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Integral Splash 4 GB

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      17.11.2011 19:50
      Very helpful



      A good quality USB pen for a reasonable price

      I seem to collect USB sticks the way other people collect pens. The problem is that I am terribly absent-minded and they are, in general, the perfect size to be misplaced. My solution has been to have several and copy my information between them. This one was a bit of an impulse buy in Tesco because I needed a new one, and it was pink.


      It's pink. Hurrah! It also has a rubberised casing and matching cap which, Integral claim, make it splashproof. I'm not sure I would attest to the veracity of this claim as I recently got absolutely drenched in a sudden downpour whilst I had this in my coat pocket and I now see that the metal pluggy-in bit has got a touch of rust on it. Still, it continues to work just fine so I haven't got too much to worry about.

      It comes on one of those bobbly chains (you know the kind with which they attach pens to counter tops in banks?) which I always break and so I replaced it with a proper keyring and a chain to hold the lid. That I still have the lid is a minor miracle given how frequently I lose stuff and shows how securely it fits on its little storage doodah when the USB stick is in use.

      ~*~Ease of installation~*~

      It is plug and go, so once put in a USB port it will metaphorically womble off and find the drivers, install them and not bother you whilst it's doing it. The process takes no more than a minute or two. I use the same pen in loads of different work computers and it's never failed to install or given any hassle in this regard.

      ~*~Ease of removal~*~

      As long as all programs or documents on the USB pen are closed, this is straightforward to remove using the 'safely remove hardware' icon. On my home computer it quite often tells me that the device cannot be stopped because it is busy (even when I'm shouting at the screen that I've closed everything) but I think this must be down to the fact that my home PC is Windows 7 and stupid because the problem never arises on any other computer.

      There have been occasions when it has been removed without going through the proper shutdown procedure (usually due to children being over-zealous with my work laptop but occasionally because I'm an eejit) and it has never become corrupted or sulked with me and refused to work.

      ~*~Reliability and storage~*~

      This is one of the USB pens that I use for work stuff along with photographs, reviews, letters and a pile of other gumpf. Everything that I put on it stays where I expect it to and no files have ever become damaged.

      Mine is a 4GB version which is ample for my needs. That said, by right clicking and looking at properties I see that I actually only get 3.72GB. I'm not sure where the other 0.28GB have gone; presumably Windows 7 ate them or something.

      I was once told that all USB pens can be password protected if necessary but it is not immediately obvious how this can be done with mine; there is no option to do so on the right click settings and I don't want to delve deeper for fear I will cause it and my computer to spontaneously combust. It's probably a good idea to assume that if you want that level of security then you might need to pay a bit extra than the tenner mine cost me. For anyone who just needs a reliable USB pen, though, this is about as good as you'll get for the price.


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