SanDisk CruzerŽ (256 MB) USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ4-256-A10)

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The Evolution of the SanDisk Cruzer

Dec 27, 2004 (Updated Dec 28, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Size, Durability, LED

Cons:Cap

The Bottom Line: A must have for any computer user


Shortly after my purchase of the SanDisk Cruzer Mini I discovered something better, smaller, and a whole lot more fun. I discovered the SanDisk Cruzer Micro. Once you ignore the price and stand in awe of its tiny yet beautiful shape, you too will want one, possibly two of these wonderful little flash drives. Available in 128MB, 256MB and 512MB, this flash drive can be affordable for even a jobless college student (ie ME). SanDisk will be releasing a 2GB and a 4GB Micro in 2005, but expect a hefty price tag.

Alas, we have evolved...

Now how can a flash drive evolve? A couple years ago I bought a SanDisk Cruzer. This now clunky object had no internal memory, it instead relied upon a Secure Digital card that you inserted into the device. Due to its size, the Cruzer came with a little 3 inch USB cable so you could actually connect it to your desktop computer. Once flash drives with their own memory came out I was fascinated with the idea of no more floppy disk drives. The unpleasant experience of my 10 page story for 7th grade English disappearing the night before it was due all because of an evil floppy disk still haunts me to this day. I bought that Mini and soon came to love it, until the Micro evolved. This little thing even has a Cruzer Micro MP3 Companion that you can buy to listen to music.

Another useful feature is the lock option. Your Micro will automatically have a folder that requires a password to enter (you need to make the password). This is a great feature to hide files if you are letting someone use your flash drive.

Usage

You can store virtually anything you want on a SanDisk Cruzer Micro as long as it fits. I trust my 256MB to hold all of my important Air Force files, presentations and letters. I don't even trust my computer to hold these files. To use the Micro you simply remove the mildly annoying plastic cap and insert it into your USB port. Your computer should automatically recognize it and it will pop up that it found new hardware. Saving to it is as simple as saving to a floppy disk. Simply select the removable storage device (mine is usually F: ), type in the file name and hit save. Your computer may take a minute from the time you put it into your computer to the time you can save on it so don't worry if you can't find it right away. If all else fails, you can access the Micro through My Computer (on Windows systems).

The Cruzer Micro is compatible with Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP and Mac OS 9.1.x+, OS X v10.1.2+ and is certified with Windows XP and Mac OS X. If you're running on an older system than these, you probably don't have a USB port.

With USB 2.0, you don't have to worry about it taking a long time to save. If you have 1.1 don't worry, it still works. Your only problem is reading the popup that says a high speed device has been plugged into a low speed port. You can be like me on this one, ignore it. My new HP laptop (recently scratched by my laundry basket throwing mother) came with 3 USB 2.0 ports and has no problem with this flash drive. With a 2.0 port you should get about 3 megabytes per second of read/write capability and slower with a 1.1 port. With a simple Microsoft Word document you won't even notice the difference.

Micro means small

The Micro is about half the size of the Mini, but has the potential to currently hold up to 512MB. The Micro is just over 2" long, 3/4" wide and only 3/8" tall. When plugged into your computer the length is cut down to a little over an inch and a half. This is a big improvement over the Mini, which I was always terrified that I would snap off when using my old Toshiba (lemon) laptop. Another noticeable change is that the LED is a beautiful bright blue color, which happens to match the an LED on my laptop.

A layer of clear durable plastic covers the metal part of this device. A U-shaped piece is located opposite of the USB part which is used for the lanyard (if you keep this thing around your neck you have issues). Instead of the cheap "paint" that was used on the Mini, the Micro has simple white decalish letters on the case which I have yet to wear off.

Dargen Durability Trials

I bought this on September 9, 2004 (thanks Amazon) and it looks brand new. I have dropped it off my loft, stepped on it, thrown it in my backpack, determined that it does in fact bounce, and have repeatedly nibbled on it. With my recent success in breaking a MagLite flashlight I am saddened that I cannot break this little device, but at the same time I am fascinated with its capabilities. If your Micro is defective (workmanship and manufacturing defects) SanDisk has a 2 year limited warranty.

Box

Inside your plastic annoying package is your SanDisk Cruzer Micro, a lanyard, a clear cap, a protective sleeve, quickstart guide, and driver information.

Gripes

I hate the cap. This tiny thing in no way attaches to the Micro. It stay on loosely for short periods of time and falls off rather quickly. This defeats the purpose of even having a cap. SanDisk claims that replacement caps will be available for purchase in January, but don't waste your money.

If left in your computer for more than an hour, the Micro gets noticeably hot. I recommend taking it out of your computer when not in use. I've left mine in the computer for weeks at a time so I can honestly say that this heat will not hurt your Micro, its just annoying.

Price

Since September the Amazon.com price has dropped from 38.94 to 30.97 . For an extra 20 bucks you can upgrade to the 512MB.



Cruzer Reviews:
Cruzer Mini
Cruzer


Recommend this product? Yes

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