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I recently purchased this Flash Stick from Amazon to store some photographs. I had never bought this brand before but there were many positive reviews of the product so I went ahead and purchased it.
I was surprised when I received the item that it was so small. The body is in fact not much longer than the end of my thumb. It's so small that it's tricky to pick up, grip and insert into a USB port. The plastic body has a slight upward curve at the end along with a hole through which you can attach a chain or strap. However, the plastic is very smooth and slippery and it feels so lightweight and fragile that I'm very cautious about how I handle it. I actually find this rather difficult to insert into my ports. It seems to require a real push.
The body of the drive is printed with the model (Cruzer Blade) and the capacity on the base side. As far as I know these particular drives are all black and red unlike some other brands which colour code by capacity.
The drive is designed so that when you insert it into your computer the software needed to run the drive is automatically downloaded. Unfortunately I had some issues with this. My computer said the drive software had not been installed correctly and directed me to the manufacturers page. I subsequently managed to format the drive but it was slightly inconvenient and time consuming.
The drive contains something called 'Secure Access' which is a program which holds your files and secures them by encryption and password protection. This ensures that if you accidentally lose the drive no one can access your personal files. The program is helpful and there is a PDF guide to using it.
The drive's capacity is 16GB although the actual capacity is somewhat less due to the fact that the drive uses space to perform software functions etc. However, I do find that this capacity is more than enough space for hundreds of my photographs. I am a keen photographer and I can store many years worth of pictures on this size drive. Of course you can use the drive to hold all sorts of data and the drive can be used with many devices too.
I expect to purchase flash drives in the future but I don't think I will choose this model and brand again unless there is a sales offer on. I think the drive is a little too small, flimsy and fiddly for me. I bought this for around £5 on Amazon.co.uk which I think is a reasonable price. You can find the same model which available in different capacities.
I picked one of these up some time ago, and was delighted when I saw the price had come down so I could pick up some more. It is an excellent device, small, easy to use and with significant storage capacity, particularly given its size.
Physically the stick is absolutely tiny. It's slightly shorter and narrower than an AA battery, and about a quarter inch (half a centimetre) across at this deepest point. The red and black case is plastic rather than metal, and is a single block with no detachable caps, lights, or sliding parts. It has a moulded curve that makes it fit the hand nicely, and makes it very clear which way up it goes. There is a small hole towards the wider end where a clip or lanyard could be added, and the other end is the pre-moulded USB connection. The result is an incredibly tiny and light USB drive.
Regarding durability, mine has been dropped a few times and survived unscatched. However the case is plastic, so it is unlikely to survive rougher wear e.g. being stepped on. For example, I probably wouldn't attach one to a keychain, just in case the keys damaged it. Data durability, on the other hand, is superb. I use several, and I've never had a corruption or data loss problem.
Use is very simple: plug and play. You just plug it into a USB port on your computer, or connected hub and the computer picks it up. I've used this on several machines and never had a problem.
At 16GB this is has a decent amount of storage for its size and is reasonable fast when transferring files. I've used it to take portable copies of projects (often video working files) which would be split across several DVDs.
However the ease of use and storage capacity also allows it to be used for more than just file transfer. This USB drive has enough space to allow bootable OS e.g. Linux flavours like Ubuntu to be installed to run on startup. For the technically-minded, I have also used one as a spare drive to give extra swap space (and better performance) on an older computer. It can also be attached as a small backup drive.
It's small, easy to carry, and has a wide range of uses. At the current time it is also rather cheap, making it something most computer-users can find a use for.
The thing that really caught my eye at the time of buying this USB stick was the price. It was (and still is) under £7 on amazon.co.uk. I bought it and it arrived promptly in 3 days with Amazon's free super saver delivery.
The packaging option I chose at checkout was Frustration-Free, the idea being that the process of opening and recycling the packaging is simpler. The package was a small cardboard box with one perforated strip, so opening it was no problem and since it was all cardboard, that was no problem either. However, within the box, the USB stick had no further packaging or protection and was just floating around the box (I have since bought another one that came in a plastic casing within the cardboard box so hopefully this problem has been rectified).
As soon as you see the USB stick, you will notice how small and light it is. It is around 4cm in length, 1.5cm in width and 0.5cm in depth at its thickest point. The reason for this small size could be due to the fact that it has no protective lid. This makes it seem like it is more susceptible to damage but it isn't. I have made use of the keyring hole thing (don't know what its called) to put it with my keys and coins in my wallet, as well as dropped it several times and there is hardly a scratch. It has been designed well and slides smoothly into the USB slot, unlike many other USB devices I have used which are stiff the first few times you plug them in.
Windows explorer picked up the USB stick very quickly, after the brief installation of driver software. The autoplay window popped up as would with any standard USB. All the options are the same and since the default formatting of the USB stock is FAT32, you can use it for pretty much anything straight out of the box. Then I noticed the storage capacity, which disappointingly was only a maximum of 14.9GB from a 16GB USB stick, however that was further educed to around 14.2GB (rough estimate of what I remember), so I decided to see what was going on...
Stored on this memory sick is a Sandisk Locker application (I can't remember the exact name, I deleted it almost immediately). As I said, I deleted this almost instantly so I do not fully remember the purpose of this application, however here is my best guess at remembering: it is supposedly an application that allows you to securely store data in a password protected folder and an online option is also provided. I was intrigued at first, however the setup was very unclear and complicated, at which point the realization struck that I would actually never need such a function. It could be useful when you are working on sensitive or top secret work files, but along with the difficulty of installation and the relatively little use it would get, I decided against spending time on it. For me the password security provided by Windows is sufficient, but some may find this application useful if they manage to set it up.
The write (when you copy something onto the memory stick) and read (when something is copied from the memory stick to another device) speeds are respectable, but in true Sandisk fashion, this USB stick has a relatively slow write speed of up to 10MB/sec and a relatively quick read speed of up to 15MB/sec. Taken directly from the Sandisk website, they claim to be able to store 1000 songs or 900 photos at 10MP or 80 minutes of 1080p video. I know for sure that you cannot store 80 minutes of 1080p video because when I tried to copy over a movie that was 1 hour and 12 minutes long (72 minutes) it failed to copy, even though the file was only 9GB in size. This makes me wonder about the overall reliability and usability of this USB stick.
However I still went on to purchase another one because my main use is for university work, past papers etc, and for this it is more than enough because I go nowhere near the maximum capacity. I opted for the 16GB rather than a lower level of memory because of the minimal price difference (currently 8GB is around £4.50 and bizarrely both 4GB and 2GB are around £2.85). Overall good for most things, but when pushed to the limit it doesn't seem able to keep up.
I was browsing Amazon.co.uk a week ago when I spotted many of the USB flash drives had been massively reduced. This one in particular caught my eye. It looked cool and for about 4 pounds I bought myself one and it was received a few days later.
First thing I noticed was the physical size. It's less the half the size of my other USB sticks at a little more than 4cm long and as about as thin as my little finger. It's light as a feather and doesn't seem all that solid or durable. I wouldn't say the plastic could withstand a lot of pressure. There isn't a protective cap for dust or debris either. I will only end using it for storage at home so I'm not to bothered to be honest. It does curiously have a keyring hole though.
It's a 16GB storage device (14.9GB ) so you can store/back-up any photos, documents or other data by plugging it in to your USB port and accessing the drive through My Computer. The writing speed isn't quite up-to-scratch as some modern flash drives these days as when you upload your data, it copies to the drive at a rate of about 2.45MB per second. This can mean long waiting times when storing large files. Read/copy speed is 32MB per second so faster when accessing your data. When your using it there is no indication it's in use. Usually on USB sticks there is a small LED light that informs you of that.
I really can't complain at the price of this small thing. I'm sure it will last for ages but for constant use, on keyring and in pockets/on desks and sure there a limit to the material's strength.
At 1 1/2" total length this is about as short as you can get. This little device holds 16 gb of information, over 16 times what my first computer did. But the sweet part is that I can use it - all by myself :)
There is not an awful lot to say about this type of device, other than speed, quality, durability, and ease of use. This has earned 5 stars in all areas. The largest file I have moved with this is just under 5 gb - every photo we have. This took 33 minutes but time will vary depending on your pc, it would take much longer on my husbands laptop, and may have gone faster if I was not surfing the net while downloading. Most files we move are small enough the transfer is instant.
Quality - I have never noticed any deterioration of quality between the copied photos and the originals.
Durability - Although this has been dropped we have never subjected it to terrible abuse but it seems sturdy enough and well made. It has made a few trips in my husbands pockets - with keys, change and god only knows what else.
Ease of use - In all honesty, my 3 year old could use this, and I can use it without asking my 6 year old - don't laugh I really do have to ask him at times. It was so easy to use, you just plug it in, open a folder and drag your files into it.
I will note though, that this product from Amazon works brilliantly - we paid about £16 but it is now down to £12 odd. However, we bought two more Sandisk Cruzers from ebay ( although these were 2 gb models) and they had to be formatted before we could use them and lacked Sandisk info which came on the larger drive. I can't help but wonder if they could possibly have been pirated. They seem fine after formatting though, still for something as precious as all our family photos - I would buy from a reliable source.
Of course a smaller gb drive will work for most purposes, transferring files from home to work, even transferring a bit of music from one device to another. This was in fact far larger than my husband needed to carry the odd bit of music or files, but I have found a better use for it. The nice thing about this you can take all the really precious memories from your pc - and store them safely, either in a fireproof safe or better yet, another location. At roughly £12 this is a fair price to pay to keep your memories secure.
The SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive is an attractive looking memory stick. I've had mine for about 6 months now and it's working fine. Originally bought for £16.99 although price has gradually been dropping. It's something around £12 now.
The drive is very attractive with it's red and black casing. Something pretty unique is how the whole thing is plastic and doesn't have usual metallic casing at the USB part where it slots into the USB port. It has a hole at the back to let you thread a keyring or string to attach to your keys or to something to hang around your neck. I wouldn't put it with your keys using a metal ring though, as too much pressure can break the plastic, as I know someone with one whom did this and lets just say the drive has seen better days, even though it still works.
16GB of space is enough for a lot of documents and even software (even if it's only really 14.9GB because of the way MegaBytes are measured and advertised (1024 per MB rather than 1000 per MB)). It can also fit a fair bit of media such as music and movies. Unfortunately, this is when you start realising the downside of buying such a cheap drive. The transfer speed of copying files to the device is very slow.
Write speed (copying files TO the drive) is around 19.5 Megabits/s (that's 2.44 MegaBytes). Read speed (copying FROM the drive) is around 262.5 Megabits/s (around 32.81 MegaBytes/s). The read speed is pretty good but writing is very slow and would be quite frustrating if you're copying a lot of files or a lot of large files to the drive. I own other flash drives and they fair a lot better in write speeds.
E.g. Kingston DataTraveller 16GB - Write speed 64.67 Megabits/s (8.02 MegaBytes). Read speed 171.66 Megabits (21.46 MegaBytes)
**I used LAN-Speed-Test to get those results. It's meant for testing read/write speeds over networks but can be pointed to local and removable drives.
It has a 2 year manufacturer's warranty, which is okay but not great compared to Kingston and Transcend whom offer lifetime warranties for the flash drives but it's better than just getting the usual 1 year. Lastly, it has no drive to indicate that files are being read / written.
- Looks cool
- Compact and simple design
- Read speed is on par with other flash drives
- Cheap for the amount of storage it offers
- Slow write speed
- Plastic can break quite easily under pressure
- No light to indicate drive is in use
To conclude, read speed is on par with other drives (faster than some, only a bit slower than others) but write speed is extra slow and a major let down. If the main purpose of getting this drive is to store software which you need to copy from the SanDisk Cruzer to PCs, then it's fine so long as you don't mind waiting a bit longer for files to copy onto the drive or you don't need to keep updating them with new versions. For backing up the odd documents, then it'll do the job. If however, you frequently need to back up large amounts of data to the drive, then I would spend a bit more on a faster drive.
Thanks for reading!
Review also posted on Ciao and Amazon (Deru / Derren)