can easily fit them onto this handy little stick.
I have used mine for a whole year and have had no problems with file corruption or anything like that. It has been very reliable. It is also extremely easy to use. Literally plug it into to your USB port, open the file and its ready to go.
In terms of design it is fairly standard. The USB port is covered with a plastic cap and there is a hole at the other end which can be used to thread the flashdrive onto a keyring. It is handy, simple and functional - everything you would want from a flashdrive.
I paid £8.95 for this product and would consider it to be money well spent. The large 4GB space means there is almost unlimited space for Word and Excel files and a good amount of space for larger files too (like sound and video).
I bought this HP USB Flash Drive V135w from Tesco for £9.99 when I bought my netbook there. I knew I'd need a little something to help store my music files and photos on, as netbooks always have very small internal storage capacities. Not sure why really when you consider that this device is tiny and could easily come pre-installed in a netbook... Guess it's a cost-cutting exercise in truth!
This is a really small device which comes in metallic blue. The plug-in flash drive part of the gadget retracts into itself, and can be slid out using a button underneath, and slid or pushed back in again after use. This isn't really a storage thing so much as a protection thing. The extended stick doesn't add much to the already tiny gadget, but pushing it inside the cover helps to keep the drive clean and free from dust, damage and even breakages.
There's a little loop on the end which can be used to attach this onto a phone or keyring, which makes this a really convenient little thing to transport. It's so tiny it could be easily lost (it's not much bigger than a 50p piece) so I think it's important to attach it to something. In the pack I got it in, I got a free loop with lobster clasp included, so I attached that right away.
As with any flash drive, this performs a basic function of storing data - up to 4gb apparently. I was rather annoyed to find that it is actually NEARLY 4GB rather than actually 4GB when I first got it though. I'd downloaded something I wanted to show the grandson on the netbook, a cartoon show he'd like, but there wasn't sufficient space to fit the 3.76GB file onto this supposedly 4GB drive - while it was empty. Hmm, that's often the way with storage data though, they take up some of the space for drivers I think.
For £10 you can't go wrong with this for storing small media files like photos, MP3 files and video clips. It's a convenient way to transfer things between computers and is a great addition to have if you've only got small storage capabilites on a netbook or laptop.
I bought my HP Flash Drive from a local retailer and was originally very happy with it. First of all, it looks a lot cooler than most other flash drives - it is actually similar in appearance to one of the more recent generations of iPod shuffle (well the back of one, anyway) as it is slim and has a metal casing - it is a shame that the bit you can use to clip it to your keys is not also metal.
There is no lid with this device, but that's because the USB head retracts to inside the memory stick. This is quite a nice idea as it gives you less to lose, but I worry about fluff getting into the head when it is not in use.
The transfer speeds are pretty nippy, which makes it great for pillaging your mates music and film collections. With this size capacity you can hold around 1,000 songs or 5 .avi movie files, or 2-4 DVD rips.
I paid £14 for 4GB, and whilst this isn't as cheap as online, I needed it on the spot. I considered that whilst it wasn't the cheapest, it would be good quality - HP is a name that I generally trust, I have had HP computers in the past and they have faired reasonably well. However about two/three weeks after buying it it stopped working. As far as I know I didn't have any corrupt files or viruses, but one day I plugged it in and was informed the flash drive was corrupted. I couldn't seem to restore it and I lost the work I had put on there - to much annoyance.
I returned it and got a new one, which in fairness has been working fine for the last couple of months. So whilst I should probably just consider myself unlucky with the first drive, it may be worth bearing in mind if you are considering buying from somewhere with a poor returns policy.
Since files over 4gb are difficult to transfer anyway, and require an awful lot of jiggery pokery with the flash drive you're using, that is, converting it from FAT to NTFS and back again and having to mount isos to make things smaller, for most people, who just want to transfer files, programs and the occasional small PC game, this flash disk is absolutely ideal.
It's high-speed USB which is great for the price, and has about as big a disk capacity as I can see anyone other than a high-powered business person or multi-platforming hardcore pirate-gamer ever needing to use.
The design is really cool and sleek and original, with its rather sexy fusion of plastic and metal. You can also slide the USB connector inside the device when you aren't using it, so there's no need for anxiety about losing the top of the flash disk, and also, it looks and feels really nice.
It's very light, but with the compound that the casing is made of, it's still quite robust, and you don't need to worry about snapping it in your pocket so long as you've fully retracted the connector, which arguably, isn't metal-cased so is just that little bit flimsy.
It's very small though, considering the capacity of the disk itself, but not all that easy to misplace, thankfully, given the bright colour and shine that for me, has remained since I first bought it. It also slips well onto a keyring which is really helpful, and the handy short shape of it means you don't need to remove it from a keyring to insert it into a USB slot.
This is a very well-priced, middle of the road flash disk that you will definitely get your money's worth out of, although with the slow rise of disk capacity, and space not being an issue, may soon be rendered obsolete for all but documents, but since this likely won't be the case for quite a few years now, this is well worth a buy as long you don't need to transfer any massive amount of files, or single massive files at once. It's also an ideal and thoughtful gift for friends and colleagues, and in invaluable tool in academic circles that is great value for money.
This HP flash drive is a good choice for anyone that needs data storage and nothing else. It features a retractable connector which ensures that the head of the USB doesn't get broken through wear and tear. The other end of the device allows for a lanyard to be attached or possibly a small keyring, thankfully a strap is included along with the disk. The plastic and steel case feels sturdy so you there's no chance of you actually breaking.
It supports Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Mac 10.3 or above, this is a standard USB drive though so expect it to work on Windows 7 and various Linux distros without an issue. It has a read speed of 30mb/s and writes at 8mb/s which fast enough for most users.
USB flash drives are literally a dime a dozen and with a vast variety to choose from picking the best is almost impossible, just be assured that you can't go wrong with this drive, works great, fast enough and the 4GB of space holds hundreds of pictures and videos with room to spare.
Hewlett Packard are a technology company founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and David Packard. They worked initially in industrial electronics and moved into personal computers. You will most probably be familiar with the HP brand for their production of printers, scanners and copiers. HP acquired Compaq in 2002. Since then they have become mainstays in the production of PC's, laptops and digital cameras.
The V135w 4gb is a compact storage device which has a retractable connector to protect the contacts. The opposite end has a small loop hole for attaching a lanyard or clipping onto a keyring. A strap is included with the disk. It is a discreet size and nicely styled given the physical limitations of such a device. It is about 5*16*38mm in size and manufactured in a sturdy steel and plastic housing. USB disks are known for being fairly indestructable unless you are just plain unlucky.
Compatible with USB 2.0 Speed up to 30MB/s (220x) data transfer rate
Read: up to 30mb/sec. write: up to 8mb/sec
Slide cap design protects the drive
Temperature:Storage = -20°C to 85°C
Operating = 0°C to 60°C
OS support: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Mac 10.3 and above
* I have used this drive with Win XP and Mac OSX 10.4 only. I see no reason why performance and/or reliability would be an issue with the other operating systems and I would assume Windows 7 is backwards compatible. I would expect no problems at all with Linux distributions.
This is a typical comparison of a similar spec drive:
SAMSUNG K9WBG08U1M SLC 4GB
Sequential Read Sequential Write Random Read Random Write
22.6 MB/s 20.3 MB/s 22.7 MB/s 7.4 MB/s
Compact USB drive with solid and dependable performance. There are literally hundreds to choose from out there, I personally use 4, but they all offer a similar thing. If high performance and large file transfers are your thing then seek out the expensive high end products. This is fast and versatile enough for the average user.