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I have a variety of pen drives from my years at uni, college, school and various jobs, I just seem to always amass more and more.
I received my integral Courier 4GB drive on my first day back to work after my summer holiday, one was issued to all members of staff. To be honest my day very rarely even consists of using a computer at work and for what I do use computers for (the odd word document) it does seem awfully excessive.
Still this is the largest pen drive I have owned and while it may not be the most useful for my work it is certainly reliable and useful at home. Not that I did buy this flash drive but I had a much smaller Integral Flash Drive that i used for my last few years at school, it was far more reliable than other less recognised cheap brands and it served me well. This integral Drive lives up to my expectations.
It had a nice translucent blue hard plastic exterior, with a loop at the top to presumably tie it to you keys or something. The trouble with tying this to anything is that once the cap has been taken on and off a few times it does get loose, causing it to slide off. When it gets to this stage tying the cap to anything is rather pointless as the stick will not actually stay connected to the cap and you will be likely to lose it.
While aesthetically this may not be as pleasing as some flash drives it is not offensive to the eye either. It does the job for what it is intended. The plastic that it is made from is not exactly of the highest quality but it does not seem to chip or crack.
The stick itself is slightly larger than the old one I own and most of my other pen drives but then memory wise it is the largest, so this makes sense. However this size difference is barley noticeable unless you hold one up against the other. The important thing is that it is comfortable to hold and does not look silly sticking out of the side of your computer.
It is now £5.45 from Amazon which is rather cheap considering the 4GB size, which seems unbelievable as I paid £7 for a 2GB drive only seven months ago. For the price this Flash Drive does remarkably well and can store an adequate enough. Considering that it used to be almost thirty pounds a few years ago to get a drive of this size, the drop is remarkable or the advancement of technology, maybe both.
The flash drive should work on entry to your computer unless you are running a very old version of windows. It is compatible with both Apple Macs and PC's as it works in my macbook as well as my PC. It's connection time is not overly fast and it is not amazingly fast in transferring files.
All in all the Flash Drive is not amazing in any area but it is reliable and it does the job. So far I have had no issues or memory loss with this Drive and I can vouch for Integral in the past. They seem to be a reliable and cheap manufacturing company.
I always prefer to buy flash drives which are manufactured by respectable makes such as Integral, as I feel confident that my data will be stored securely. Integral's 'Courier' 4GB USB flash drive has been around for a few years, but it has gained a reputation for being a cheap and reliable model. With a transparent blue shell that hasn't been updated in a while, I would argue that the Courier isn't one of the nicest looking flash drives on the market - that said, neither is it visually offensive.
In terms of its size, the Integral is a little bigger than many of the tiny flash drives which have been produced in the last year or so, but it's by no means huge at 7 x 24mm - and most importantly, it feels comfortable to hold. The USB end of the drive is covered by an easy to remove cap (which I have long since lost!), which also features a loop which you could potentially add a cord / lanyard to. The Integral's plastic feels rather low grade, but I've never had one that has cracked or snapped, so this really isn't an issue for me.
Price & Availability
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Cost-wise, the flash drive is available for £4.99 from amazon.co.uk - a price which looks especially good when you consider that the very same product retailed at £29.99 only a couple of years back.
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As a plug-and-play device, the Integral simply needs to be popped into your USB port to use - there aren't any drivers to download, and it should work straight from the box. I've used the drive with both PC and Mac operating systems and haven't come across any incompatibility issues with either. The performance isn't especially fast with a 12 megabyte per second read speed, and a three megabyte per second write speed - in fact, compared to Transcend's JetFlash drive (which has a ten megabyte write speed), the Integral appears rather sluggish. That said, I haven't ever found myself waiting too long for file transfer, and it's certainly quick enough for my needs.
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Overall, the Integral Courier 4 GB flash drive is a reliable product which performs well, and is available for a reasonable price - it doesn't really excel in any area, but I haven't had any issues with my one, so it's a recommendation from me.