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Looking for a stylish summer appeal for your memory stick and storage needs. Integral's USB 2.0 Lime Green Splash Drive 2GB is perfect for the job. Boasting its "lime green" enclosure colour and simplistic but stylish design this memory unit is a must have for anyone wanting to show their calm but colourful and happy personality through the flash drive they use.
I bought this drive down at my local computer store for only £4.99 making it a cheap but very durable and handy drive to have around. Plus with its size being only 11mm x 19mm x 62mm its small and will easily fit into your pocket or can be attached to your key ring so you're always ready for your data storage needs. When un packaging the drive, you have to open up a plastic casing to access the drive. It's secured in this packaging to avoid from damage moving around and storage. Also included in the packaging is manufacturer's installation and recommended system configuration information to run the drive and also warranty information.
This new integral drive uses a high speed USB connection (USB 2.0) to offer faster transfer speeds to make file coping and moving allot quicker and easier. On average you get around 3MB/s to 8MB/s transfer speed; which for £4.99 is a tremendous transfer speed.
The drive is automatically installed, using a simple plug and play feature which installs the drivers for the memory stick within seconds of first connecting it to your USB port. Making this a no fuss installation and ready to use out of the box so to speak. This also means it can be easily connected and disconnected with no fuss or problems for the user.
I personally love this drive, and as i have said before, Integral products can't be knocked for speed and quality. This drive was no exception. I've added it to my key chain and friends of mine have done the same with this drive and other colour variations and they are a brilliant accessory as well as an amazing data storage device. I highly recommend this product to teens, students alike.
After searching the house for my Flash drive and getting nowhere my boyfriend was promptly ushered out the door and down PC World to buy a cheap replacement.
He returned with one each, a blue Integral Splash Drive for him and a pink one for me both costing him £7.99. As we purchased as an emergency I've had a look around online and it seems this price is similar all around.
== The Flash Drive ==
The drives are shock and water resistant (that's resistant not waterproof so don't bathe with them) thanks to their brightly coloured rubberised casing. They are available in blue, yellow, Pink, Green and black and can also be purchased in sizes from 1GB to 32GB. We bought the 2GB version.
The job at hand was to transfer some music files from my PC to a laptop and the 2GB size meant that I could load around 250 songs onto the drive before filling it up. It didn't however take many video files to get the drive to capacity but as the 4GB appears to retail for closer to £20 I can live with this inconvenience (and as most of the files I wanted to move were much smaller than video files).
The drives are also USB 2.0 for hi-speed data transfer, although it did seem that the transfer speed was not particularly fast for the video files however some of these were quite large and it could just be due to my lack of patience rather than the drive being particularly slow. It claims to have a Read speed of up to 12MB per second (80x) and a write speed of up to 3MB per second (20x). If you do not also have a USB 2.0 socket on your laptop PC you will obviously not achieve these speeds however unless your computer is very old you are likely to have the faster style socket.
They also come complete with a chain which you can attach to the end and allows the lid to be stored on a tab at the end whilst in use so that nothing gets lost (which is an excellent idea as I am forever losing the lids). The chain can be attached to your keys so that you never need lose your flash drive again.
It claims to be ReadyBoost compatible for enhanced performance with Windows Vista however as my PC still runs XP I do not know if this is the case. I can however report that the drive works perfectly with Windows XP.
The packaging states the drive is compatible with windows ME, 2000, XP, Vista and Apple Mac 8.6+, 9.0+ and OS X. I do also note that the Integral website states that it is also windows 7 compatible and having used this on a windows 7 laptop I can confirm that I had no problems with this.
To use this requires no drivers as it is a plug and play device (however I have never used a flash drive that isn't also plug & play).
The drive is also supplied with a 2 year warranty however there is not yet any sign of us needing to fall back on this as our 2 flash pens are working excellently.
The Drive also has a free security & compression software for windows within which you can move off and install if you like with a manual to help you work it. However as windows usually comes with Winzip I am not sure that this is actually going to be required by anyone?
It is PC & Mac compatible and sports an LED read/write light so that you can see when the drive is in use.
The instructions also warn you to disconnect the device correctly to ensure there is no data loss and never disconnect whilst the LED is flashing.
== What is USB 2 & ReadyBoost? ==
USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and is used to connect two devices auch as computer, mice, keyboard, flash drive etc. It was invented by an intel employee called Ajay Bhatt USB 2.0 was released in 2000 and sports a maximum bandwidth of 480 mb per second and is some 40 times faster then its predecessor USB 1.1
As I had never heard of ReadyBoot before I have done a little research and found that it is a feature of Windows Vista & Windows 7 that adds memory to a system using a compatable flash drive. The system will use the flash drive as an additional memory cache and as this is usually quicker than accessing the internal memory it claims to speed up the performance of your computer.
== How I Used the Drive ==
Having used several flash drives before I did not need to consult a manual however I have noted that there is very little information on the packaging that would help you to transfer files if you are a complete novice and there is no manual giving step by step instructions.
The process of transferring files was a simple and painless process thanks to this being a plug and play device. I was using this with Windows XP and only needed to put the pen drive into a spare USB drive and wait a few seconds for the device to be recognised.
I then opened windows explorer, picked the file I wanted to write to the drive, right clicked the file and chose "send to" and picked the flash drive (which shows in windows explorer as an additional drive on your system).
When I needed to move the files I once again placed the drive into the USB socket on the laptop and waited for the device to be recognised. I then opened windows explorer, went to the flash drive, copied the files and then pasted them into the location I wanted to store them on the laptop. Once they had copied correctly I deleted the files off of the flash drive to free up the space again.
There is a light on the end of the drive that flashes to show you that the drive is still in use (you should not remove the drive until it has finished working so the light is invaluable).
To disconnect the drive I clicked the "unplug or safely remove Hardware" in the lower right of my system tray and clicked remove. Once the pop up appears to confirm the device is removed you can then physically remove it. It is always advisable to disconnect the device correctly to ensure that there is no data loss.
This is not the only way to add or remove files to a flash drive but it is the method I personally find easiest.
== My Opinions ==
I have to say I have been very impressed by my other half's choice on this occassion as the drives are very flashy looking in their bright rubber jackets. They claim to be splash proof, I have not tested this but they are well encased inside the rubber and as long as the lid is in place they do look like they would hold up well to a little liquid splashing.
They do however bounce well as I have dropped several times with no adverse reactions and therefore the claims that these are shock resistant have been true in my experience. My three year old son has also given them a bit of a bashing yet they continue to function perfectly.
Supplied in a choice of bright colours they are a trendy looking product and I suspect these would go down well with younger users not only for their appearance but also for their reliable use. The rubber outer also makes them quite resilient and easier to grip which is again ideal for smaller hands.
The drives are quite thin and compact and are therefore easy to use with my partner's laptop and would be a fine choice if your USB slot is a little difficult to access. Although the rubber outter does make the item a little bulkier in width it is very pliable and therefore is not obstructive.
At 2GB these are not the largest drives on the market but at a cost of only £7.99 they are very good value especially for the quality of build. If you are not looking to move large files or video files then this size is adequate and copes very well with picture, music and word files. If you do need a larger capacity these drives are available in larger sizes up to 32GB.
The addition of the keychain which can also hold the lid is a perfect extra for anyone like me who is forever losing these little devices. It will save me a fortune in replacement drives as long as I don't lose my keys!
Although the drive did feel a little slow to me at writing video files to the pen the speed to transfer music was fine and I managed to write around 50 songs to the drive then pull them off onto the laptop within a few of minutes. It is worth pointing out however that the drive did not seem slower than any other flash drive I have used before and I might be a particularly impatient user!
As I already use Winzip for my file compression needs I have not removed the free security & compression software from the pen therefore I cannot tell you how good this programme is however there is a manual for this software also included on the flash drive.
== In Conclusion ==
These drives look and feel very nice and are of an excellent quality for the price. The rubber is firm enough to last well but without being too stiff to make it pliable for getting into more awkward spots.
I have had no problems with transferring data to or from them and have not found them to be any slower than other drives I have used. Their performance is as good as a drive I purchased for twice the price ( with the same storage capacity).
The addition of the keychain which also stores the lid whilst in use is perfect for me and the fact that it is a very resilient device is also prefect for my household. It has held its own well whilst being assaulted on by my three year old.
I would have no hesitation in recommending these to friends.
For ease of use and style I am giving this a rating of 5/5