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For a data storage manufacturer with a name so widely recognised and recognised as Kingston, you would expect that any upgraded model would have improvements on its predecessor. The Kingston DataTraveller is a very reliable and streamline piece of equipment that has served many people well and combines quick and efficient data transfer and storage with an easy to use facility that anyone can master. This G2 (second generation) model is the next step up, but if there are any improvements, I haven't spotted them.
If you were to take it at face value without having a previous model to compare it to, then you're unlikely to complain, though, and it's important to keep this in mind. Most of us just want to be able to use one of these 'memory sticks', as they're commonly called, in order to store files, videos, music, pictures and documents. In an educational environment, which I work in, there are many different types of data storage which pass by my desk on a regular basis, and most of them do the same thing: carry these files from one place to another, usually work the students have done that they need printing out.
What sets Kingston aside from its competitors is the reliability factor. I know many other brands that have products which are unreliable, but I have never had a Kingston stick that has failed on me (touch wood). This particular unit is quite handy to the touch, simple and sleek in design and easy to use. The slide bar on the side of the stick allows you to move the USB connector in and out of its housing very easily, and it has a small hook on the end for you to attach it to a string or hook should you wish to. Its straight edges and narrow form mean that once in the USB connection for your computer, it's to impede on something connected next to it, something that the next step up, the G3, causes issues with.
So, it's easy to physically use, and once entered into your computer, the ease continues. There is no extra software to load up, which is a great thing. I can't stand the automated software uploads that various USB data sticks assume you want to install, and whenever I encounter one, it can cause problems with other things I have running at the time. Even if they had an option to install, that would be better. Luckily, this Kingston G2 doesn't have this: it's a simple case of plug in and play, where you can just go straight to the folder containing the contents of the stick. Data transfer is pretty quick: 6 MB per second to read and 3 to write, meaning that opening the majority of files is pretty instantaneous unless you have something huge on there.
In terms of data size, 4GB is a fair amount. It's by no means 'large' any more, what with 8, 16 and 32 GB sticks all becoming more affordable, but ultimately it depends on what you're using it for. If, like most students I encounter, you're using it to transfer files, photos and small media clips, then this should be more than adequate. If you're after larger media files, large amounts of music and photos as well as anything else, then a larger size may be what you're looking for. be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket, though, so to speak, as if you lose or damage it and it's the only back up you have, then you'll wish you'd kept other storage.
So, all in all, it seems very good, and if you take it at face value then this is very true. however, I do have a couple of issues, which seem to be made clearer by the changes the G3 now has. The G2 switched from having a secure cap on it to having the slide function for the USB connection. I much prefer the lid, although I can see why they would have a slide function in there. If you lost the lid, then the USB part would be completely exposed without a slide, and the dust and dirt and general bashing as you transport it could cause problems and eventually lead to a corrupt stick. However, the retractable nature invites things like dust and dirt to gather and get in the end wherever you have it. I'm just not a fan of this. The slider also means that there are loose elements in the design on the inside, something I'm also cautious of.
Aside from this, there's a general bulkier feel to it, as though they are regressing in trying to make this as compact a unit as possible. Sadly, this doesn't mean it feels any more robust: it doesn't have the strong design feel that the original does, nor does it compare to the robust nature of the G3, although this latter model is even bigger still, a somewhat confusing and annoying element if I might add.
I suppose these niggles are relatively small when you consider that the stick does actually do what it needs to very well. I never glance twice in uncertainty at a Kingston stick, and this to me speaks volumes. high quality and care seems to have gone into this, and were you to not compare it to the original or the G3, then you probably wouldn't give my cautions a second thought apart from the retractable end. I do highly recommend it, but would say that the changes made for the G3 say a lot regarding what they weren't happy about with this G2.
In my job as a software developer I'm manipulating hundreds of files everyday. Some of the best tools I have are my Kingston DataTraveler USB flash drives. I've got quite a few in my collection and I'm not sure what I would do without them. They are now an essential part of my working day. I use them for transferring files between computers, backing up data files and for testing purposes when I need the availability of an alternative drive.
I needed yet another drive early last year and I was going to get another of the 4GB standard Kingston DataTraveler drives that I already owned. It was cost-effective and reliable so I thought why not? However, on searching the internet for the best price I came across this drive. It was the same price and same capacity, but was a second generation unit; hence the G2 in the title. I assumed that if it was second generation that it would be an even better model with even better features. Unfortunately that didn't quite turn out to be the case!
The device dimensions are 5.7cm (7.0cm extended) x 2.3cm x 0.9cm and weighs just 11.4g making it extremely portable in a pocket, wallet, handbag, etc. The USB connector slides in and out of the unit with the aid of a slider switch on the side. When you want to use the drive extend the USB connector out and when you unplug it from your computer retract it back in to keep it protected. Although the connector can be retracted back into the unit while not in use, it is still exposed, and if you put it into your pocket or bag then it will undoubtedly gather dust and fluff. This system is not as good as the cap on the first generation devices that completely covered and protected the USB connector. The second generation unit generally feels cheaper and flimsier than the first generation equivalents. With the slider, there are more moving parts and they rattle around as though they aren't securely in position.
This series of Kingston DataTravelers are predominantly white with coloured trimmings; the 4GB version has a yellow trim. It's nice and slim (although not as slim as the first generation drives), so when you insert it into a spare USB port it shouldn't obscure neighbouring ports which can be a problem with bulkier units. It has ribbed sides to make it easier to grip when you come to remove it from a computer and a loop at the end, presumably for attaching it to a key ring.
Another step backwards from the first version is the illuminator that lights up when data is being read from or written to the drive. On the first version it was the large coloured area in the middle that lit up. On this second generation unit it's the small Kingston logo above the large coloured area that lights up. The problem is that the logo is on the white area and the illuminating bulb is pale yellow and in normal light conditions you can't see it. It's a complete waste of time.
A couple of years ago 4GB was an enormous amount of storage space to carry around in your pocket. It's not quite as astounding today, but it will still be adequate for the needs of most people. It is ideal for transferring and backing up e-mails, office documents and pictures. It's also capable of shifting a fair amount of digital music and video too, so if that's your thing then this drive could suit. If you don't need vast amounts of storage then don't waste money on the new high-capacity units. The smaller volume drives, such as this 4GB version is just as fast and will cost you a lot less.
This drive performs pretty well too. Files transfer relatively quickly, although there is always room for improvement. It can take quite a few minutes to transfer the contents of a drive which is full to capacity. It does utilise the hi-speed USB 2.0 interface; data is read from the drive at 6Mbps, and written to it at 3Mbps. It's compatible with a variety of operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows: 2000, XP, Vista and 7
- Mac OS X 10.5.x onwards
- Linux 2.6.x onwards
Kingston states that it's not compatible with Windows 95, 98 or ME. The unit is plug-and-play compliant meaning that there is no software installation required, you just plug it in, wait for a minute on first use for it to be recognised, and you're ready to go.
If any of you live or work in a particularly hot or cold climate then you can be assured that this device will operate in temperatures between 0°C and 60°C, and it can be stored in temperatures between -20°C and 85°C.
I have found this drive to be very reliable. I've had drives from other brands in the past that have let me down badly. For example, I have a 16GB 'Dabs Value' drive that I purchased recently, which got its write-protection stuck on, rendering it useless.
One advantage of buying a Kingston DataTraveler over other brands is the fact that it comes with a 5 year warranty. So with the pace that technology advances, it will be covered for the majority of its life. It also shows that Kingston is proud and confident of the reliability and quality of its product.
These drives are very cost-effective. 4GB is still a large capacity, and for the price of a packet of fags or 2 pints of beer you can't go wrong.
It's not just people like me who will find these tools useful; I think everybody could find a use for one. I think it's a great way to back up those important documents. Ok, so your unit could get lost, stolen or broken, but I would rather backup to one of these devices, rather than not do it at all!
In terms of performance, reliability and cost I can't fault this drive. But I do think it is let down by the design of the unit itself. When comparing it with its predecessor it feels quite cheap and flimsy. The fact that the USB connector is not entirely covered and protected is another product of the flawed design. Personally I would recommend the first generation units with their end caps, over these because of the better design and build quality.
I needed a new flash drive about 7 months ago as my old one was getting very hot every time I used it, so I opted for this one as Kingston had been recommended to me by a tech savvy guy I know.
I had a little look round at the different types they did and decided on this one as I thought 4 GB would be ample enough and I really liked its design. It was under £7 too which isn't bad especially considering my old 1 GB stick cost £50 in 2004. You can pick one up on Amazon now for just under this with postage included.
The drive is just under 6cm long, 2.5cm wide and 7mm deep. So it's just the right size to carry round without it being too small you could lose it. Its very light and the outer casing is white and yellow plastic. I really like the yellow colour as it nice and bright. Each Kingston drive in this range is colour coded depending on the GB size which is handy if you have a few so you can tell which is which with a quick glance.
There is a hole though the end of the stick so you can attach it to your keys etc... It's a very sturdy hole built into the unit rather than just being added on at the end, so I think this would be very secure. You would not need to worry about it breaking as the plastic it is made out of is very tough and strong.
The key feature to this model is its lack of a lid, so no lid to lose! Instead it has a slide mechanism in the form of a little yellow notch on the side which you just slide up and down with your thumb to push out and pull in the USB connecter.
At first I really liked this feature as I always did worry about losing the lid on my old one. But even though the USB part slides in completely there is still a gap at the top to let fluff and dirt in, or if you dropped it somewhere wet for example water would easily get in even if you picked it up quick. So the slide feature is kind of pointless as a lid it just stops the sides of the USB from getting knocked or scratched. Now I own one of these I'm not too sure this feature is that great in practice.
As a memory stick it works very well. When you plug it into a pc it lights up to let you know it is on, and also lights up whenever you save something new to it or delete, this is good for peace of mind. The light is a pale greenish yellow and shines through the white part of the outer casing rather than having its own little window.
The drive is quick to respond and has always been detected by the many pc's I have used at Uni or at friends as well as my own. When you first use it, it is named as Kingston under the My Computer section but you can easily personalise its name by right clicking on Kingston and selecting rename. This way you came name it something that is personal to you and stands out to make it easier to find on an unknown pc.
As for reliability it has not let me down yet and seems to run very smoothly and efficiently. I like its size and colour but I do tend to keep it in a little sock in my bag because I'm worried about it getting fluff in it and I don't think blowing into it every time I use it will do it any good.
I think for my next buy I may be tempted to buy one with a lid or maybe even a spinning one so at least it won't get fluff caught inside.
I would recommend Kingston as a brand but think the main design feature to this unit is also its downfall.
Now you can store, carry and transfer files quickly in an affordable, convenient device. The DataTraveler G2 from Kingston helps budget-conscious users break storage barriers, allowing you to easily store and move files in a device no bigger than a pocketknife.
As easy as click and drag, the DataTraveler G2 can hold just about any file you can think of - reports pictures, spreadsheets or other important documents. It works with virtually any device with a USB port - even cross-platform from Macintosh to PC and vice versa. The DataTraveler G2 also makes a great promotional item for your organization; it's simple to add your logo to increase brand-recognition.
|Product Description:||Kingston DataTraveler G2 - USB flash drive - 4 GB|
|Product Type:||USB flash drive|
|Storage Capacity:||4 GB|
|Interface Type:||USB 2.0|
|OS Required:||Microsoft Windows XP SP1, Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Apple MacOS X 10.3.x or later, Microsoft Windows Vista, Linux 2.6 or later|
|Microsoft Certification:||Compatible with Windows 7|
|Manufacturer Warranty:||5 years warranty|