CES 2006 was bigger than ever with events and vendors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Alexis Park, the Las Vegas Hilton, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The following is information I gathered from the companies at the booths, or from the press kits.
By Terry Currier
They are everywhere replacing the floppy drives, large capacity, and easy to carry everywhere. Here are some of the more interesting ones I found.
See also overview of: Storage Video Projectors Navigation Preserving Memories Blu-ray & HD Flash Drives
U3 A-Data Advanced Media FingerGear Kingston LaCie Lexar Media PNY Technologies
LG Electronics Royal SanDisk SmarThumb Swissbit Verbatim
U3 is a powerful new platform that offers a private, securely protected experience on any PC with Microsoft Windows XP or 2000. These smart drives will be able to launch a variety of U3-compatible (called "U3 Smart") software programs, including anti-virus, security, synchronization, communications, audio, video, gaming and photo-editing, to name a few. U3 announced that Yahoo!® toolbar is now available for use on the drives, through the Mozilla Firefox browser for U3. OpenOffice.org and ThinkFree suites of office productivity applications, plus the Web browser Maxthon are also available on U3 Software Central for download to any U3 smart drive. The U3 smart drive houses all of the information which temporarily runs on the PC. Nothing is installed on the PC and when the smart drive is removed the computer retains its original settings. An library of U3 smart applications ranging from backup, email and photo organizers, to music players and graphics applications are also available from www.u3.com.
With an embedded sweep-type sensor, the “My Flash” Fingerprint Disk can only be accessed when your fingerprint is verified; no one else can use the disk unless they have their fingerprints registered. There is also a backup password for you to use in case your fingerprints are injured. Capacities will be 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB. Software includes data encryption/decryption, web auto-login, web favorites, file management and flash mail.
I-Drive is a USB removable flash disk drive with PC camera function. When it is connected with PC through the USB port it acts as a PC Camera, or USB Flash Disk. It can support one NAND flash memory and up to 512MB disk space for mass data storage application. Capacities, include 64MB, 128MB and 256MB and 512MB. They include what they call a snake pipe, which is able to twist as a stand to put I-Drive as PC camera.
Its new high-speed RIDATA USB Drive features a USB 2.0 flash drive with a laser pointer. Featuring four new useful functions:
It also comes with a security lock (Safety Zone); is shock proof; and has power-saver functionality. The data transfer rate is up to 19MB/s for read and14MB/s for write in dual-channel mode, and up to 10MB/s for read and 7MB/s for write in single-channel mode. The class II laser pointer will make a 0.4-inch spot from approximately 11 feet. Available in 128MB, 256MB, 512MB , and1GB capacity sizes.
The Bio USB Flash Drive with LCD is portable and secure. With its own LCD to guide you through fingerprint setup and operation it requires no software to run on a host PC. Works with PC, Linux, and Mac. A single swipe of the finger confirms a user's identity and grants the access to their secured data. Read speed is up to 18 megabytes per second and write speeds of up to 13 megabytes per second. Cost is $99 for 256MB capacity.
Their U3 DataTraveler® smart drive offers more than just portable storage - it conveniently carries data and U3 software programs that you can download from U3.com. Choose from a growing list of U3-compatible software categories including: communication, productivity, file synchronization, games, photo, security, and many more. Capacity is 512MB and 1GB.
A leading-edge USB Flash drive solution for business and corporate IT users. Keeps your data safe by combining data encryption with outstanding performance. Capacity is 256MB-4GB.
DataTraveler II Plus - Migo Edition
Perfect for anyone who shares a PC or wants to securely work with their desktop data and settings on public PCs or between computers. Features the award-winning Migo software to keep your personalized workspace synchronized. Capacity is 256MB-2GB.
Exceptional value and secure access, capacity is 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB.
Ideal for anyone, and it's affordable, Capacity is 128256MB-2GB.
A credit-card sized 8GB USB key it offers 4GB, or 8GB storage capacity. It has a sturdy metal design and plastic bumper yet light and thin. Measuring at 6mm height and weighing less than 60g. The flexible connector allows users to plug into the port wherever it may be located on the computer, and retracts for safe transportation. Available for $100 (4GB version) and $150 (8GB version).
Announced its plans to incorporate PowerToGo into its line of JumpDrive products. PowerToGo has simple familiar interfaces allowing customers to run applications, carry browser favorites and personal profiles, web-surfing preferences, and instant messenger from any Windows-Based PC anywhere they go. It will also provide the security of a private session: users can work with their files or surf the web and then simply unplug the JumpDrive safely, knowing that no trace will be left behind. Available starting in Spring of 2006. Lexar also plans to make the PowerToGo solution available via download to its installed customer base.
JumpDrive Mercury their newest product includes a new integrated capacity meter that helps users know how much storage space is available on their drive. The easy-to-read onboard meter saves users time by letting them quickly and easily gauge exactly how much storage space is left on their USB JumpDrive without even plugging it into a computer. The display is a paper-thin, shatter proof form that is easy to read, and does not rely on power to maintain capacity information. It will be available in 1GB and 2GB.
Also debuting at CES is Lexar’s super-compact USB drive, JumpDrive Firefly, a very small and convenient solution for storing, transferring and sharing multimedia and more. JumpDrive Firefly, will be available in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB capacities.
The high-capacity JumpDrive Lightning will feature increased performance of 150x write speed and will be available in a new 4GB capacity version. Lexar defines "x" within its speed-rating system as equivalent to a minimum sustained write speed capability of 150 kilobytes per second.
It’s JumpDrive TouchGuard™ will also increase capacity product to 1GB. This is a USB flash drive with an integrated biometric fingerprint sensor to authenticate a user’s identity and provide easy access to secured files and password protected web sites.
PNY Technologies www.pny.com
The following new PNY 2.0 USB drives will be available in the first half 2006
Mini Attache™ compact size and swing design, which eliminates the risk of lost caps. Available in 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB (late Q1) storage capacities for an MSRP starting at $35.
Pro Attache™ encased in a durable, titanium housing. Has a retractable USB connector that slides in and out of the titanium casing, eliminating the hassle of lost caps. Available in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB (late Q1) storage capacities for an MSRP starting at $70.
Evolution Attache™ includes a seven-in-one flash card reader and USB drive. Offering 128MB or 256MB of embedded flash memory which is expandable to 2GB+ with compatible card formats. Supports the most popular forms of flash media. Available for an MSRP starting at $30.
All-Terrain Attache™ was designed to perform in a variety of climates, weather conditions and temperatures. It is shock, dust, water and UV resistant allowing the user to carry the drive anywhere with confidence. Available in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB storage capacities for an MSRP starting at $60.
LG Electronics www.lgusa.com
The Platinum USB drive is compact, stylish tool for anyone in need of an external storage device. With a capacity ranging from 64MB to 1GB it has a read speed of 8MB per second and a write speed of 7MB per second. With a weight of only 12 grams, it is also one of the smallest, and comes in its own jewelry case. Every lose the cap to your USB drive? You can’t with the Retractable Flash RAM USB Drive. Comes with storage capacities ranging from 64MB to 2GB.
The new EZVue Vista Series of USB Jump/Flash Drives have a built-in, scrolling 2-line display. It makes it easy to quickly see the names of the files stored, even without a PC. Files are viewed within their respective directories or subdirectories which are clearly identified on the display. Scrolling to the right will reveal longer file names, extensions, file sizes and creation dates. A Directory key allows rapid jumps between directories and subdirectories. Available in a range of memory sizes. An additional model even has a SD Card Reader/Writer built in.
With the new 'U3 Smart' USB Flash Drives added to its Cruzer Line users can access their "personal workspace" -- software programs, personal preferences, personal files and data as well as the means for managing them within a highly secure environment -- on any personal computer running Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000.
The Cruzer Micro will be available in capacities that range from 512-megabytes (MB) to 4-gigabytes (GB), while capacities for the Cruzer Titanium will be 1GB and 2GB. It has read and write speeds of 15MB/second. To physically protect the valuable data of business and power users, its high-strength case is mechanically crush-proof to more than 2000 pounds. It is manufactured with an advanced titanium alloy that is pound-for-pound stronger than steel.
The new Cruzer products are preloaded with four free U3-smart programs:
USB Smart Drives for Console and PC Video Gaming; users can store games and game data, play music, transfer wireless internet settings and view digital photos. The U3 enabled smart drive comes in four color-coded capacities ranging from 512 megabytes to 4 gigabytes. For owners of the Microsoft Xbox 360 console it can be used to play digital music tracks and show digital still images on any television set that is connected to an Xbox 360. Also to transfer home wireless network settings from a PC to the Xbox 360.
SmarThumb is a flash drive with a complete suite of productivity software that resides in and operates from the flash drive. What this means is that you can use the software on any PC, minus the fear of causing system conflicts on the host PC, or worry about loss of privacy resulting from lingering fragments of personal data being left behind on the host PC. The same PC can be shared by more users without compromising on security and confidentiality. To date, a total of 24 applications have been developed for SmarThumb, these include: My Mail (email application), My Zip (data compression), My Encoder (data encryption), My Eraser (erases usage tracks), My Lock (PC lock), My Shredder (secure data deletion), Photo Album (includes slideshow function), My Address Book, Calculator, My Notepad, Auto Backup, My Favorites (website bookmark), My Directory (yellow pages), My Wallet, Clock, Games, Stick-It Notes, To-Do List, Time Zone.
SWISSMEMORY™ USB Victorinox, the liaison between Swiss pocket knife and Hi-Speed USB storage medium is now able to save data volumes up to 2GB (MSRP is $190 USD.) Additional benefit: The Travel-it-easy™ Software stored on the USB Sticks converts the small handy aid into a pocket-size office. Not to forget: it also serves as a first class pocket knife with all the traditional tools such as knife, file, screwdriver and scissors. Also included are a ball point pen and an LED light. The mechanism allows the USB Flash drive to be detached from the knife body and be carried separately from the housing when traveling through airport security, or when stacking multiple drives.
SWISSMEMORY ™cirrusWHITE and pitchBLACK feature reading and writing speeds of 28MB/s or 14.5MB/s and storage capacities ranging from 128MB to 2GB. At 8 grams it won’t weigh you down, and comes with software such as the synchronization of individual settings in Outlook Express, personal Internet favorites and data from <My Documents>. The function <No Trace Surfing> deletes all tracks left by users when browsing the Internet. All data and data transfers are password protected, thus as safe as possible. The Lost&Found-file is the only folder that is not locked, since it allows finders to track down the owner of the stick and return it.
MiniTwist USB 2.0 delivers data storage capacities of up to 1GB and features a foldable cover. The device comes with Travel-it-easy™ software allowing partitioning and also synchronizes all personal user data on the computer with the USB-memory.
Verbatim Corporation announced two new Store ‘n’ Go U3 Smart Drives with capacities of 2GB and 4GB. Like the current 1GB version, users can carry 1 to 4GB of launchable smart software applications, PC settings, files and personal preferences wherever they go and can access them on any Windows XP or 2000 PC. They will be available in Q1 2006. Users can carry their emails, applications, personal settings, bookmarks and favorites, folders and documents with them wherever they go--without always having to carry a laptop, or risk not having a needed application on a borrowed PC. They can launch their smart software and access their files anywhere there’s a PC with a USB port. The drives come with U3 Launchpad, an intuitive interface that makes accessing U3 smart software and device features fast and easy. It also includes McAfee anti-virus protection and an advanced password security system to prevent unauthorized access to the device. Additional smart software applications are available free to Verbatim smart drive owners who register at Verbatim.com/U3. Expect a street price of $179 for the 2GB version and $349 for the 4GB version. The 1GB is available now with a street price of about $89.
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