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Tech Report – Kingston DataTraveler® Flash Drive

I still remember the first time I came across a flash drive or “thumbdrive” as they used to be called. It was at a technology trade show and they were being proudly displayed as the latest breakthrough device. Except in those days they seemed more trouble than they were worth, requiring a separate disk to install drivers and a user manual to get you through the set up. All that for 8MB of storage, which was just about big enough for a handful of spreadsheets and a few photos.

We’ve come a long way since then. The latest flash drives are simple plug-and-play devices that require no set-up and can store huge amounts of data. It’s now possible to back-up the entire hard drive of a large desktop computer on a single inexpensive flash drive with plenty of room to spare.

And now comes a new generation of active flash drives, which not only store your data but include customizable PC and Web tools that turn the flash drive into a portable computer.

Leading the charge is Kingston Technology with its DataTraveler 109 flash drive. The DataTraveler 109 is just 1.53 inches long by 0.5 inches wide and is less than 0.2 inches thick. I tested the 8GB model, which has approximately 7.2GB available for storage. A 16GB model is also available.

The DataTraveler 109 comes pre-loaded with urDrive software, which provides an array of options for organizing and managing your data, as well as a built-in web browser and access to dozens of games and apps. urDrive also includes an extra 6GB of free online storage, which can be a life-saver if you need access to your data and you don’t have your USB drive with you.

Recognizing the needs of the travelling family, urDrive includes a games section, an app store, a special section for kids, and direct access to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The urDrive homescreen also includes quick access to your files, photos, music, and videos.

Security is also a priority with urDrive. You can surf the Web without leaving a trace, and the software includes a free download of Norton PC Checkup.

If you need instant access to your files and favorite Web destinations wherever you go, the DataTraveler 109 is the ideal companion. It costs just $9.95 for the 8GB version ($19.50 for 16GB) and comes in a choice of seven colors. The DataTraveler 109 works with both PCs and Macs, but the urDrive software is only compatible with Windows (XP, Vista or Windows 7).

Comment by Milcah, posted 11/15/2011, 9:12 PM:

I'd love to get my hands on one of these. This is a very interesting route that they've taken.
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