Pros: Very small, nice software included
Cons: Could be quicker with the transfers
The SanDisk Cruzer Micro is a flash drive for your PC. This model has 512 megabytes of storage, but they are also available in higher capacity models. It retails for around $35-40, which is what most 512 megabyte flash drives cost.
I bought this to give to my wife as an early Christmas gift since we needed an easy way to transport all the family photos wed been taking during the many different family gatherings between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She also wanted it to take data to her work so she can use it on the PC there. I got it at Circuit City, and the reason I went with the SanDisk brand is because I have one of their MP3 players and thought it was nicely made and easy to use. On a side note, I must also admit that my review of that MP3 player has, over the past year, earned enough IS to pay for itself. Word!
With these flash drives, theres only so much the manufacturers can do to set them apart, but this one does have a couple of nice features worth mentioning. All these things do is plug into a USB port on your PC and then give you some extra storage that can be easily transported to another computer. This Cruzer doesnt require any kind of drivers to install, so all you have to do is plug it in and give Windows XP about 5 seconds to recognize it being there.
When I bought this thing at Circuit City, there were four other 512 megabyte flash drives available, and the prices were all within $5 of each other. What appealed to me the most about this one is that it was the smallest one available and it did not have a cap at the end of it. I own an older Dell brand flash drive thats about half the size of a highlighter and it has a big cap on the end. Ive always been concerned about losing the cap and exposing the USB connector to get dirty or damaged.
The Cruzer Micro has a little button on top that lets you slide the USB connector in and out of the body. When not in use, you simply slide it back in and youve got a self-contained flash drive. The button is a little stiff, but thats a good thing because you dont want it popping out too easily. It also comes with a strap so you can be a total nerd and wear it for a necklace. It would also fit very easily on a keychain, though I wouldnt recommend that since your keys would scratch the mess out of its plastic casing.
When you first connect this drive to your PC, it pops up a screen with some menus for copying things to the drive, plus it has some software already on it, including a free virus scanner. Personally, I dont need all the automated stuff, but it is a nice feature for a novice user. You can always uninstall the software to free up some space on the drive, but thats up to you. I must say that SanDisk included some nice software that helps make it very easy to use.
This flash drive uses USB 2.0 connectivity, but it isnt lightning fast. It takes a couple seconds per megabyte to copy data to the drive, so if youre doing a big data dump you might have to wait a few minutes. There is a light built into the button part so that you can tell when the drive is in use, which is nice. I think that if youre going to be constantly moving large amounts of data back and forth, you might as well be burning CDs.
If you keep any kind of sensitive data on your PC, I highly recommend you purchase a flash drive to store your information, and the SanDisk Cruzer Micro is a perfect choice for the job. I lost just about everything I owned in Hurricane Katrina when the water swallowed my beachfront apartment, but luckily I had some of my data backed up on a flash drive that I took with me when we evacuated to Florida. Had it not been for my Flash drive, I would have lost a lot of things that would have been sorely missed.