PNY Swing Attach P-FDU4GB-EF/DBLU USB Flash Drive (PFDU4GB-EF/DBLU)

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Quirky at Best -- Unreliable at Worst -- the PNY USB Flash Drive

Jun 26, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:4 GB holds a lot, compact, lightweight, interesting design, attach to keychain if desired

Cons:not reliable, flexes a bit, doesn't stay closed

The Bottom Line: Research other options before selecting this PNY USB Flash Drive.


While I love my SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drives, they have a colorful light that blinks while they are working.  It can be a distraction, so I bought this PNY USB Flash Drive (4 GB) in an effort to use a USB drive that was less flashy and perhaps a bit more professional looking.


Description

This flash drive measures 3" long when open.  A hinge swings half of the drive closed (like a jack knife).  When closed, it measures 2" long.  It is also 3/4" wide.  A button on the device is pressed to open and close it.  There is also a hole at one end for a cord or keychain to slide through.  This particular 4 GB device is in a dark blue color, but I have also seen it in red.  It is backward compatible to USB 1.0.  I have also seen this PNY device labeled as a Micro Swing Attache Flash Drive.


My Experiences

I was torn as to which flash drive device I wanted to purchase.  My criteria were: reliability, ease of use, a flash drive with a cap, and one that didn't flash or glow while in use.

So when I was at my local Staples store, I spoke with one of their employees.  I asked which flash drive he recommended.  He immediately pointed to this 4 GB PNY USB flash drive and said it was the one he used, and he really liked it.  Since the device was on sale, I figured it was a minimal investment.  And, boy, am I glad I didn't pay a lot of money for it.

First, I like the small size of this flash drive.  It is lightweight and compact.  The drive easily fits in the palm of my hand.  Push the black button, and the USB end of the device swings open.  Since the drive is small, it easily stores in a purse, tote, or a pocket.

What I don't like is that when I go to retrieve this flash drive from the inside pocket in my purse, the USB drive is usually open.  The purse pocket is small, so there isn't a lot of area for this device to move around.  Yet, most times I find the flash drive open.  So what is the point in having it swing shut to "protect" the USB end of the drive?

While this drive has fit into every USB port I have tried ... it has problems.  I cannot rely on this PNY flash drive to work every time.  It is flaky.  For instance, today I inserted it into one computer, and it worked great.  I was able to transfer files without an issue.  Later, I inserted it into a different computer, and a warning flashed that the drive was not working properly and asked if I wanted to perform diagnostics on the USB device.  When I cancelled that message, I was able to open the file folders and work with the material stored on the drive.  Other times I have inserted this PNY device into various computers, and it has not worked at all.  In case you are wondering, I always use the Safely Remove Hardware feature on the computer, so this device is handled properly at all times.

Being that this drive holds 4 GB of material, I have no problem with storage.  This stick has carried a lot of photographs, a novel I've been working on, and several websites that I do design work for.  And in case you are worried about my losing the material on this PNY drive, I have it backed up on a SanDisk Cruzer.  At least I know the SanDisk is reliable.

Another concern is that this USB device is thin.  I can feel it flex when I insert it into the USB port.  That makes me worry about the stick's longevity.


Purchasing

This flash drive sells for $17.99 at Staples.com.  I purchased it on sale for about $10.00.


Summary

After this review, I am retiring this PNY USB Flash Drive from service.  If I can't count on it to work every time I wish to use it, then it is just a problem waiting to happen.  The last thing I want is to not be able to access the material on this USB drive when I need it.

I hope you found this review useful.

Enjoy the day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com


Please read my other reviews:

SanDisk Cruzer Flash Drive

Western Digital Portable Hard Drive

SanDisk SD Card

SanDisk ImageMate 12-in-1 Card Reader/Writer

Sony Walkman Digital Media Player

Apple iPod Nano MP3 Player

Philips Portable DVD Player with screen

Copyright 2010 Dawn L. Stewart


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