* Prices may differ from that shown
This USB 2.0 flash drive by Sandisk is really small, about the size of a thumbnail. It comes in three capacities, 8GB, 16GB or 32GB. I found the 16GB version which I own is capable of storing ten full length feature films (over 2 hours each) and even then was only 81% full, which gives some idea of how much data a tiny 16GB drive can store, but bear in mind that even though the storage may be advertised at X GB, in practice you may only get a little over 90% of that. The flash drive comes formatted with Microsoft's FAT32 system as well as pre-loaded with some software by Sandisk, mainly to do with their "SanDiskSecureAccess" system which allows you to password-protect all of your stored files. But by converting the file system from FAT32 to NTFS, I could encrypt files with Microsoft's own EFS system so no need for me to use Sandisk's security system, but it's there for those who want to use it on FAT32. Transferriing this software to my hard drive frees up about 60 MB. The flash drive in FAT32 is of course compatible with Macs as with Microsoft computers.
When you plug the drive into a USB socket a little orange LED starts to blink for several seconds before extinguishing, when it is ready. However this is not a speedy drive to use. It took me an hour to transfer a folder of 12GB which isn't impressive, but there could be a number of reasons for this, not least that I have an old PC with its original hard drive which itself might restrict the transfer rate. However I'm more interested in reliabilty and durability as far as this product goes rather than speed transfer rate, and in future I won't be transferring anything like that amount of data in one go.
Because of its tiny size the Sandisk flash drive fits unobtrusely in the USB port of your laptop, tablet, TV etc. On the other hand it's also very easy to lose or to put it down somewhere and then forget where you left it, so you need to take a bit of care over this. There's also the tendency to grasp the drive rather tightly between thumb and forefinger when trying to remove it from a USB socket where it sits firmly. With a bigger size flash drive it's easier to grip and remove it, and I have some reservation that continual tight gripping of the Sandisk might stress its body in time and cause damage if not cause loss of data. To get round this I inserted some fuse wire into the needle-eye hole at one end of the drive Having made a loop of the wire I just insert my finger in the wire and pull to extract it that way without putting pressure on the body of the drive. The looped wire might be a crude way of also putting this device on a key ring as the hole provided at the end of its body is too small to push a key ring through.
So far this flash drive seems to work well and is ideal for storing documents, photos and plenty of music. You can use this device to listen to music in your car (if you have a modern car audio), instead of an ipod. Just plug this drive into a USB port, or use it to read your stored documents wherever you have access to a computer. However its real purpose is to back-up your files. Hopefully it will last as long as my other much physically larger flash drive which is still going strong for over 5 years but only has a measly 250MB capacity.. The SandDisk 16GB drive has its shortcomings but sells under £8 at a well known online store, and at that price surely is a bargain.