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 newsletter!
There are so many different options for cloud (online) storage.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 2 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 3 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung introduce 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
- CES 2019: Seagate sharpen portable storage lineup
- QNAP introduces new HS-453DX silent NAS
- Synology introduces DiskStation DS1819+ and RackStation RS1619xs+
- OVH and MyRepublic partner to improve connectivity for Australian gamers
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- Everything we (already) know about the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and Galaxy F
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- 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