Sandisk Cruzer Micro U3 2 GB - Flash drive
Over the years I have racked up quite a collection of USB memory sticks, being a student and then working at a university has meant that I am constantly needing and required to carry files around with me from one computer to another. There are some memory sticks that I like more than others, this Scandisk Cruzer Micro is a reasonable average flash drive.
Personally, I like the retractable nature of the pen drive. I have a terrible time keeping track of separate lids, I put them down in one place and then forget to pick them up with me when I move. That or either I think they have a tendency to become slightly slack with use and then fall off somewhere along the line.
This Scandisk memory sticks works really well and like most of all of these USB flash drives you don't need any expert IT knowledge to use it, just plug it in, then transfer the files that you want, then finally remove and off you go with your data in hand. Personally, in all the time that I have owned this one I have never had any problems with these memory sticks failing to work or corrupting any data. They have proved to be a reliable method of moving and / or storing data. The memory stick is also compatible with most of every operating system that has been around for the last decade.
This is currently available from Amazon for a very reasonable £6.70 for a 2GB storage capacity. I always think that this sounds like a lot of space to use up, but it is amazing at how quickly that I can do just that and use this 2 GB all up. Personally, I always tend to by a minimum of 4GB these days.
Compared to some of the other USB memory sticks I have owned this one seems to be easily dented. The metal port or connection to the computer got knocked and slightly bent out of shape, it still works fine. It just means that it is a bit stiffer to retract and release when using the sliding button.
There is nothing exciting looking about this memory stick, it is a bit dull and it looks a bit generic. It does do a reasonable job and functionally it works fine, personally I think that this deserves a very average three out of five stars. I don't think I would buy another one like this but instead have a look at all the other wide range of varieties that are available out there.
Working in a role which involves extensive use of a variety of computer systems, sharing of data and working from home, the company provides us with memory sticks and the last batch to be bought were San Disk cruzer micro 2gb editions and out of all the flash drives we have been given so far and that I have use din my own personal hobbies, this has by far been the best performing.
At £9.99 its mid-market price, obviously boasting a 2Gb storage, more than enough for daily needs and basic data transference and storage and is compatible with all windows operating systems from 2000 onwards.
The ideal benefit for my use is the speed. Having to load documents onto systems quickly for customers is demanding and having used some cheaper sticks in the past that took a while to load into the systems this is the complete opposite. Its practically instant and there are never any issues in the year I have been using this on a day to day basis of lack of recognition or data errors.
In fact in the last year I have had no issues or problems as I have had previously with sticks. No data loss, no misfiling, no failures to recognise. Its been how flash drive should be, easy and hassle free.
Included in the package is U3, a new quick launch tool for programmes that to be honest I have not had the need to use nor will most people, Skype which is a free MSN-esque communication tool and Avast, a decent anti virus software that has done a great job for me in protecting the stick which in my possession is prone to viruses as it is in and out of different machines all day!
Last but not least it's a solid, well made piece of kit. It doesn't feel cheap and plasticy like some sticks tend to do and it doesn't break easily. I must take this stick in and out of USB ports on average 30-50 times a day and even when rushing its never broken off, the pins have remained steady and it has taken many many drops from me or my customers and never faltered. It also has an aesthetically pleasing white light on the back just so you know its functioning!
All in all this is head and shoulders above every other brand of flash drive I have tried and I really do have no complaints. For whatever use from the casual day to day data storage to the extensive heavy duty use mine gets it's a perfect little tool and I would recommend it to anyone!
Also on CIAO
After the frustration of having bought two flash drives to try to make best of Vista's ReadyBoost capability to just find out they were not fast enough, I found this on Ebay. It was advertised as being ReadyBoost capable and it was so cheap that I decided to give it a try. Must have cost me about £3 plus delivery.
The device is quite small as its name suggests and you can easily hide the USB connection inside the plastic housing using the white thumb button. 2 GB may not seem like a lot by today's standards but I've been living with a 128 MB stick for the past few years and it has always served me well. I just needed it to transfer data from an experimental station to an analysis computer.
Performance wise the device really performs quite fast and passed Vista's speed test for ReadyBoost. It also comes with U3 capability pre-installed but I never actually used this feature. It's a nice addition though if you want to run your favorite programs from the disk on any computer without having to install them. You can also carry your computer preferences, wallpaper, etc.
Bottom line I just got it for its cheap price and speed and it does what's advertised.
Sandisk really are the make when it comes to memory. Its a bold opening statement but one I stand by whole heartedly. For ease of use, intricate design and sheer reliability there is nothing currently on the market that comes close, at least not that I've seen lately anyway. I like the swift little slider to expose the connection just as much as the sleek curved design that leaves the device not too bulky but also not too flimsy, there is a clear lock when the end is protruding that adds confidence to the user. However, I am glad this product came at a rather good value price, 2 days into having it I foolishly let my 3 year old cousin play with it.. alas the device designed to last a year never made it a week. Alas I am certain that I will be picking up a new one any day now.. maybe I shall think bigger!!
The Sandisk Cruzer Micro 2GB is, in my opinion, one of the best value USB sticks on the market, particularly now that it is a slightly older model and thus available for less than ever before (sub-£5). It's small in size, yet still big enough for you to know its there; a frequent complaint about the newer, smaller USB sticks is how easy they are to lose, but addition of a keychain-loop makes it difficult to misplace this one.
The drive is incredibly lightweight; the body is made of plastic which, while reasonably solid, still feels quite cheap when in hand. If you were to drop the stick, I doubt there would be a problem - but treading or sitting on it may be a different story.
The Sandisk Cruzer works in a unique way; a grey pushbutton takes up a third of its body. Upon pressing the button, you are able to slide the metal USB extension in and out of the plastic body with ease, meaning the extruding socket can be hidden (and thus protected) when finished using. This also makes the USB drive significantly smaller, as there is no large (and easily losable) cap at the end of it. The grey slider can occasionally become jammed, but is easily fixable (simply retract it then push it down again).
The drive works the same way as any other; simply plug it in and wait. This is where the U3 part of the drive comes in, which ultimately is where things begin to go wrong. While a unique novelty at first, it soon becomes annoying. Essentially, U3 is software which comes on the drive which loads up whenever it is plugged into a computer.
The software allows you to easily access the drives contents, as well as load (and install) software on it. While there's plenty of use in it, the fact that it takes so long to load up on most machines (particularly on older school and work computers) is a serious drawback. Fortunately, you can disable the software from automatically starting up, but it is still quite annoying as it takes up valuable space on the drive. Included on the software are various games and bits of software such as an Anti-Virus program which I'm sure some would find useful providing they're not in a hurry.
I have so far found the Cruzer Micro to be a reliable, easy to use thumbdrive that is small, lightweight and still highly affordable.
Having had this USB pen for over 2 years I think it proves it's reliability and value for money given that I've used it often. It's simple design means that you don't have to mess about taking the top off the actual USB end or risk losing it given that it is retractable into the pen, unlike many USB pens that are similar. There's also less risk of damaging the actual USB when it's in your pocket etc. again given that it retracts into the pen. It has 2GB which is a fair amount of memory despite many USB pens being sold today have twice or 4x that amount of memory, but a 2GB size is ideal for short or long term, and at under £5 which it can be bought for online I consider it a bargain. costing just under £20 2 years ago, my use of it has certainly made me consider it good value for money and very ideal.
I bought this to use to transfer Divx files from my PC and play via my Philips DVD player USB port. I've had another SanDisk USB flash drive for a while now which has stood the test of time and proved very reliable. It's also compatible with my player (a lot aren't) which is why I decided to stick with the same brand. Shock, horror! When I Plugged this one into my player I was advised that 'USB not compatible'!
Quickly came to the conclusion it was probably the U3 software and indeed removing the U3 software quickly rectified the problem.
The removal tool is included on the stick so theres no need to search the internet for it.
With the USB plugged into my PC double-clicked on the 'U3 System' showing in 'My Computer' under removable devices. This brought up a new window.
The second option down is to remove the U3 software and use device for storage only. Selected it and a few seconds later it was removed. As well as removing the software it also leaves you with the option to re-install the U3 software should you want it at a later date by opening the drive and clicking on the 'RestoreU3' icon.
Drive works brilliantly now. Copies files at good speed without errors and is compatible with my player. If I want to use it for anything else I can restore the U3 software.
I like the retractable plug (I'm forever losing the top on my other one) and it seems sturdy enough.
Just what I wanted!
Please Note: I also review on Amazon under username Big Bertha and this review (or a version of it) may appear on there
Very pleased with this USB flash drive so far. I have previously had USB flash drives but at smaller sizes and cheaper brands I had another retractable usb pen like this one but my old one did not hold itself well and when you tried to put it into a USB port it would retract on its own, so you had to hold the catch. With Sandisk drive it always holds itself and is near impossible to retract without pressing in the catch.
The drive also comes with something called U3 which is like a package of software which is pre loaded to the flash drive and can be useful. I never use it but some people will use it. Because i don't use it i can't really talk about it much.
On the corner there is a little tag so you can attach a neck strap to it so you do not lose it.
I really like the retractable usb port and this is what made me buy it, as with flash drives with lids you can lose the lids but you cannot lose anything unless you lose the whole thing.
I have been very pleased with this flash drive, and it has a good price as well.
USB pens have changed the world of storage. they make life easier by allowing us to carry important files around in our pockets in one cheap, reliable and small device. And for many years Sandisk has been a market leader.
Their latest line is the Cruzer Micro U3. The difference from the old version being a slight redesign and a handy U3 application that allows the user to launch software from the pen.
The U3 software is actually very useful as you can download a variety of applications for email, internet, organisation, finance, and so on. It's literally like have a small hard drive in your pocket, if all you use a computer for is business then why use the computer's hard drive when you can use this?
Well, first of all there is reliability. The Micro is terribly unreliable. I have lost my documents once within the first week and have lost the odd document here and there since. Appalling, it's the first time i've had to backup my USB pen rather than backup my computer to the pen.
Then there's the build quality, the flex in the casing is terrible, the USB part is already bent and the button that slides the SB part in and out constantly gets stuck and has to be forced up.
Apart from the shoddy build quality and reliability it's great. But the problem is: you buy a USB pen to be reliable and to be sturdy. And the Cruzer Micro U3 just isn't.
My boss found these little cuties in the USA at Costco on a marvellous deal of 3 for only US $49, and brought them back for us to use at work. We've found that these flash memory sticks (or what some people call "disk on key") are very useful, especially when you need to take heavy PowerPoint presentations places for meetings, or want to have pictures available to show people. Of course, people can use these for any number of uses - like filling them up with music or documents or even small programs. But most of these USB products with removable storage vary very little between brands, except for the amount of storage that they offer. Sure, some companies provide more reliable product than others, or are priced differently, or have a different design. But when you come right down to it, basically, they're mostly the same - small pieces of plastic with a USB connection that has space to store things on.
This isn't the case with the new SanDisk U3 Cruzer® Micro, since these are very different indeed. First of all, when you take a look at it, you might not be sure what exactly this is. On the face, it looks almost like a small lighter, with a white patch in the middle. (Mine is black plastic, and looks pretty cheap, actually, but they also come in other colours.) This is because the USB connection piece is hidden inside this, and to get the USB part out, you simply press on the white plastic part, and slide it out. This means that you'll not be worrying about a cap getting lost which could put the connection piece in danger of being damaged during storage. Now I really must mention, however, that the one drawback I've discovered about this is that when you push the connection out, while it clicks into place, it doesn't do so very firmly. This means that you'll need to be careful when you're plugging it in, or the piece will slip back into its case and not connect properly.
After you plug this in for the first time, aside from seeing the white part light up with a bright red light, you'll notice the usual stuff happening with your computer recognizing it. After that's done, that's when the difference begins. For those who don't have a 2.0 USB port (that's the fast kind), the first thing you'll notice is that you won't get a notification about working efficiency when putting a 2.0 piece of equipment in a 1.5 USB port. For some reason, this flash drive doesn't care what speed port you have. Its going to work exactly the same as if your port was 2.0 - so that's one big plus right there.
Then, you'll see that your computer opens up a Removable Disk folder - and I've found it is clever enough to give it an unused drive letter - which I really appreciate because at work I have a shared network drive G that almost everything I plug into my computer seems to try to take, and then I have to go into the disk management and remap that equipment to an unused letter. This flash drive detected G and then looked for the next available drive letter, so another bravo on that count! (I actually plugged another one of these in to see if it would do that again, and it did. Very impressive, indeed.)
Next (if you have Windows 2000 (SP4 or later), XP or OS), you'll notice that suddenly it will be installing a program on your computer. This is the U3 Launch Pad program, and boy is this ever cool. U3 technology is basically a program that gives you CruzerSync synchronization software, SignupShield password manager, SKYPE "Make video calls from PC to PC", AVAST antivirus software and two games you can either buy and download onto the flash, or play online - Big Fish Games Sudoku and Mahjong Towers Eternity. There's also a tutorial called the Launchpad Tour for learning how to use this, which is well worth the few minutes to go through. (Of course, you can uninstall the U3 Launchpad, but to get it back, you'll need to contact SanDisk to do so.) There is so much more available here, so rather than tell you every little bit, I'll just give you my own highlights.
The Launchpad has a settings feature where you can do things like choose your language, or give the flash drive a special name. The latter is important to me since it makes it easier for me to "drag and drop" things from my computer onto different flash drives if they have specific names, and this is easier than doing it through "My Computer". I also appreciate just how easy it is to "drag and drop" with this. What's more, when I moved all my boss' presentations and documents from the old PNY flash drive to this one, I was shocked at how quickly it went. I'm talking several very large PowerPoints, a bunch of heavy pictures, lots of Word documents and more than a dozen large PDF files, that all moved in only a couple of minutes. I've had single Word documents take just as long to copy onto other flash memory sticks, so this is going to save me time. I also noticed that if you take this out of your port without properly ejecting it, the next time you plug it in again, it will give you a warning message that doing this could result in loss of your work. I've never had such a smart flash memory stick. Finally, I've a weakness for Mahjong and I confess that I played this beautiful game once, free online just for the fun of it. While I'll probably not download the program, it was a lovely little teaser for me.
Lastly, this is a SanDisk product, and my experience with them has been unfailingly good. Their prices are always competitive and their products are far more reliable than any others I've used. This means I've got a new piece of computer kit that's fast, efficient and even fun. That the sliding connector doesn't click all that securely into place so you have to hold it when you put it into your USB port is such a tiny niggle that I can't mark this down for it. So, I'm going to give this a full five stars and highly recommend this.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © December 2007
The website for this particular flash can be found at http://tinyurl.com/3ymlvf
The list of places you can buy this in the UK can be found at http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Buy.aspx?f=16&id=1019
Just as an indication, I saw that you can buy this for £15.00 at Wilkinson Cameras, or from Amazon for £12.79. Neither price seems that high to me, but my boss' deal was unbeatable, so any American readers out there, get to your nearest Costco and pick up a 3 pack of these ASAP!