With the thankful demise of the floppy disk, the industry has moved towards
other forms of portable storage to fill the void. If you have a broadband internet
connection, an e-mail attachment is often good enough for small files, but above
10MB or so this becomes impractical.
Portable flash devices have become hugely popular, being ultra small with no
drivers needed. This translates as easy transportation of files and the ability
to keep your essentials with you at all times. The largest of these are around
512MB, which isn't always big enough. The next jump was previously an external
hard drive, which could be anywhere from 10GB to 250GB.
MSI have tried to fill the market gap by introducing their 1.5GB device based
on the 1" micro drive. These micro drives are currently finding uses in
many digital cameras and MP3 players.
This rather stylish device has a smooth metallic finish and measures
in at 57.5(W)x69.7(H)x13.1(D) mm. This is pretty small, being slightly shorter
than a credit card. At 56.5g this is also ridiculously light. It comes with
a leather carry case, but it strangely has no belt strap. This goes down as
pretty useless in our books.
Connectivity is via USB 2.0 with a maximum transfer speed of 5.5MB/sec.
It is backwards compatible with USB 1.1, but at a lower speed (estimated 1.5MB/sec).
As you can see above, there is a USB swing arm which tucks away neatly inside
the chassis. For those who don't have front USB and aren't fond of hunting around
the back of your machine, a USB extension cable is provided.
Included with the device are a three very simple utilities,
for backup, encryption and mail synchronization.
At £85 including VAT from RL
Supplies, this is a fair chunk of money but it works out at quite good value
considering a 512MB USB flash drive will sell for around £45. Our main
gripe would be the lack of resellers stocking it, which may make it a little
tricky to get hold of.