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Kingston have been making memory since 1987 and are one of the best known - possibly the best known - memory producer, and believe it or not, Data Travelers were made as early as 1994 (though I doubt they looked like the modern ones).
Isn't it amazing how quickly the price of memory (be it RAM or storage) goes down? I remember being upgraded to a cutting-edge 486 and had - was it 8Mb of RAM? And an enormous HD of 50Mb. The floppies were a bit over 1Mb and a size of a CD.
Now we can carry hundred-thousand-times as much on a little stick that fits in the pocket (though files got bigger too).
This flash drive is not as large, holding only (!) 1GB of data. I bought about three years agon when a number of computers in the house multiplied and emailing things from one to another became a pain, but I used it while travelling as well.
It's a nice, neat memory stick that feels solid and works well (by well, I mean reasonably fast and without failures). I never used the ''safely remove hardware'' command (it was only recently that I learned that there is actually some real danger of losing data if you don't, and I still forgot too - possibly none of my data is that precious, really) with it but I suffered no negative results.
The one disadvantage to this memory stick is that the protective cap is not attached to the device, which means that (at least in my care) it gets lost approximately ten seconds after being first taken off. The stick will still work, but can't be then carried in pockets that are contaminated with breadcrumbs, sand, tobacco, bits of paper, nuts, wood shavings, sawdust and the like (I have two children and a woodworking Significant Other).
Obviously anything that's ONLY 1GB is now well outdated as a storage device (for real storage you'd want something bigger), though in all honesty it's still good enough for giving somebody (or carrying around) most files one would want to.
And this is what brings me back to floppies. Although we have all those huge-capacity and massive-speed memory devices, we don't seem to have a real equivalent of a floppy or even a CD ROM - ie a medium that was so cheap that you'd by it by a case and had no qualms about simply giving them away. This is obviously due to the fact that it's quite easy to transfer data between computers, phones and other devices either using the Internet or directly with infrared and similar technologies, but frankly it's often more faff than just copying something on a physical object that can be handed to somebody. And somehow we still don't give the flash drives away as willy-nilly as we did with floppies and CD ROMs, or do we?
As I had a laptop and a desktop I often wanted files on each, plus it's always good to have a back-up. So I looked for a cheap memory stick with a decent amount of memory that could do the job well. That's when I found the Kingston memory stick with 1GB of memory at a great price. I had a couple of other memory sticks, but these were only 256mb and 512mb and were mostly used for college work so having 1GB of memory was a lot better for bigger files and backing up more files so I decided to buy it.
1GB may not seem much now, but it was pretty good when I bought it. Even now I find it useful for transferring files between my laptop and desktop and it is surprising how many files it can hold.
This memory stick is white and grey/silver. The main part is white, with grey/silver in the middle where it has the brand and name of the memory stick. It then has a bit at the top which is grey that is very useful as you can slot the lid on to it when you are using it. Not all memory sticks have this. It also has a grey grip down the side, carrying on from the top part, so that when you go to pull the lid off you can do it easier and your fingers won't slip off it. This is something I haven't seen on most memory sticks, but it is a great extra feature as it is so easy to accidentally let go of it.
It is small and light so you can easily take it anywhere.
You can get Kingston memory sticks which are very similar in design. They come in various colours and with more memory. You can get a white and grey 4GB one for about £5 from Amazon.
How it works:
This is a USB memory stick so you plug it in to the USB slot. Then you can view files or copy and paste them from the computer to memory stick or the other way around. It is quick and simple and you can put any file type on them. It usually manages to transfer files quickly, but obviously this will be affected by the size of files and the specification of your computer.
I've had this memory stick quite a while now and it still does it job perfectly well. I've never had any problems with it. It doesn't look as white as it did originally, but that is to be expected. It does have a slight crack on the lid, but I think that was probably from messing with the lid a lot when I was bored. They just like look scratches and you have to press down quite hard to realise it is a crack. It has been thrown around a lot and I did used to take it to college (a dangerous place for any memory stick as it's constantly thrown around, stuck under piles of work or easy to knock when in the computer). I wouldn't say the quality is bad - the cracks haven't gotten any worse since I first broke it and the rest is in great condition. Overall this is an excellent memory stick that takes a lot to damage and will hold quite a few files. Kingston memory sticks are often quite cheap to buy too. You won't be disappointed if you buy one.
I remember when USB flash drives hit the market a few years back when you could fit a staggering 16Mb worth of data on a device the size of your middle finger. Since then capacity has increased and prices have decreased at an alarming rate. For example you can now get 8Gb flash drives for cheaper than the original 16Mb drives which represents great value for money.
--Whats in the box --
Contents of the box are minimalistic to say the least, there is the drive itself and a little strap which you can then use to attach the drive to your belt/keyring, etc. This device really is plug and play in its simplest form, there arent even any instructions supplied with it, mainly because none are required.
-- Useage --
Plugging the drive into a spare USB slot will give you an extra drive in Windows Explorer (My Computer) typically F but could be further down the alphabet if you are lucky enough to have multiple hard disks and CD/DVD drives. On viewing the drive size in Windows Explorer, you will actually see that the disk is not quite a gigabyte (1 and 9 zeroes in bytes) which equated to 953Mb. Nonetheless, this is still more disk space than you are ever likely to need on a temporary basis. Read/write access to the drive is extremely fast. I managed to copy a 800 Mb file to the drive in just over 1 minute.
The size of the drive is also impressive. Measuring a cool 2 and a half inches long, it is probably half the size of my 512Mb drive and also a lot less bulky.
The only problem I would say with the drive is that there is no neck chain to carry the device with. As it is only a small device, I can see this being so seasy to lose, for example when you take keys out of your pocket, etc it could quite easily drop without being detected.
-- Verdict --
This device is so small, yet so robust. It comes with a 5 year warranty and works on both Windows and Mac machines. There are loads of higher capacity devices out there, however, if 1Gb is adequate for you then this is definately one I'd recommend
I have owned this flash drive for a few years now, it lives at the bottom of my handbag and it works a treat. The cap is such a good fit that it never falls off whilst floating around in my bag but is easy to remove to use. Mine is white which I appreciate as it makes it easy to see in amongst the clutter!
I have a fair few other pen drives but this one is a really useful size to carry for dumping info and files on to bring back to the home pc. Actually I have NEVER removed anything from it as it hasn't run out of space yet! Don't use it for pictures mind, I have others for that but have got some programmes on it, albeit small ones. It has ridged sides so unlikely to drop it and the opposite end to the cap has a centimetre wide slit to allow insertion of a ribbon or lcae so it can hang round the neck if wanted - some pen drives seem to have this facility but in fact are too fiddly to be of any value and when I'm at Uni I DO put it round my neck so I don't lose it in standing up unexpectedly. Highly reliable bit of kit.
Kingston is one of the leading companies producing all kinds of memory, whether it is RAM or Flash, when you buy Kingston you know you have a good brand. Whats even better is they make the same product, tweaked for different users needs. Yes they take care of the user. Why should the user spend £50 for upmost security and U3 applications when they only need to carrya few pictures to a friends house or do school work. This is why you will see so many versions of XGB drives from Kingston.
My first Kingston drive was a DataTraveller1 silver like abover but 256MB and I was impressed thats nearly 200 floppy disks of data with hardly any chance of them going wrong.
When I moved upto the 1GB scene as I needed a bit more power I got the new version of this which is how you see it
White with a Grey/Brown label/hook.
The DataTraveler 1 is there for normal people. It is there for you to quickly and easily carry a few files here and there. It doe snothing fancy, it does nothign above and beyond, it just allows you to Travel with Data. If you want more you need to look at the other versions of the Data Traveler.
These being nice and cheap I recently bought a batch of these which I lend to students to do work if they need to take some home or in lessons so they can demonstrate backing up to removable media (as some courses requires).
If you want a cheap memory stick this is ideal
If you want it just to carry data this is the one.
If your a student wanting to carry school work around, this is a fantastic choice. 1GB gives you plenty of space, and isn;t too expensive to replace if you loose it, afterall a £50 all singing all dancing one is going to be annoying if you loose it or break it.
These drives are very reliable. I am the second year through with these memory sticks being used by students and they are still working with no problems.
Admittedly they are there to do a basic job (replace floppy disks) They are not the speediest of drives they just work normally.
Its hard to believe that when I was doing my HNC at night in the local College about 10 years ago the only way to bring in my project for marking was to zip it onto 24 X 3.5" floppy disks. Normally when I got to about disk 14 or 15 it would suddenly throw up a file error or bad sector on the target disk and I would have to wipe all the used disks clean and start all over again omitting the offending disk each time. We are talking hours here.
The project included video, photographs, speech, animation and text so without compression software and with email normally limiting attachments to less than 2MB there was just no other way to do it.
Thank goodness these nifty little memory sticks came along. My first memory stick was possibly around 16MB or 32 MB which seemed gigantic at the time but now even the 1GB memory sticks are considered to be entry level.
The Kingston Memory Stick I am reviewing comes in one of those awful moulded, plastic covers which if you try to open them with your fingers tend to rip the hands off you. I couldn't even get a little way inside the packaging without opting for scissors. Not much good if you are running late at a friends house or in a public library and want to save and leave. Even with scissors freeing the memory stick from its housing it was hard going and the scissors dug into my fingers I had to push so hard.
Once finally freed from its packaging the memory stick is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista and the device should be auto detected once plugged into your USB port or hub. Mac OS1.0 or later is also plug and play.
The stick itself has ridged edges which allow you to get a good grip when inserting or removing it from the USB port and there is a little loop at the back through which you can thread a thin lanyard which comes supplied.
When I first got this memory stick I though I was being really clever and immediately used the loop to put the stick onto my keyring. I did this as I had seen so many people in panic stations wandering about, trying to find their little memory stick which appears to have their whole life on it and not always being successful. So I though great idea mine can not be lost.
This worked great for a couple of days and my new little soul mate stayed with me at all times and guarded my information well, and then I got caught!!!!!. I had brought work home and was sitting at the computer with my trusty stick in the USB port attached to my keys when hubby came over.
On catching sight of my heavy bunch of home\work\car keys hanging off the end of the memory stick he went nuts. "Are you mad, get that out of the computer NOW" he yelled (ok I might have censored a word or two there). He was really annoyed, as apparently this is one of the worst things you can do with a memory stick. The weight of the keys was distorting the usb connector in the end of the stick which was in turn distorting the usb slot on the computer.
Long story short if I had kept this up for another couple of days both the memory stick and the usb port on the computer would have been useless. Apparently since memory sticks have been around he gets several people a week coming to him with their big bunch of keys and added memory stick begging him to recover the data as they can't seem to get the stick to fit in anywhere. Quite often this is impossible.
An excellent extra with this brand is that it comes with a five year warranty. The usual problem exists though that the little cap is detachable and is therefore very easy to lose if you set it down.
Its an excellent size for slipping into your pocket, bag etc. when you are moving about between Appointments, Offices or even Countries, as its about twice the size of a fox's glacier mint style sweet and holds several hundred word processing files or upto several hundred reasonably large graphic files.
Overall I would highly recommend this memory stick as I have around four of them now which I have collected over the last year or two (I keep forgetting to take one with me and end up buying another) and all are in perfect working order although two have lost their lids..
As storage capacity is increasing month by month I would imagine that you could probably get a four or eight gigabyte capacity stick for a similar price to a 1 gigabyte stick so go for the larger capacity.
If you are not sure on brand go with the Kingston, it stands up to a fair bit of key weightlifting, handbag exploration and being pulled out without first clicking on safely remove hardware. I should know I've put it through them all (don't tell my husband though) and I still haven't lost any data.
Works with windows and Mac
Small but sturdy
5 year warranty
Hard to get out of the plastic wrapping
Instructions aren't very detailed but then its not exactly rocket science
Easy to lose the lid