Pros: Convenient, easy to use, fast file transfer, no software installation, PC Eraser.
I bought the Tornado transfer tool at Micro Center in Dallas one and a half week ago for $30 and I have used it extensively since then. The Tornado also came with bonus software called PC Eraser. The PC Eraser is really a separate product from the Tornado so it was like getting a toy in your cereal box.
The Tornado transfer tool
The Tornado transfer tool is a clever gadget. It looks like a tape measure with two one yard long USB wires coming out of it. If you want to transfer your data from one computer to another you stick one USB port in the first computer and the other into the second computer (the order does not matter). You wait a few seconds and a window is launched on both computers. The window looks and functions like a split windows explorer but one window is called "This Computer" and the other "The Other Computer". You can copy/cut/paste/delete your data just like in windows explorer, however, some windows explorer options are missing (properties etc). When you select/copy/paste the transfer will begin. Unlike the real windows explorer there are no irritating popup dialogs asking you if you really want to move/copy, for example, read only files.
The Tornado does not require any software to be installed on any of the computers and it does not require any batteries. There is a green LED on the Tornado that is flashing while you transfer files. To get the USB wires back into the box you push a button just like on a tape measure. I should add that we have used the Tornado with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7; however, according to the spec you can use it for all Windows operating systems back to Windows 98.
When I copied a 1.8GB folder containing 977 files it took me 635 seconds to transfer the folder from my Gateway computer to a 16GB Cruzer flash drive. It took me 145 seconds to transfer the folder from the USB flash drive onto my new HP p6130y desktop. That is 770 seconds in total not counting me moving and inserting the USB drive. It took me 110 seconds to complete the same data transfer using the Tornado (seven times faster).
When you delete data from your disk it does not actually disappear. The space just becomes available for writing and if it is never over written (quite common) it will remain accessible via special tools. This means that if you have something to hide, whether it is files you don't want the authorities to see, or company secrets that you don't want industrial spies to see, it will not help you to just delete the stuff. It can still be found.
PC Eraser, on the other hand, will actually destroy the data at the locations where your selected files were stored. When you install PC Eraser an installation wizard will be launched. It is pretty straightforward. When you launch PC Eraser for the first time it will ask for the key on the CD cover.
From the plain looking windows dialog box GUI you select the files and folders you want to erase and then you begin destruction. You will get two "do you really want to" dialog boxes before destruction begins. After that you can stop the destruction at any time. As expected the destruction process takes a very long time. Why deleting is so quick in comparison is because very little happens when you delete. The dialog box also has a box for "scrub freespace". This will destroy all the deleted files lurking about on your hard drive. You can also protect selected files.
The Tornado is a nice gadget for transferring large amounts of data between computers. The fact that you get a PC Eraser with your tornado is an added bonus.
I would like to add this review to the Lean-n-Mean write off.