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It's always useful to have an usb flash drive on which to store all of your files etc. They are small enough to fit into your pocket, so making them easily transportable between devices, and incredibly simple to operate - just plug them into your usb slot on your computer and away you go transferring files back and forth. But as files grow larger and more numerous, you begin to find that restrictions of space start to become a problem. Hence, a 16 Gb flash drive is the answer to all your problems, and this Sandisk Cruzer version answers that call.
I originally purchased this Sandisk from Amazon for £16, which, for what it is, I thought was an absolute bargain, and better still, it carried a 2 year warranty. The flash drive comes in a small black plastic housing which is fairly discreetly designed, with a small Sandisk logo on one side. Also on this side of the device in the middle, you have a little recessed button affair. Push your thumb down on it and push forward and that will expose the usb plug bit of the device out of the front of the housing. Keep pushing forward until you hear a click, which is the point at which the usb plug is locked in the open position at the front of the housing. You can now push the device into an empty usb socket on your computer. To close it up, just do the reverse process to draw the plug back into the housing until you hear a click, which is the locked in position for the usb plug.
Putting it into your computer and your system should instantly recognise it and bring it up in your 'My Computer' view (if you're using a Windows based PC). It is usb 2.0 compliant, backwards compatible to usb 1.1.
This particular flash drive also comes pre-loaded with some electronic wizardry which makes it Readyboost compliant. To many this probably won't mean much, but Readyboost is a new technology which is applicable to those machines running Windows Vista. To try and put it simply, the best way to improve a computer's performance is to add more RAM. However, there is a cost element involved, the process of getting the right versions of memory stick, and you also have to fit it - not easy for the tech shy luddite.
So with the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft developed a system whereby you can simply plug in a Readyboost compliant flash drive (such as this Sandisk model) and it will act as an expansion on your computer's virtual memory. It won't be as fast as the RAM that is physically installed on your computer, but it will be an improvement. When I have tried it on a Vista machine, it does seem to make a small difference. It's not a massive blazing difference, but the computer does seem to be a little more responsive during memory hungry tasks, such as when you manipulate graphics or videos.
Balancing the review with any negative issues, the first negative point I have is that whilst you can draw the usb plug back into the housing for protection, the internal contacts of the plug are still left open to the elements through the open end of the plug. Ok, this drawback ability means you don't have to contend with losing a protective cap that you normally have on other flash drives, but the issue I have found is that when you carry it in say your trouser pocket (as many would), I have found that you can end up with all sorts of dust and bits stuck in the opening, which is not good when you then try and ram the usb into your usb socket on your computer. A minor point, but one that can be annoying at times.
A further negative issue is the overall speed of the device. In use, file transfer seems to be ok, but not brilliant, just seeming to plod along to get the job done. When I've done speed 'trials' against my other usb flash drives (Bytestor etc) transferring large files, the Sandisk seems to transfer about half the speed of the Bytestors for example, which is a bit disappointing considering that the Sandisk 16 Gb version is perhaps a newer product (better electronics?) than my older 4 Gb Bytestors. The Sandisk still transfers files effectively, but it just seems a little slower than other flash drives.
In summary, where does all this leave us? Well, for the price, it is a cracking drive with loads of capacity. And if you're operating Windows Vista to fully utilise that Readyboost feature to expand your computer's RAM, then you're quids in. But then balance that with the open contacts issue and that apparent slow speed of file transfer, and it takes the edge off of this flash drive. So balancing up, I think that this flash drive just about justifies a 3 star recommendation.
I bought a Sandisk Cruzer 16gb (Gigabyte) Flash Drive with the intention of storing music files on, which would be played on my car stereo via the usb port. This particular Flash Drive/ Memory Stick was perfect as I have a lot of music, and if you have ever downloaded an album you will know that 16gb will hold a LOT of albums. I've read on a few sites that 16gb holds roughly 4000 songs, and at £17 pound (which was the price I paid for it), it's was a bargain.
The good thing about Flash Drives is that they are small, so they are very easy to transport as can just put in your pocket (or handbag if you are a lady) and pull out when needed, although a ladies handbag is like a Black Hole which might make it harder to find. As a previous review stated, there is no cap because the part which goes into your computer or stereo (or other usb device) can be withdrawn into the body of the Sandisk Cruzer 16gb by way of the thumb slide function. It sounds strange, but I was also drawn to this particular Flash Drive because of it's smooth texture and the shiny black finish. It really does look high quality.
Also, as has been stated in the same previous review, the Sandisk Cruzer 16gb Flash Drive can be used to speed up your computer's performance. This is a function that most Flash Drives have now, so do not buy the product for this feature only.
Shortly after I bought the Sandisk Cruzer 16gb I discovered (like I was the first to ever do so) that I could put movie files I had previously downloaded onto the Flash Drive, and then play them through my Playstation 3 via the PS3's usb port (where the controller wire goes into). This is my favourite function, because then you can copy the movie files to the Playstation 3 hard drive and delete them from the Flash Drive, freeing up it's memory space again. You can also do the same with music and picture files.
The Sandisk Cruzer 16gb Flash Drive is FAT32 format, which despite being the only format that a PS3 recognises, is the most common format used and can also be used with the XBOX 360.
I'm really pleased I bought this Flash Drive and still use it for my listening to music through my car stereo, although I now use a 2tb (Terabyte) External Hard Disk Drive for my PS3.
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The first thing that stands out about this product is the value for money. It can obviously store 16GB and is available for under £20, which is INCREDIBLE value. The very reason I was drawn to it in the first place was that I was unable to find that much memory for that price with any other USB drive.
Now with so much space available, chances are you will have much of it going spare. However, this product does not waste it. A certain amount of memory space can be assigned to the flash drive's Readyboost function, which uses the memory to speed up your computer. However, this function is optional, and the memory used can be controlled and limited in the properties screen.
Another innovative addition to this device is the capless design. The plug is retracted into the drive using a sliding switch rather than covered with a cap that can be easily misplaced. The device is also made from plastic, meaning it is very light.
The drive also works very fast when in use. For example, mine is used primarily for music and video files, which can be played directly from the drive with no noticeable glitches in performance.