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Sony Micro Vault 4 GB

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£4.94 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
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      20.10.2013 10:37
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      Was good value at the time, but unreliable and now outdated.

      I bought this flash drive a couple of years ago in my local tesco for roughly £7. I needed something to transfer basic documents between two places I worked.

      Storage:

      The whole point of buying a flash drive. First off, instead of the advertised 4GB the flash drive that I have only has a total capacity of 3.6GB. That's 10% less than advertised. It seems to be common practice amongst all forms of storage to label them as slightly more than they are. All the other brands do it so I suppose I can't really be that harsh on them, but it would make for a pleasant change if the 4GB flash drive I bought actually had 4GB.

      With 4GB ( or 3.6 actually) you can store a decent amount -

      - Pretty much as many text-based documents as you like (each one is very small)
      - A few thousand pictures (depending on the quality)
      - Just under 1000 songs (depending on the quality again)
      - Several hours of video (provided it's not HD which has absolutely massive file sizes)

      I would only ever use mine for documents and one or two pictures because I have a portable 250GB hard drive which is far more suited to multimedia.

      Storage technology - like all aspects of technology - advances very quickly. I would no longer recommend buying this particular flash drive since now you can buy 16GB flash drives for about the same price as the Sony. And even 64GB ones (yes that's right!) are only about £20.

      Personally, I don't actually use flash drives very often anymore. The boom in popularity of cloud storage services like 'Google Drive', 'Box' and 'Sky Drive' makes it far easier to store, and even create or edit your documents on the internet. This means you don't have to worry about mixing up versions of the same file updated at different times. It's all sorted out for you.

      Of course there still are times when you need a trusty old flash drive. Like when you don't have an internet connection or if you do but don't trust Google or some other big company with your personal documents. When I think about that it really makes me nervous.

      Appearance and general operation:

      The Sony has a fairly standard black plastic housing which isn't particularly stylish but which is unassuming enough, perfect for business meetings. The USB connecter (the bit that goes into the computer) slides in and out of the plastic shell for protection. A problem I've had is that the catch holds the connector in place (once you've slid it out with the thumb grip on the side of the case) has become worn out and is so loose that when you try and insert the flash drive into a computer, it just pushes the USB connector back into the casing of the flash drive. Struggling to put the flash drive in my computer has led to the connector on the flash drive getting bent. For now I just bend it back again, but there are only so many times this will happen before it snaps. I'm sure it would be really annoying if it snapped when it contained important files.

      I've plugged it into all sorts of computers - Macs, Windows XP, 7, 8, Linux and even my Android tablet - and I've never been presented with any problems. Computers always seem to recognise it and bring up a list of the files no problem. No fiddling about in device manager like I've had to with other flash drives.

      In conclusion, at the time of purchase this did the job very well but now the worn out catch makes it nearly unusable. The increased prevalence of 'Cloud computing' means anyway, that in most cases flash drives have been rendered irrelevant. If you do still need a flash drive (you have no internet connection or whatever, I suggest getting a more modern, cheaper flash drive which, due to technological advancement will likely have more storage space.

      When purchasing remember the advertised total space is probably slightly exaggerated.
      ==========================================================================
      This review is also posted on Ciao under the same username.

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