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           32MB USB Pen Drive USB Bar

Product :

  Flash Drive

Manufacturer :

  USB-PenDrive

Reviewed by :

 Wayne Brooker

Price :

 £15.99 + VAT

Date :

  25th February, 2004

 

   Page No:   2
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Introduction:::...

Well, it's full marks on the packaging which, despite being considerably larger than it needs to be, is bright and clean and very professional looking.

Of course I'm going to moan that it's heat sealed all the way around and that I had to break out the scissors to open it, but I'm a consumer, I'm allowed to moan about these things! As a manufacturer I'd probably insist it was packaged this way so all the drives didn't fall out in transit every time the wagon hit a bump in the road but I'd never give them the satisfaction of letting them hear me say that :/

 

The contents of the package were fairly comprehensive with the drive itself (a 32MB unit in this case), a USB data cable, a lanyard (or neckstrap if you'd sooner), a USB driver mini-CD and a reasonably detailed quick install manual

First reactions are that the USB Bar is very compact. Pictured here alongside the regular M-Systems DiskOnKey you get a feeling for just how tiny and neat it is.

 

Full marks on the design! It's sleek, silver and looks very neat. That panel that reads "Seitec" can also be customised by USB Pen Drive to show your company logo or slogan making these a great gift for that "employee of the month" scheme or just for general business promotions.

The build quality seems very good but I'd be lying if I said it struck me as one of the best on the market in terms of its build quality. It's NOT as well put together as the DiskOnKey but then again that's a bit like saying a Ferrari is not as well put together as a Volvo. It may be true but that doesn't always make the Volvo a better car. I've no reall concerns over build quality but I di get the distinct feeling that a well used USB Bar will soon begin to loose its lovely silver surface finish and start to look a little.....well.....loved shall we say..

There's a single amber activity light on the USB Bar which lights to signify data is being read or written.

Alas the USB Bar has fallen at the same hurdle most Flash drives fall at, and one I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about. You see sometimes I like to clip my Flash drive to a note pad, or to the outside of a pocket. This is fine but if the cap and the drive part company and I have to loose one of them forever I want it to be the cap I lose and not the drive. For that reason I really do prefer it when the pocket clip is on the body of the drive and NOT on the cap. To date only the V-Tec V-Drive has featured this.

The other thing that bugs me, not just with this drive but with nearly all of them is what do you do with the cap when you've taken it off? Almost all Biro's and marker pens let you store the lid on the opposite end, have you any idea how easy it is for somebody as absent minded as I am at times to lose the cap on these things? Can't they at least attach the cap the the body with a thin cord or something equally simple? Sorry, I'm ranting again!

Of course the easiest way to carry a Flash drive is to sling it around your neck and this is an option with the USB Bar as it comes supplied with a woven blue neckstrap, or at least mine was blue.

There's also a quick-release fitting at the end so you attach and detatch the drive without having to keep taking the strap off.

The only other noteworthy feature is the data security lock. In the "locked" position data can't be written or erased from the USB bar while in the unlocked position data can be amended at will.

Naturally you're going to curse at needing a Biro or other suitably pointy implement to flick the switch but not as much as you'd curse if it moved by accident and you inadvertently deleted the only working copy of last month's accounts!

 

So that's the USB Bar, a very neat and dinky little Flash drive that looks the part and is well put together. So how about the price and the performance?

 


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