Ultra portable USB drive - SanDisk Cruzer
May 1, 2013 (Updated Jan 13, 2014)
Review by RJ Ray
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Sleek slim design with ample storage space.
Cons:USB 3.0 not available on this design
The Bottom Line: Recommended buy if you need a lot of space and can cope with the USB 2.0 transfer speeds.
I bought 3 of these SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint usb drives, one for myself and 2 as gifts. The main attraction was the paint design while the slim size was an added advantage. Lastly I wanted a cap which would not completely separate when you open the drive to plug it in (plenty of lost drive caps in the past have taught me to buy something where the cap hangs on to the drive when open)
Recommend this product?
I bought the SanDisk Cruzer Pop drives on eBay as the prices were relatively cheaper. About $20 a piece with free shipping available from most sellers.
I received one small package which left me wondering whether it was a mistake on part of the seller or whether he was going to send the 3 SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drives in separate packages. Lo and behold the package contained all 3 Cruzer Pop drives in SanDisk company sealed packages!
The small size of the drive surprised me! It's advertised dimensions are L 1.77" x W 0.71" x D 0.15". I measured the actual drive myself to be sure and got the same results. That 0.15" is quite slim for any drive if you ask me. Its so slim that Im actually thinking of carrying it in my purse.
There's increasing worry that many branded items purchased on eBay can be fakes so I checked the product numbers to be sure. In the process I found out different regions in the world had different product numbers. The SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drives I bought were Made in China with serial number SDCZ53A-032G-B35. Its printed on both the packaging and on the drive itself.
So why did I choose a USB 2.0 drive when USB 3.0 (new and faster transfer speeds when plugged into USB 3.0 slots) is available?
1. The SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drive does not come in USB 3.0 specification as of yet.
2. I still own a laptop with USB 2.0 slots.
The drive is made from lightweight plastic and feels like a feather (0.3 ounces) in your hand. Dont be fooled about its durability however due its form factor. I actually dont think it will break or get damaged anytime soon.
At one end of the drive is a key ring hole which you can use to put a lanyard (not provided).
One side of the drive has the paint design. That entire body is white with different colored paints dripping from one end. This is the star attraction in the design! I scratched the paint with my finger and surprisingly it did not come off! Seems like the paint is also plastic materiel and doesn't seem to come off or fade away.
The back side of the drive is white with SanDisk logo, other product details and plenty of white space. It even has a blank square border within which you can put your name initials.
When the SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drive is laid out flat its in closed position and you wont see the USB connector. Its even difficult to recognize its a USB drive!
In the middle sides are sturdy plastic hinges which will fold with a push of the thumb and the USB connector is revealed. One flap of the drive will fold onto and rest on the other flap of the drive resulting in only a 1" USB drive body which will stick out of the USB slot once plugged in.
To make things even more convenient the SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drive body wont stick out from the sides due to its slim width. This is great when you have 2 or more USB slots side by side on a computer/laptop. Often USB drive bodies are too wide that it will block the opening of the USB slot next to it.
32 GB of storage comes as advertised. The actual storage is less due to system files and 2 bundled software - SanDisk Secure access and YuuWaa. More on the software later.
The SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drive can be formatted on a PC/Laptop. Formatting will erase the pre-installed software mentioned above and any other files you have copied to the drive already. So better to format it as soon as you start using the device.
If the drive is formatted in FAT32 you will not be able to copy files larger than 4GB. Period. So be wise to format the drive to exFAT or NTFS. For operating systems with Win XP you will need a patch to do the exFAT formatting. The link is available in the SanDisk product support page. If you are using Win 7 or 8 or MAC exFAT will work without any patches. NTFS formatted drives will only be readable on MAC and not writable.
The first thing I did when I got the drive was to format and clean out the drive of these software. However if you plan on using the software here's a brief description.
The SanDisk secure access software gives you a folder which can be password protected so that even if you share your drive with someone else the files in your secure folder will be...mmm...secure.
YuuWaa is an online secure backup cloud storage. Once you register you get up to 2GB online storage space. You can drag n drop files on a web interface to back up your files in YuuWaa. The backed up files will be available to you anytime when you go to your YuuWaa account online.
Im highliy impressed with the SanDisk Cruzer Pop Paint drive and would encourage anyone not seeking USB 3.0 speeds to get one of these.
Update (14th jan 2014)
The thin connector side of the USB stick does not fit firmly into USB slots all the time and hence does not get detected on some computers Iv plugged it into.
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