For anyone that knows me, or maybe even browsed through some of my reviews, you'll know that I have a rather 'mad' collection of memory devices that I use to store my 'mad' collection of life on. These devices store such things as photographs, videos, drawing, data and more, so over the time my collection seems to be growing more and more.
The memory devices I own come from all walks of life, from well known brands such as Kingston and SanDisk to other ones that I have picked up from the local 'pound plus' type shop that only have the GB size etched on the plastic covering and a small squiggle to inform you that the device was made on somewhere in China.
Some of these devices have done what they are designed to do, holding my 'data' until I need to access it, keeping it safe and sound so I don't need to worry.
Sadly though, some I have bought, and not only from the 'pound plus' shop either, that have failed in doing what they are designed to do, either freezing so that the 'data' stored on it becomes totally inaccessible, losing it forever. Or falling apart when you push it onto the USB port or pull it out, sending the many bits scattering all over the floor. (my advice in all cases is to back up your back ups, spread your more important things over several memory devices just in case one fails).
Anyway, one of my 'older' memory device is from a well known company called Integral, who have been going for many years now and are well established, with the full name of this device being the Integral i-Pen - USB flash drive.
This particular pen drive actually comes in a few sizes, internal GB storage sizes that it, although they do sell different 'physical' size pen drives as well, but as for the memory size, this product comes in a range, such as a lowly 512MB... very lowly these days... up to this 8GB one, with a few ones in between.
What does it look like?
It's as small as a baby mouse that was born three months early, with the body being made of a firm white plastic, (The flash drive not the mouse), being about 55mm long by 20mm wide and a mere 10mm deep, (sizes are approximate), and it weighs less that 10grams.
The end 3rd of the casing pops off to reveal the USB connector which is embedded in the rest of the plastic body, which in turn houses the workings of the unit itself.
On the far end, the furthest away from the USB connector, there is what looks like a small hole which is used for slotting something like string through it so you can hang the whole thing from your neck, making you look like one of those zombie students that seem to wonder on front of my car whenever I drive passed a school or collage. Honestly, it's like driving through the land of the living dead.
The whole thing is as light as a feather, almost, being about 9 grams in weight.
There is a little light that flashes away when it is being used, such as when you're transferring data, be it uploading or downloading, or just browsing through the files on the drive, the flash is still the same.
Will your PC be able to cope with this..?
Your PC will have to have a few specs, such as running windows OS XP and above, although I have struggled a few times when using this on Windows 7, but I have eventually got things up and running after a few swear words, kick and tantrums.
I did ask a friend of mine, who happens to run one of those fruit systems, oranges, no grapes... hang on, no, it's Apple isn't it? Yes, she prefers to use Apple. When she tried this it did run perfectly well on her system which goes to show that it runs on Pineapple OS without any hassles... no, I mean Apple don't I?.
It runs on USB 2.0 and it backwards compatible so that it can run on older USB ports,
It houses the good old fashioned 'plug and play' system, which means that you just plug it into your PC and, within a few seconds, hopefully, it is ready to play with as it finds it's own drivers without you having to go searching on line for them like a drunken man looking for his front door key.
What about the speeds..?
Well, if you throw it at the wall you can get about 50mph out of it, maybe more on a good day, if the winds behind you and you use a tennis racket to whack it with...????
Seriously though, the speeds offered on this are not too bad really, giving about 11MBp/s read speed and just under 4MBp/s write speed.
How easy is it to add or move files?
This is simple.
Once it is plugged into your PC via the USB port it should open up as an external drive. It's then a choice of either 'send to', 'copy and paste' or 'drag and drop' your files to this external drive.
As I said, simple.
And when this is doing what it does, reading or writing, the little LED lights flashes away to let you know it's working away.
I have had this pen drive for what must be years now, in fact I think it may have been a coming of age present from my parents, (I know, no imagination at all), and it still does what it is supposed to do, it stores my data and helps me keep it safe.
It looks quite nice too, having nice curves so that when it is in my pocket there's very little danger of being jabbed by sharp edges, which is never pleasant, (unless that's what you're into of course).
I could be wrong but if I remember correctly there was a key rings attached to the end of this but over the time this has come off, why I don't know as the plastic connection piece is still intact. Although, I do have to say that the USB connector cover has come a little loose over time but it still grips the pen drive well enough so that it doesn't fall off in my pocket or on the street.
Speaking of this cap, once it is removed from the USB connector it has no where to go, unlike some of my other pen drives where you can slot the caps onto the back end of the device so that it doesn't get lost. So you do have to be a little more cautious with this cap, remembering where you put it so that you can replace it afterwards.
The speeds are good enough for what I need and as it has 8GB of inner space, (almost), I have managed to cram a lot of things onto it so that I can keep things safe without fear of losing it all if an when my PC spits its dummy out and throws a tantrum.
What more can I say about what is a neat little device that can hold more information that Stephen Hawkings notebook?
It gives good read/write speeds so you don't have to wait around too long, depending on the size of your files of course, and it is more portable than a pound coin in your pocket.
As for the price..?
This pen drive can be bought from a few retailers, although I do have to confess that I haven't seen this one on sale at the more popular ones. But if you can find it then it should be priced around the £7.00, which, for 8GB of space in such a small, portable device, is not that bad value for money.
There are many other pen drives out there for you to buy, some offering bigger space for the same amount, or even less, so do shop around and make a wise choice. But if you do opt for this one then you won't be disappointed.
In all, if you can get this at about a fiver, maybe even the £6.00 region, then you'll get yourself a bargain. but if it's selling for more then look around as you may get the same specs, or even more, for your money.
****Integral I-pen 8GB Flash memory stick****
The Integral Ipen is an 8GB capacity flash memory stick for storing files, documents and computer media. I was reasonably pleased with my Integral I-pen as the 8GB of storage at the time was good and it was simple to use, but due to some of the plastic casing breaking and the fact it is overpriced and hard to find in the UK now, I no longer use the device.
The I-pen is small and compact in my opinion and has quite an unusual and stylish design. The product was advertised on the back of the packaging as weighing just 9grams which is pretty light. The product is completely white in colour and has an outer casing made from plastic. There are some contoured edges to the side of the memory stick and the removable lid is shaped somewhat like the edge of an egg. In the centre of the product is a company logo reading "Integral" in bold print. Near the top of the product is a LED light which flashes when you open, load or save files to your computer. The product comes with a thin metal key chain, which consists of a clip which fastens onto the top of the memory stick, 5 small rings and finally a larger ring which functions as a key chain and allowed it to attach to my keys.
The I-pen I bought was 8GB in size, but the entire range has sizes ranging from 512MB to 8GB in size so you can pick whichever one suits your needs but I find today, most people should aim for 4GB+ as the rest are a bit too small. The product was relatively fast to copy and save things onto as it featured a high speed 2 USB data connection which is a lot faster than the older USB speed 1 memory sticks. My laptop is a windows Vista and the product worked fine here without needing any software or additional driver updates. The instruction manual that came with the memory stick said it can support Apple 8.6 or later, can support Notebooks and can support Windows computers from 98SE and onwards. There is also some small print about how you might need to install a driver on the 98SE platform.
Ease of Use
The I-pen was very simple to use, you just basically plug the USB end of the product into a USB slot on your computer, wait a few seconds, and the product loads up with a menu of different things you can do. I just used to simply drag files into the memory stick shortcut accessed via "my computer" or in the case of saving documents, I would just click "Save as" and save the said file onto my I-pen. Again, very simple to use and a memory stick which gave me no problems in needing to install additional software and so forth.
The 8GB I-pen was hard to buy in the UK and was not available on Amazon or play when I bought mine about a year or two ago. I paid £9.99 for the product with a £1.99 delivery charge on Ebay UK. You can buy cheaper memory sticks with much better storage capacity as a quick return of the Amazon UK search bar would show you. I have used many memory sticks over the past few years and I bought a more durable Kingston Generation 3 USB memory stick at 16GB for only £11.14 on Amazon so the I-pen is overpriced in my opinion and I wouldn't pay that much again.
In terms of software durability, provided you safe the file correctly, I never experienced any corruption of files in the time I used my I-pen. I used to play it safe and wait for the flashing LED to stop and remove the memory stick safely with the settings from "my computer". The physical durability of the product however was a little suspect. I used the device for around 7 months and the keychain broke, the casing to the main body came a little loose and the egg shaped lid does not fit as securely now as when I first bought it.
There are a few drawbacks to my I-pen 8GB. The first was that there was no password protection feature to stop unwanted access to your files. The second would be the price and limited availability of the product at £9.99 for 8GB of storage capacity. Finally, I wasn't best pleased with the low quality plastic casing and metal keychain to the back, I think it was cheaply made and definitely not durable in the long run as I found out with most things breaking off and coming away over the space of 7 months.
My Integral I-pen 8GB was a reasonable investment at the time as I liked the 8GB of storage, the easy user interface and the wide range of platforms and versions the product can be used on. The white design was quite nice and the device compact and light at just 9 grams. I was never too keen on the egg shaped lid however and the plastic casing was of a poor quality. I would probably not recommend the I-pen as there are cheaper and more durable memory sticks on the market such as my 16GB Kingston generation 3 memory stick which I recommend highly. Thanks for reading my review.
© Revo9 (2011)
*Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*