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We like mobile devices and so we decided to include a USB drive section. So welcome to the inaugural USB drive review.
The first USB drive we decided to test is the Lexar JumpDrive Lightning. This drive is one of the latest releases with 4GB on the stick. Specs say (in red too!):
30MB per sec read speed
21MB per sec write speed
We say its the one of the fastest USB drive we’ve ever had out hands on. Of course there are conditions relating to the drive achieving this speed, namely your PC has USB2 connectors and the latest motherboard drives and so forth. That said even if your system is not optimised it’s still very fast. We won’t bore you with too many stats already out there but if there is demand we’ll put them up.
As un-documented test 5046 files and 1 Gig in size about 10 minutes compared to 55minutes for a normal USB drive.
Construction wise the JumpDrive Lightning is THE best looking USB drive available. Finished in shiny chrome with its rubber seams and single blue LED it is a thing of beauty to look at and hold. Unfortunately it is prone to fingerprints and the end cap covering the USB plug may wear over time, although the catch mechanism is clearly very sturdy and won’t fall off in clicked in properly.
As for size it is bigger than the majority due it the shiny metal case and a tad heavier. However it does appear lighter than the Sandisk Cruzer Titanium.
Lexar have included software with the drive called PowerToGo by a company called Creedo. It is basically a menu system to access any software installed on the drive. Two additional programs, Evernote and Secure II. PowerToGo is very similar to the PortableApps application. Except that PortableApps is freeware. Yes you can run both PortableApps and PowertoGo at the same time.
We have a few issues with PowerToGo mainly its seeming requirement to go the internet to download only specific ‘approved’ software and that it installs something on any PC you run on. We couldn’t for example include other portable applications like Mozilla-portable-edition on the menu without installing it from the Creedo website. That said we simply downloaded the normal portable editon via PortableApps and its worked perfectly. We’ll do a comparison with its competition in the near future.
The Evernote program is a simple note writing application like Palm’s Memo app on the PDA but differs very slightly in that it creates a database of notes you can catergorise sort and useful stuff like that. We like the idea but the fact that it plastered all over with branding indicates an all too commercial flavor without any thought to actual design.
The most useful program included with the drive is SecureII by Lexar its self. Secure II is a data encryption program with allows you to store personal information is whatever format you like. Yes you can store all your passwords and Excel and Word documents even ZIP files and so forth in highly secure and fully encrypted directory on the USB drive. We love the idea and use it. Unfortunately you need to run PowerToGo before you are able to use all the features of Secure II. Both the program and the encryption is very quick and stable.
We tested its operation on both Windows XP and Vista. There where no problems running the software, however we think the need for the PowerToGo program to access the internet is a bit dodgy, especially since we turned all the internet checking features off.
We use USB drives as a portable hard drive with the installed programs we like to use when on our travels. For example at different customer PCs we can run network diagnostics, FTP, browse the web, IM, virus check without ever installing any software or leaving any of our data on the host PC. (Using PortableApps and not PowerToGo.)
The Lexar JumpDrive Lightning works just like any other USB Drive but looks better than any other. Performance matches it’s looks for once and there is very little to complain about. You can use it simply to transfer files or do backups. We like its speed because it can run portable software faster than most. Sure there are cheaper USB drives out there but none look like this!