One of the things I find I can never leave home without is a solid USB drive. There are so many cases where they come in handy from simply transferring files to sharing a program install file. I sometimes wish that RIM would build the USB cable into BlackBerrys so I could use my BlackBerry as a USB drive. Until then I have been trying out Verbatim’s lineup of new USB drives ranging from a leather clad offering to a tiny keychain addon. Check them out below:
Wallet drive [rating:8] 8 /10
Where to buy: http://www.amazon.com
- Very inconspicuous
- Fairly large data capacity
- LEATHER BOUND!
- Could still be smaller
- Built-in USB Connection
Tuff-‘n’-Tiny [rating:9] 9 /10
Where to buy: http://www.amazon.com
- Really tough
- Really tiny
- 32 GB on this!
- Maybe too small you will lose
I still don’t consider myself old, but if there’s anything that would get me to say “That was so long ago!”, it’s the way computers have grown. The first computer I used, which I thought was fantastic, had 50 MB of hard disk space, had a clock rate of 128 MHz, and ran Windows 3.1. I don’t think I need to say how far we’ve come as any 2 dollar toy these days is more technologically advanced than that. What I find most amazing about this is that because of the huge technological disparity from then to now, I keep thinking that we’re done. That’s it! Engineers should just stop making new computers as there’s certainly no need to build anything better. While that is certainly a false statement, it does hold true with regards to external memory. Let’s face it, even if your computer comes with only 100 GB of space, and you might need an external HD because 100 GB isn’t cutting it for your basic needs, 1 TB external HD are becoming more and more standard these days; and you can install programs from today to tomorrow and you probably won’t fill up 1 TB. Yea, people mostly use external HDs for their enourmous multimedia libraries, but even so, you can shell out the cash for the 2 TB drive if you really wanted to. Now if you’re talking about USB sticks, they can theoretically grow in space, but it’s not completely necessary. USB sticks are approaching 50 GB in size, and for the niche they fill, that’s more than enough. My point is it’s going to be hard to impress me with any kind of storage device these days; size just won’t cut it. I need to see something more.
Verbatim must have known that people are starting to think this way, because they have some devices that are a somewhat above ordinary. I’m talking about Verbatim’s Wallet Drive external HD, and their Tuff-‘n’-Tiny USB stick. Both are fairly big in actual capacity, having up to 640 and 32 GB of space respectively, but both also fill some basic needs that other storage devices seem to overlook.
The Wallet Drive, as the name suggests, looks like a money wallet. It pulls off the mimic so well, with its smooth leather and stitched borders, that unless told, and onlooker would easily mistake it for an actual wallet. The drive is also only 0.44″ thick, so it easily fits in any pocket or purse without bulging too much. I think the Wallet Drive is a big step in making external HDs more and more inconspicuous, which is the direction that I think portable storge devices should be taking. Like I said, storage size is becoming less and less of a deal, so why is one external HD really any better than any other? However, if you can give me a HD that I can stick in my pocket, and not be embarassed to take out in Starbucks and watch a TV show over some coffee without being stared at by people, then you’ve just given me a reason to buy your product. On that note, the Wallet drive takes its power directly from your USB drive, so it requires no extra power cords to bother you with. It also attaches to your computer with an included small (3 to 5 inches) USB cord, allowing you to switch it for a longer cord if you want to use the drive while it’s hidden on your shelf.
The Wallet Drive almost looks like a joke when compared side-by-side to Verbatim’s Tuff-‘n’-Tiny USB stick, which weighs in at 0.5 ounces, and is 0.5 x 0.1 x 1.2 inches. It’s so small that it only slides into half of your USB slot (wedged between a wall and the contacts). If you want inconspicuous, you got it. And it’s great! If I’m going to have a small USB drive for file sharing and quick access, that I carry around with me EVERYWHERE, I’d like not to be constantly reminded that I’m lugging it around. I chuckle a bit every time I see someone with 5 keys on their key ring, and then a USB drive that’s almost as big as the 5 keys combined. It’s pathetic! It’s annoying. It’s old technology. I keep my Tuff-‘n’-Tiny in a fold in my wallet, and frankly, sometimes I’m concerned that it’s so small it’s going to fall out. So for all of you that want a little more peace of mind, you can also attach the Tuff-‘n’-Tiny to your key ring (with included lanyard). Unlike other USB sticks, however, the Tuff-‘n’-Tiny won’t be adding any bulk nor any weight to your key ring. You can also be rest assured, that even without a case your Tuff-‘n’-Tiny will be protected as it’s water resistant, dust resistant and static resistant. So I ask you, why would you buy a 32 GB drive the size a pack of gum when you can get the same use out of something you’ll never remember you’re carrying?