I've got the Toshiba U3 flash drive as a free gift together with my Toshiba lap top. Understand that it comes in 4 sizes - 512Mb, 1Gb, 2Gb and 4Gb.
The flash drive is grey in colour, and comes in a shape of a normal flash drive. It has a cap to cover the USB and has a small string in which you can attach to the cap to the flash drive. Such a great way to not lose your cap! The cap is easy to remove, and the flash drive is easy to fit to the USB port. Upon fitting the flash drive into the USB port, the U3 programme pops up and allows users to install programmes (or shows you the programmes installed). There is also an icon on the bottom right all the time the U3 flash drive is plugged into the computer. When left clicked, it will display the programmes installed while right clicking it gives you the eject function. There are many programmes that you can install for free and some that needs to be paid. I found some programmes such as Sudoku, antivirus and backup programme, that I can install for free. I can play the Sudoku on my work PC as well.
If you just want to use the flash drive to carry stuffs around, I think you might find this flash drive a little annoying as it keeps popping up whenever put in. But if you like something with additional features such as antivirus and backup programme, then you will love this.
For me, I do not really care about the additional functions, so I think I'll just stick to whatever flash drive that I can get for free.
The Toshiba U3 flash drive provides a versatile way to store your memory. It comes in 4 sizes - 512Mb, 1Gb, 2Gb and 4Gb. It supports U3 and allows the user to install programmes on the USB drive, and then run it on the computer directly.
--- the BASICS ---
The Toshiba U3 flash drive is shaped as a normal USB drive - long and thin. It has a cap to cover the opening of the USB port. The cap is connected to the main part by a small string which comes with the drive. Other than that the drive has no other parts.
The storage provided by the drive shows up as 3.79Gb. This is because 4Gb is actually 4,000,000 bytes. When divided by 1024 twice (into Kb and Mb) it is actually just 3.79Gb. Furthermore even more space is used up - this is illustrated by the fact that when the user plugs into the computer, it shows up as 2 drives - the removable one and the U3 CD-ROM. I will talk about both of these later.
--- the SPECIFICATIONS ---
The U3 flash drive supports USB1.1 and hi-speed USB2.0. In my experience I have managed to achieve speeds on 11Mb/s in Windows Vista (the theoretical speed of hi-speed USB2.0 being 12Mb/s).
The total storage shown when plugged in is 3.79Gb (less 60Mb for the U3).
--- USABILITITY ---
I have used U3 many times, but only for minor programmes like Real Player or Firefox. They generally work well and the programmes managed to work on all the computers I plugged into. These range from computers running Windows 98 (which needed drivers to run this) through to Windows XP and Windows Vista (both of which run plug and play).
When the user plugs the drive into the computer - a dialog box pops up to prompt the user and allows the user to select programmes installed on the U3 flash drive. There is also an icon in the bottom right all the time the U3 flash drive is plugged into the computer - left clicking on it will display a list of programmes installed, while right clicking on the icon will display options - e.g. eject drive / set password. The list displayed when left clicking on the icon is in a very similar format to the Windows XP expanded start menu.
I have not tried using the U3 to run intensive programmes like fully fledged retail games e.g. FIFA or GTA, but I have a feeling they will probably work, in the right circumstances.
--- CONCLUSION ---
The Toshiba U3 flash drive is a nice useful gadget and allows the user to carry a large amount of data on the move. The U3 addition is very useful and provides additional functionality - so I can bring programmes like Firefox to places which do not have them installed. It would be a very interesting development to see how widespread this technology would become in a few years.