Product Type: Sandisk Flash Drive
Newest Review: ... I can't find exact figures for the read and write speeds, in general it's pretty quick to transfer my files. Overall, I've found the... more
An aging Cruzerweight champion
Sandisk Cruzer Micro 2 GB
Member Name: davidbuttery
Sandisk Cruzer Micro 2 GB
Advantages: Very reliable, inexpensive, still enough space to be useful, retractable connector
Disadvantages: Keyring/lanyard ring seems rather flimsy
Although a lot of powerful interests are forever trying to convince us that the future of data storage lies online - in "the cloud" as it's known these days, though webmail has been doing it since long before that term was invented - I've always rather preferred to keep the really important things stored locally. This goes right back to the days of floppy disks, unwieldy and unreliable as they are by modern standards, and continued through the brief period when CD storage was the norm into the present day where USB sticks are ubiquitous. (USBiquitous, perhaps!)
SanDisk have become the pre-eminent name in data storage and held that title for some years now. Their products are not always the best, and are rarely the cheapest, but absolutely crucially for an area like this they very rarely actually let anybody down. I feel I can rely on the SanDisk name, and that's why a lot of the really faintly ridiculous number of USB sticks I've acquired over the years have been from them, including this Cruzer Micro 2 GB stick. Mine came as part of a pack of three in different colours (red, dark blue and white) but the shade makes no difference to how they operate. For what it's worth, I used the white one for this review.
The "Micro" part of the stick's name is fairly well justified. When this line came on to the market a couple of years ago these things really did seem tiny; the seemingly relentless pace of miniaturisation even in the intervening period has meant that nowadays the Cruzer sticks are just small. To be honest I'm glad they're not any smaller, since I find the *really* small accessories (MicroSD cards, for example) to be unpleasantly fiddly. In any case, the minimum size is governed by the form factor of the USB connector itself, which on these sticks is on a nifty slide mechanism allowing you to retract the connector fully - handy when carrying one around in a pocket.
SanDisk unfortunately decided to include the U3 software on this stick. I say "unfortunately" because I've never found it more than the most almighty pain the neck. The idea of U3 is to allow users to make their applications portable between different systems, and to this end the stick is formatted to include a small partition on which U3 sits - so that if you wipe the main file area, the U3 program is untouched. However, I find the whole thing fiddly to set up, and even though the space used up is small it still irritates me slightly that a stick advertised as a two-gig unit actually is not. As for the portability aspect, I find the straightforward, prepackaged approach of the Portable Apps website to be more use - so I tend to use a partition editor to wipe out U3 altogether and use the whole stick for my data.
On that score, the Cruzer Micro does its job very nicely. It's a USB 2.0 device as you'd expect, so files whizz back and forth between stick and PC at a reasonable rate of knots. You can tell when the Micro is properly connected because a pleasant (if slightly bright for my taste) orange glow appears along its side, which flashes when data is being transferred. Just occasionally I find the stick retracting as I plug it in, but this problem is easily enough addressed by keeping one finger pressed against the slider as you insert the connector into its socket. There's a small (and rather flimsy-looking) ring at the non-business end of the stick to which you can attach a lanyard.
These days, even a 2 GB memory stick is right at the bottom end of what you will find in the shops, and perhaps even bordering on the obsolete as far as manufacturers and retailers go. However, it's certainly still capacious enough to be of practical use, and even these days you can fit a goodly number of (for example) digital photos or MP3 music tracks into a space of that size. If you can find one for a fiver or so - or, better still, the three-pack for around the £10-12 mark - then the SanDisk Cruzer Micro could still make some sense. It's not the most thrilling of accessories, but it is very unlikely to fail catastrophically on you, and where data is concerned that reliability is everything.
Summary: A hard-working and dependable USB memory stick
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