Memorex U3 Traveldrive
- Great alternative to a notebook
- Nothing of note
With the steady proliferation of computer access, the U3 TravelDrive is a cheap alternative to getting a notebook.
Price$ 120.00 (AUD)
It's the ultimate convenience for travellers without their own computer - a new USB drive lets you run apps on any PC without leaving your data on the host machine.The applications (which must be U3-compliant) all reside on the portable drive, along with your data and personal settings. This permits you to temporarily turn any Windows 2000 or XP system into a personal workstation without risking your privacy.
We tried out one of the first U3 drives, a 256MB preproduction Memorex TravelDrive that came preloaded with Migo desktop-syncing software, the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client, and a U3 version of McAfee VirusScan. When we plugged the drive into an available USB port, two new drive letters appeared in My Computer: one for a standard USB drive, and another, labelled U3 System. This functioned like a virtual CD-ROM, allowing U3 programs to launch automatically like apps on a CD.
A U3 icon appeared in the System Tray, as well. Clicking the icon launched the U3 desktop menu, which looks a bit like the Windows XP Start menu, displaying a list of the available applications in one column and several utilities for exploring and managing the drive in the other. In the lower-left corner, a Download Programs icon links to the U3 Software Central site, where you can browse and download additional software.
When you're done, you click an eject button on the menu to safely remove the device (although, if no apps on the drive are open and you aren't copying any data onto the drive, you should be able to simply unplug it without problems). As promised, the drive left no traces of the applications on our test PC, apart from the device number that any USB drive leaves in the Windows Registry when plugged in.
The use of USB drives for portable applications isn't new. M-Systems XKey drives, for example, let you carry Outlook with you and, when you plug your drive into an Internet-connected PC, synchronise data with a corporate Microsoft Exchange server. But until now, such functionality was based on proprietary technology. U3, which was formed by M-Systems and SanDisk, will license its computing platform to any developer that wants to distribute an application on a U3-compliant drive. At press time, several dozen companies had either released or announced U3 versions of their software, including America Online, ArcSoft, Cerulean Studios (maker of the Trillian universal instant messaging client), McAfee, Nullsoft (developer of the WinAmp digital audio software), and Skype. In addition to M-Systems and SanDisk, several vendors, including Kingston Technology, Memorex, and Verbatim, have announced U3 drives.
"Running applications from the USB drive means, in essence, your entire computer productivity can be handled strictly from the thumb drive itself," says veteran technology consultant Tim Bajarin, who predicts that by the beginning of 2007 more than half of USB drives will ship with bundled software.
A drive's capacity will, of course, limit its ability to hold applications and data. Most of the first U3 devices being released are 512MB or 1GB models priced at $120 and $180; Memorex offers 256MB ($70) and 2GB ($300) drives.
Software bundles vary: in addition to Migo, Thunderbird, and VirusScan, the first U3 apps include PreClickA¢i¿½i¿½s PhotoBack image editor, Skype's VoIP software, and the USafe password protector.
U3 CEO, Kate Purmal, says the technology was designed so that it could also be used on other portable storage devices such as CompactFlash or SD cards. She says U3 is negotiating licenses with more than 30 hardware and software vendors: "From the consumers we questioned, the most frequently requested programs they would like to see are secure browsing, e-mail, and financial programs such as Quicken and QuickBooks."
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Western Digital begins production of the world's tallest 3D NAND 'skyscraper'
- WD will make a record-breaking 14TB hard drive available next year
- Start hoarding SSDs: Prices are expected to spike as supply gets tight
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Seagate crams a massive 5TB into a portable hard drive
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- FT.net Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- TPAgile Project Manager. Sharepoint / PeoplesoftNSW
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCTest ManagerWA