Lexar Media JumpDrive Lightning USB Key (4GB)
Choosing which USB flash drive to buy isn't something most people give a huge amount of thought to. After all, they all do pretty much the same thing, right? Actually, there are quite a few variables worth considering before you adopt one of these little guys, including size, speed, storage space, style and strength. (The Five Ss, if you will.)
- 4GB of storage, PowerToGo application, Lifetime warranty
- Fingerprint magnet
The Lexar Lightning does pretty much everything you could want or expect from a USB flash drive -- combining lots of storage with a fast and reliable performance.
Price$ 76.75 (AUD)
The Lexar Lightning does a fair job in all of these categories, offering a tough, attractively small product with 4GB of storage space (1 and 2GB models are also available). As its name suggests, it's no slouch in the agility stakes either; delivering reliably fast reading and writing speeds even with considerably large files.
Like the rest of Lexar's flash drive range, the Lightning uses PowerToGo Virtual Application software. This is a specially designed platform that allows you to install pretty much any Windows application and run it directly from the USB drive. Along with giving you access to the tools and programs you need, this also means you can surf the web and check emails without leaving any trace on the PC you're using -- cookies, internet history and temporary files are generated on the flash drive, leaving zero trace on the host computer. If you regularly access business documents while travelling -- or just like to bludge at work -- this feature is a big plus. 256-bit AES encryption software and a file shredding utility are also included on the drive for the extra security-conscious.
With its classy compact design and elegant glossy finish, the Lexar Lightning is a curiously ladylike product -- indeed, it would look right at home in somebody's makeup bag, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your tastes. A blue LED light in the centre of the drive keeps you abreast of the Lightning's reading/writing activity. It's probably also worth noting that the Lightning picks up more fingerprints than the average crime lab; if this sort of thing is important to you, we'd recommend carrying the included cleaning cloth around at all times.
While we can't attest to the unit's durability, the titanium casing certainly looks robust enough. The built-in key ring and lifetime warranty are also good indicators that it will be up for some rough treatment. Despite this, we found the lid's plastic interior to be a bit flimsy, which is something to be fairly mindful of.
According to Lexar, the 4GB Lightning is capable of storing up to 4,000 photos, 65 hours of music, and 540 minutes of video. From our tests, this seems like a fairly accurate assessment -- granted that you don't store any other applications and software on the drive.
All up, the Lexar Lightning is an excellent portable storage device that should satisfy the needs of almost any user. It combines speed, strength and storage space into an elegantly shaped package.
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