You know how it is; you brag to friends about something good, and something that seems to be designed pretty well even though it may not be available everywhere, it still sells and sells by the dozen even though it may not be to all tastes. Enter student A; student A has left their work to the last minute when at a time that all deadlines were supposed to be met last week and in a last minute rush to avoid letters home to their parents, Student A has avoided conflict and got away with just getting on with the task involved. Which is how I wound up giving my Lexar stick to a student because their work was on it and out of several computers that worked, the one they were on seemed to have no printer connected because of a network glitch. Short of me standing over them, for their age I assumed that this pupil could be trusted. End of lesson my stick was handed to me but when I examined it I realised that the end top could not be pulled off as it had done many times before; in short once the top was pulled off, the USB part was bent at an angle and looked as if it had been pulled with force the moment the bell went at the end of the lesson. Just as well I back everything up! Once connected to the PC and MAC, my trusty Lexar breathed no more life; Student A had pranged it! One Lexar stick down and due to the situation I'm currently facing where 10 computers are shared with one printer, I had to buy a USB memory stick as soon as possible. Now although the pupil will be warned in the future about sticks and general responsibility and I'm one memory stick down (and have learnt my lesson to hand out my own equipment) I was offered a freebie USB stick that had a large amount of memory on it and work that couldn't be erased. I considered other avenues.
On the way home I called John Lewis to be told that the Lexar stick (2GB) was out of stock, surprise surprise and the only other stockist I had time willing, was Argos. Going through the catalogue there were a few options including a tough looking "Integral," named product that looked as if it could withstand daily rough struggles, knocks and scrapes. Did Argos in Northbridge, Edinburgh have this "Integral" stick? Of course not! Besides other than Lexar being the surprise brand I've come to trust, the only other brand I recognised amongst many unknown names was LG.
Enter the "Mirror," 4 GB USB stick. Priced at just £4-50 above the Lexar 2GB stick at John Lewis, it suddenly made me realise what I may be missing out on with the extra 2 GB capacity even for an extra something £4 with the LG. I nearly whooped with joy when the product finder announced that the Argos store had a few in stock! Although priced at £16-14, an earlier purchase over £50 in Argos the week before meant I was automatically discounted with a £5 voucher bringing the price below the Lexar stick - but even without the discount, two Lexar sticks with 2GB each would come in at £24-00! And before you assume this is the only memory USB data stick I have in my possession I still have another Lexar memory stick that has currently not been unwrapped - pity its not here in Edinburgh though!
Out of the rather difficult tough plastic packaging the differences are immediately obvious between the business like black Lexar and the LG. Although it is a thin stick, the name of this stick befits its look; designed with a mirror like glass coating, this LG stick almost looks like 1970's audio equipment dressed in a solid state kind of an affair; those who love chrome will adore the LG mirror, very rectangular with squarish edges and that mirror coating on the front adds to a luxury feel - even if the back of it is painted silver metallic. If you like your reflection you may well love the fact that the LG can be used like a make shift mirror too! Unlike Lexar's USB stick, there is an additional mini key ring eyelet located at the base of the stick on the opposite side to the recessed USB point and unlike Lexar further, you also receive an LG branded hanging neck strap in silver and white which adds to the professional look as well as heightening personal ownership and security if you use the neck strap keeping the stick with you at all times. The strap even has a mini clasp that allows the stick to be unclipped from the strap; now that's a professional thinking idea here even though it looks like I'm wearing a lighter with a neck strap!
The downsides from the design are immediately obvious to the more clinical Lexar in the sense that there is no capacity gauge, however when connected to a PC or MAC, the LG Mirror has a small inoffensive red LED light that comes on at the bottom panel on the top of the stick and to show when its working on the PC or MAC. Unlike Lexar, although the LG Mirror has a plug and play application, it doesn't have the heightened security of password protected features that the Lexar has or another storage system within the stick itself to allow back ups to occur even though through the properties of the drive on my PC it will allow me to use a back up facility. Thanks to its slinky design in this instance, if you are thinking the LG is apt for use in a school or college, the LG Mirror should only be used for yourself because of the lack of security features. However unlike Lexar's stick, the LG Mirror instantly pops up its E drive window on MAC or PC to allow storage or file data storage to be added immediately. The idea of dragging and dropping into the LG stick is faster and more apparent.
In terms of capacity however, I'm delighted that at 4GB I can store a lot more documents and files with ease. Already after a week's purchase I've stored 50 photo albums of various photos, music files, score files, work files, windows office presentations and one of the worst files for taking up space; copious amounts of Adobe pdf files. Although the speeds of swapping over files from computer to the stick are faster than Lexar, right click on the properties of the LG Mirror and you'll be shown the immediate level of memory used. This of course isn't new but some memory sticks don't allow this to be shown through Windows so the facility is welcome here in lieu of a capacity gauge lacking on this model.
Lastly if there is one reason alone to consider the LG Mirror 4 GB stick, then it's not just the increased capacity for the price. This stick can be used on any Windows PC with 2000/XP and Vista running systems as well as the latest MAC running systems such as OS 9.0 or later. There is also a further function available to download a driver should any problems occur with installation, but sadly you have to be online for the connection with LG to occur.
In terms of fit, finish, design and feature, the LG Mirror is a classy lightweight looking stick that has an apparent ease of use. Over Lexar's more security packed stick at half the capacity, it's a fact of form over individual one to one function where security is concerned. From a distance with its USB protection cover on, it looks like a solid state lighter! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
(Catalogue number 675/2297)