Product Type: Sandisk Flash Drive
Newest Review: ... product, the device measures 57mm long by 21mm by 8mm thick and comes complete with the Sandisk Cruzer branding on the outside of the pl... more
£199.99 for a 4GB pen drive????
Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4 GB
Member Name: Randal
Sandisk Cruzer Micro 4 GB
Date: 31/12/11, updated on 31/12/11 (94 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap price (ignoring the random £199.99) with loads of capacity.
Disadvantages: The U3 utility can be frustrating.
To be honest, I've had this particular device that long that I can't remember what I paid for it from Amazon, but I suspect it was around the £15 mark (a few years ago), although checking on Amazon this morning, they do have this exact same model selling for £199.99 (yes that is correct - and with free shipping!!) from a company called 'Think Accessories', which I think is a tad overpriced bearing in mind that most other 4GB pen drives on Amazon are under the £5 mark. But for you lottery winners that desperately want this particular drive .....................
For those of you who don't understand what this is or does, it is basically a small portable electronic (for want of a better word) 'box' which you can use to store and transfer your electronic documents or files (e-mails, music, pictures, letters etc) from one computer to another. Small enough to attach to a key ring, you can carry numerous electronic bits of information with ease and quickly transfer data using the usb ports on your computer (or even your TV or games consoles as many have nowadays).
Looking at the actual physical product, the device measures 57mm long by 21mm by 8mm thick and comes complete with the Sandisk Cruzer branding on the outside of the plastic casing. For ease of carriage, you also have a small key ring attachment point in the bottom right hand corner. So nothing special to look at and fairly discrete overall.
The actual 'business bit' of the device (the usb plug) is hidden away in the front of the device. To get it out, you have a little recessed button affair on the top of the device. Push your thumb down on the button 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. You'll know when the pen drive has been activated because the button bit of the drive will light up red/orange. 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.
In terms of your computer operating system, this pen drive operates with Microsoft Windows based machines, primarily XP, Vista and Windows 7, as well as Mac based machines. 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). From there, you can open it as a window and drag files back and forth as required. Of note, it is also usb 2.0 compliant, backwards compatible to usb 1.1.
In terms of performance, it's not slow. You can quickly transfer files back and forth with ease, and to me, it seems to be just as fast as any other pen drive that I have. With regards to the capacity, 4GB is a lot of space and would probably satisfy most people's needs nowadays, but how many files etc that relates to would be very much dependant on the size of files used. A document may be a few hundred kb, a presentation a few Mb, a music file may be 5Mb, a video could be 20Mb etc.
One point that is sort of unique to Sandisk pen drives (which I've not seen on other makes) is that it comes pre-loaded with a small program called U3 which is sort of loosely based on the Windows 'Start' menu. Detailed as the U3 Launchpad, it allows you to copy and move files back and forth between your pen drive and your computer. OK, a nice feature, but in my opinion totally unnecessary because you can simply open the pen drive as a window and move files back and forth, which does save a few extra clicks of having to open the Launchpad etc to do the same job.
Another point is that it does get a little annoying in that you don't appear to be able to remove this U3 program from the pen drive. When you put the device into your usb socket on your computer, it will actually bring up 2 drives in your 'My Computer' window. One will be your main usb pen drive storage area (around 3.8GB), the other will be this U3 System (about 5.44 Mb). If you try to format the pen drive, the U3 System bit will remain, and it then goes on to automatically create a folder system in the main storage area of the pen drive, which may be a little frustrating to those who may wish to create their own folder system. I understand that there are (difficult?) ways of getting rid of this U3 utility (big hammer and a flame thrower springs to mind!) but personally, I just live with it and dump my files on to the drive as I want to.
Another (minor?) negative point is more to do with the overall design of the drive. 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.
In summary, if we ignore the current random price on Amazon of £199.99 for this device, and assume around the £5 mark, this is a good buy for the price, giving you loads of capacity. However, that U3 utility can be annoying and frustrating, and then you have the additional minor issue of the usb plug being open to the elements. So balancing everything up, I would give this a 4 star recommendation.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
Summary: Easy to use pen drive with loads of capacity.
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