Feeds

Fast USB 2.0 Flash Drives

We test vendors' top-speed offerings

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

SanDisk Cruzer Contour 16GB

SanDisk Cruzer Contour

SanDisk's fastest drive put in a respectable mid-range performance in our tests, ahead of some but behind others. But we weren't so keen on its fussy, probably-seemed-a-good-idea-at-the-time connector protection mechanism.

These are generally a good way of covering the connector and there's no cap to lose. But they can be fiddly just when you want to grab your drive and go. SanDisk's mechanism is no exception. It's a two-stage system that requires you to hold it with your fingers beneath and your thumb on top. You pull back the shiny, black plastic part of the drive with your thumb to reveal the USB connector. Then you have to push it back to extend the connector beyond the edge of the curved matte metal plate that forms the bottom half of the drive.

To cover it again, you push the plastic forward, over the connector, then pull the whole lot back flush with the edge of the metal. Small flap pops up to cover the whole which would otherwise allow dust and fluff to reach the recessed USB connector. It all makes for a clever bit of engineering yes, but we have to wonder how long it will last with all this sliding back and forth.

Still, new ones aren't expensive: the 16GB test drive costs £55, but the 8GB version costs £33 - not as cheap as the Kingston or PNY. You also get a copy of the U3 home-folder-on-a-stick utility with the SanDisk and a slim pouch that looks like a miniature cosh when loaded.

Rating 70%
Price £55 Click here for the best online price
More Info SanDisk's Cruzer Contour page

LaCie IamaKey 16GB

LaCie IamaKey

LaCie earns points for its sense of humour: lots of people call USB Flash drives 'keys', so here's a product that looks like a key. It's the thinnest of the drives on test but, being made of metal, it's no less resilient for that. And it'll fit on your regular key holder so there's no messing around with lanyards if you're worried about losing it.

It's not a bad performer. It notched up decent sequential read speeds in CrystalDiskMark. Though it's not the quickest when it comes to writing data to, it's not among the slowcoaches, either.

LaCie doesn't bundle any software with the IamaKey, but it does include a wee plastic cover the clips on over the USB connector wires. A nice touch, but we wonder how long it'll be before you lose it. The two-year warranty is nicer to have.

Rating 75%
Price £50 Click here for the best online price
More Info LaCie's IamaKey page

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?