Transcend USB Flash Drive ::

03-08-2002 · Category: Hardware -

By Niso Levitas

Yes, we are dropping motherboard reviews and have started reviewing jewelry. No more IRQ problems or setup hassles. This "necklace" actually doubles as a hardware device. It is a little bit out of our product range but it has made life easier for us.

Technically speaking, this is a USB Flash Drive Disk with FLASH RAM assembled on the printed circuit board. It is smaller than a pen and can easily fit into your pocket. Memory disk products have been on the market for a year or two, but I don't know why this kind of easy and portable file storage has not become more popular. Perhaps high prices discouraged buyers. As memory prices get lower and lower, USB Memory disks have become really cheap. Transcend is one of the companies producing this kind of memory disk solution. We know Transcend as a memory and motherboard manufacturer. So it is natural for them to come out with this kind of solution.

1.44 MB Floppy drives have not been enough for about 5 years, nor have the Zip or LS120 solutions become a standard for the PC. What kind of connector can you find on every PC manufactured within the last 4-5 years? USB is getting more popular everyday and, USB 2.0 will ramp up soon.

Let's imagine that you have you want to take 20 MB or 25 MB of photos to your friend. He has no zip drive, no jazz drive, just a floppy drive and a CD-Rom drive. Just copy those files to this device and you are all set. When copying, an LED like a standard harddrive LED on a PC will blink to show you the process. Let's say you are a techie like me and you are carrying drivers from PC to PC. This is the best solution. Transcend has added value to this solution with that a neck strap. Because I always put it away that small thing and I always loose it around hardware in my lab. When you like to use it, you don't have to take it out. You can detach it from its clips.

Very light, very small and you don't need drivers unless the PC you will hook this up is a Windows 98 OS. You will have no problems with XP, ME, 2000. It is hot-plug. After plugging, those operating systems will install the drivers automatically. For Windows 98 you will need drivers. It is really easy to download if you have an Internet connection for that PC. Otherwise you have to use the CD drivers. But Internet connection is everywhere and Windows 98 population will become less in time.

You can buy this device with 32 MB's up to 512 MB's on it. Actually I prefer this device for carrying 64 MB or 128 MB of data, because in our test, it took 2 minutes 24 seconds to copy 43 MB's of data. 512 MB will take about 29 minutes to copy. I prefer to burn a CD. It takes 5 minutes most, to burn that amount of data. And 512 MB one is not so cheap. If memory gets cheaper and USB 2.0 memory drives which may transfer data theoretically 40 times faster you may decide to buy the USB Memory drives with a larger capacity.

If you want to protect those files inside the drive from accidental deletion, there is a dipswitch mechanism. If you switch it to locked position, you write-protect the USB Memory drives.

The package comes with Windows 98 drivers, neck strap, and information leaflet. You don't need drivers for Windows ME / 2000 / XP.

I have been using a similar solution for two years now, and I became addicted to it. It makes my life easier.