Pros:Small, Durable, Bright Blue LED. Win98SE driver support.
Cons:USB connector cover, Minimal user guide.
The Bottom Line: Small dimensions allow this flash drive to go where others cannot. If you're tired of blocked USB ports and/or USB extender cables, try a Cruzer Micro.
Many companies offer flash drive products; there are countless 256MB flash drives available, all with equivalent storage capacity and USB performance. How then, does one distinguish differences in quality among the many offerings? Here are several features of the SanDisk product that stand out:
If you examine competing flash drive products, you'll soon notice that the Cruzer Micro is as small or smaller in all three dimensions. This is important if you expect to use your flash drive with many different computers (such as salesmen and field engineers). A flash drive from another vendor would not fit in my Dell computer because the USB port was close to the molded edge of the case. The Cruzer Micro fits fine, because it hardly extends beyond the width and height of the USB connector. On most computers and USB hubs, it will not block adjacent USB ports. Its short length is equally helpful, as it doesn't stick out very far behind a laptop.
SanDisk molds a thick, seamless coating of clear plastic over the center core that contains the memory chip and the USB connector. Competing products often have thinner, two-piece plastic shells that flex when you squeeze them hard. In anticipation of writing this review, I took my drive down to the kitchen, placed it on the vinyl floor, and stood on it in street shoes without causing any damage.
Windows98-SE Driver Support
IF you want to use any USB Flash Drives on Windows98 Second Edition, you'll need to download drivers from the Web. The SanDisk driver download installed without problems and the drive was recognized when inserted. I've had problems with other companies' support for Windows 98.
When the Flash Drive is inserted and powered up, it illuminates a brilliant, blue LED. Way cool, even my wife thought so. A luxurious touch.
Caps and Lanyard
The Cruzer comes with two USB connector caps. I use the small one which just covers the connector and is no larger than the drive itself. Other reviewers of SanDisk Micros have complained that it becomes loose after a few dozen uses. Mine still holds, but I worry about losing it. A more positive click-fit might help. The other cap is large, slips over either end of the drive, and has a loose fit. It will slip off immediately if you put the drive in your pocket or a briefcase, so it doesn't seem useful at all. Perhaps it is an insertion aid for hard-to-reach USB ports. The lanyard is very fragile, and if attached you can't stick the USB cap on the other end of the drive when it's in use. I threw it out the same day I got the drive.
Recommend this product?
Reviewers of this and other Cruzer Micro products have said that the transfer rate is not full USB2.0 speed. I transfer small files, mostly on USB1.1 machines, so I cannot comment on this point.
SanDisk installs CruzerLock2 software for securing the data transferred onto the Cruzer Micro. I encrypt my sensitive files on the host machine, so they are already secure before being copied to the flash drive. Thus I don't use CurzerLock2.
Read more product reviews on SanDisk CruzerŽ (256 MB) USB 2.0 Flash Drive (SDCZ4-256-A10)
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