This is second USB or Flash drive we’ve reviewed!
The Sandisk company has bee around for a few years now and the Cruzer Titanium series of flash drives where their top range models until the recent release of the Contour series. The Cruzer Titanium is different from the rest as it is apparently made with titanium. But beware because we don’t think it’s made entirely made of of the stuff because it is an expensive metal and it is supposed to be lighter than steel which it clearly isn’t once in your hand. Sandisk don’t exactly publicize how now of the stuff they used and what grade.
We used the heat prone Firefly drive for a little while and where reasonably impressed with its performance so decided to try the Cruzer series. Flash or USB drives are pretty generic these days and rely on the construction and design for differentiation. (Although this drive still gets hot when left in the USB slot.) We performed the same file transfer test as with the Lexar model and the Cruzer Titanium as reported by Vista took about the same time (10 minutes) to copy 1 Gig and 5046 files from the PC. We didn’t time the exact transfer since we don’t do bench testing in detail. The point is that it is one of the fastest USB/Flash Drive available.
It’s reasonable small and has a retractable connector which is very handy. The mechanism feels that it will last a long time and well made. However design wise its shape is a tad boring. There is a blue led that continuously lights up when the drive is connected to the PC flashing when being accessed. Some like the always on light some prefer no light until being accessed. We don’t care.
There is some software that comes installed with the drive and its called U3. U3 is very similar to the PowerToGo and Portableapps programs in that it is a menu launcher that allows you to run certain PC free programs directly from the drive. However it only works on XP, 2000 SP4 or 2003 server. There is an updated version that will sun on Vista but we didn’t bother. The Portableapps version is superior to both and not propriety.
There is a ton more programs available via the Portableapps site than the other two menu programs put together. All are free and work in a stable manner. We’ll do a USB menu launcher comparison at a later date.
So if you want a fast USB or Flash drive consider the Titanium or the regular plastic version of the Cruzer. If choosing between the Lexar Lightning and Sandisk I would pick the Lexar purely based on its better looks. Both perform equally in our opinion unless you’re a true tech geek to want to delve into performance differences by seconds or milliseconds.