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When it comes to portable data the USB stick has to be one of the greatest inventions ever. I seem to remember when the first one came out only a few years ago, spending over £100 for a meagre 128mb of storage capacity on a drive that was closer in size to a mobile phone than the current USB sticks. So I have had a few of these over the years, what about the Sandisk Cruzer mini then?
I acquired this from my office so have not paid the £49 which is on offer at Amazon. This does seem quite high for a USB drive, but then again there are more expensive out there too.
Well, to start with the capacity of this one is now up to 2Gb of data. Now that is hefty enough for nearly all my needs. Those of you who like to share movie files will possibly struggle but for me it is fine for everyday use.
Plugging the stick into any USB drive will cause the device to be recognized quickly and no drivers are required unless you are running something very old like Windows 98. Like all drives now it is version 2.0 but will work on version 1.1 if required. So everything is fairly standard up to this point.
So for those of you who value your data there is a very useful little feature called Cruzer lock which is simply an encryption application. A master password is required to access any file which you want to secure. It all works fine as long as you remember the password, and how many of those do you need to remember now a days? I also use a password manager called Roboform which stores all my passwords under one master password, but as ever, I digress.
The product is tough enough for something made of plastic, I have had metal ones before and found that they can rust so am happy on this count. I shall report back if the lid starts to come off as this is one of the most annoying things about these devices; so far so good.
To finish off there are a few bells and whistles like 2 coloured caps and a neck strap. Personally I don't really care about the coloured caps and I wouldn't be seen dead wearing a neck strap for fear of being labelled an IT Geek! There are also a couple of trial pieces of software on there for file syncing and a pocket cache which I have deleted within minutes of receiving the thing.
All in all the Sandisk Cruzer mini is quite simple and straight forward, doing everything it should with a few nice touches. I am not sure that it justifies the price tag though, but then again I didn't buy it.