This Cruzer is a Deluxe Tour Bus -- with 8gb of Memory!
Nov 7, 2008
Review by dlstewart
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:lots of storage space, portable, easy to use, password protection, U3 compatible
Cons:not an entirely closed unit (no cap)
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a Flash Drive with lots of storage space and some "extras", this Sandisk Cruzer is worth considering.
I own several 2gb Sandisk Cruzers. However, 2gb was not enough memory for some projects I was doing. So when a gift-giving occasion arose, I quickly suggested it would be great to have a SanDisk Cruzer USB Flash Drive (8gb).
Recommend this product?
The Cruzer Flash Drive is flat and compact, measuring 2 1/4" long x 7/8" wide. The body is constructed from black plastic. A white slider switch along the side easily retracts or extends the metal 2.0 USB connector. This Flash Drive retracts all the way inside the black casing, but there is no cover for the slot opening. The end of the Flash Drive has a small metal ring that can be used to attach the unit to a cord or perhaps a keychain.
When the USB Flash Drive is inserted into the USB slot, the white slider glows orange. This drive includes U3 software. This offers the ability to store and launch U3 compatible programs from the USB flash drive onto to any PC computer. It also includes Skype, a program that lets people make free calls and chat with up to fifty people at the same time.
I am enjoying the large memory of this 8gb Flash Drive. I've gone from the sports-car size of the 2gb model to a roomy deluxe tour bus with the 8gb of memory. For years I have been using Flash Drives, and the Cruzer is just as simple to operate. Most computers these days have multiple USB ports, so the convenience of a Flash Drive to transport data from one computer to another is wonderful.
My PC desktop computer is running Windows Vista on a 32-bit operating system. My PC laptop is running Windows XP. Using either computer, I plug the flash drive into the USB slot, and a window opens on the screen. The Flash Drive already has a file folder labeled Documents, and subfolders titled: Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos. You can keep these folders, rename them or delete them. It's easy to customize the folder network.
I move files with the "copy and paste" or "drag and drop" method. I open the appropriate folder on the Flash Drive, and I open whatever file folder I need on the computer hard drive. Then I either copy the file I want and paste it into the appropriate folder, or I drag the file from one location to another. Both methods work well. I have also saved material directly to the Flash Drive.
U3 software is preloaded on the Flash Drive. When the Flash Drive is inserted into the computer, two things happen. A window opens with options that include exploring the files on the Flash Drive. Plus a red icon that says Cruzer appears in the lower right corner of the monitor. Click on this icon to manage the U3 launchpad and U3 programs. SanDisk even provides some U3 programs on the drive. In case you are wondering, U3 programs use the extension .u3p.
There is a U3 Launchpad Tour that introduces the concept of U3 and how it works. It's a short but informative introduction. The other U3 programs include: Skype, Cruzer Sync U3 Edition, HP Photosmart U3, McAfee Antivirus USB, SignupShield Passwords, Big Fish Games Sudoku (game), Mahjong Towers Eternity (game). There are also other icons: Explore the flash drive, Settings, Add Programs (U3), Help and Support, SanDisk U3 Website, and Enable Security.
The Big Fish Games Sudoku includes traditional Sudoku game sets in large easy-to-read numbers. The Mahjong game is great, but not a full-featured version. To obtain a complete game, you have to buy it. Mahjong is a solitaire game where one matches and removes tiles from a layout. The tiles are attractive, and the accompanying music is soothing. The tiles are large (excellent for anyone with sight problems).
The CruzerSync feature allows one to consolidate files such as documents, music, graphics, video, even internet Explorer favorites on the U3 drive. The Outlook folder can also be stored. The files are 128-bit AES encrypted and password protected.
I have not used Skype, the program that lets one make free calls across the world. Supposedly, it offers "superior call quality". Since it allows up to fifty people to chat at the same time, this could come in handy for conference calling, especially since it offers encrypted communication. The program also allows one to personalize it with sounds, ring tones and even pictures. A few people at work are using Skype for business calls, and they seem to like it.
If you don't want the Flash Drive to autorun when it is inserted into the computer, the setting can be changed. You can also completely remove the U3 Launchpad from the flash drive. However, if the Launchpad is removed, the U3 software and programs cannot be used. SanDisk says the process can be reversed by visiting their website or by contacting their technical support.
Under the Enable Security settings, there is a password feature. I haven't had reason to use it, but I can see where it could come in handy. If I had personal or confidential files on one of these flash drives and was traveling with it, then I would want the drive password protected in case of theft or loss.
There are two things that bug me a bit about the Cruzer. These aren't bothersome enough where I wouldn't buy another one ... but I'll mention them. 1) The USB portion of the Cruzer, even when retracted into the plastic case, is exposed to debris since there is no cap to seal the opening. 2) The metal USB stick portion does not "lock" into an extended position. So when inserting the Flash Drive into the computer slot, sometimes the USB connector wants to slide back into the case. However, I do like the fact that the slider switch glows orange so that I know the Flash Drive is properly inserted and operating.
I am very pleased with the quantity of information this SanDisk Cruzer holds. The 8gb capacity is excellent for my projects and file storage. I really appreciate the space provided by this 8gb Flash Drive. I did not want to divide my projects between multiple smaller-size Flash Drives ... so this larger drive is working like a charm.
I received this Flash Drive as a gift. Staples retails this 8gb Flash Drive for $44.99 each. Keep alert for sales, though. On sale you can pay about half this price.
This SanDisk Cruzer USB Flash Drive is working well for me. The Flash Drive is easy to use, compact, and is USB 2.0 compatible. I've also had no problem using it with either Windows Vista or Windows XP. This Flash Drive is a keeper.
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
* Pentium PC or Macintosh computer with USB support
* Windows XP, 2000 SP4, Vista
* Mac OS X v10 1.2+
* USB 2.0 port required for Hi-Speed transfer
* Requires high power USB hub port
** U3 not supported under Linux or Mac OS (any version), but device is MSC
Please read my other reviews:
USB Flash Drive Portable Case
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Canon PowerShot A400 Digital Camera
Samsung All-in-One Printer
Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse
Philips Portable DVD Player with Screen
Copyright 2008 Dawn L. Stewart
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