The USB flash drive is THE drive of choice for users on the move with their small to medium sized files. After all, this is the most convenient way to stick data in your pocket, and floppies are so 90’s. Today, we have the opportunity to test the 1 GB version of the Crucial Gizmo! drive which is available on their website for $85.99. The drive is available in 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MG, 1 GB, and 2 GB capacities. Crucial is a memory manufacturer which is best known for their RAM, but also has a full flash memory card line up, and assorted other memory related products, as well as videocards. By purchasing directly from the manufacturer, you bypass the middleman, and keep the cost down. Let’s look at how this drive performs.
What’s In The Box
The package includes the following:
- Gizmo! Hi-speed USB Flash Drive
- Neck cord
- Quick start guide
The Crucial Gizmo! sports a small case. It is one of the narrower and shorter drives out there. If this drive blocks adjacent USB ports, than just about every other drive will also (it’s borderline on my notebook, but not my desktop). The Gizmo! is constructed out of a metallic silver plastic. It has a removable top which fits snugly, and removes easily. The top does not feature any mechanism to keep it joined to the body when removed. All in all, if you want the narrowest USB flash drive available, this is it!
The Gizmo! includes a neck cord lanyard. It does not include a key ring attachment, or a pocket clip, both of which are preferable, especially to male executives. The neck cord lanyard is more difficult to attach than to change a flat tire on a Hummer, in rush hour traffic, in the center lane of the highway! It must be threaded through a small hole in the body of the drive. This was difficult to do directly. The way is was successfully accomplished was by tying the lanyard to a single piece of thread, passing that through, and then pulling the lanyard through, and cutting off the thread. In other words, don’t expect your younger children to be able to do this on their own. Once in place, the lanyard is comfortable around my neck, but then again, I’ve never seen anyone wearing a drive like this (this is about as fashionable as a “pocket protector” in my mind).
For comparison purposes, from top to bottom are pictured: Lexar’s JumpDrive, Verbatim’s Store’n’Go, SanDisk’s Titanium Cruzer, Ridata’s EZ Flash Drive Pro, and Crucial’s Gizmo! as well as a US quarter. Lexar’s JumpDrive Lightning was not available to be included in the photo, but is presumed to be off having a good time somewhere.
The drive features a red LED, the only drive I have tested to feature this color. Unfortunately, this drive features no included software which contributes to a basic, no frills feel to this drive. While I rarely use the included password software that other drives include in routine use, it has become a fairly standard feature. Therefore, this is not the perfect drive if you work at the CIA, National Security Agency, or the Pentagon.
Using HD Tach we tested the read and writing speeds of the Crucial Gizmo! drive. This is the first drive tested that has a faster write speed than read speed. It has never made sense to me why a drive can write data faster than it can read it, but there are some examples (the Samsung WriteMaster DVDRW Drive comes to mind) of this phenomenon occurring. The average read speed is 8.6 MB/s, the write speed is 9.4 MB/s. The read burst speed is a mildly faster 10.3 MB/s. I reran the tests a few times, and it was completely reproducible. In order to better compare the speeds across the drives I entered the speeds in Excel, and charted the data, of all the USB drives we’ve tested here at LIVEdigitally.
This chart compares the read and write speeds of the USB drives tested to date on Live Digitally. The data for the Crucial Gizmo! is the last drive on the chart. The Crucial Gizmo! is in fourth place for its reading performance, which is nothing exceptional. The writing speed puts it in second place overall, and is a strong showing. Overall, the Gizmo has one of the better overall performances when compared objectively to the competition.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Speedy data transfer…
- red LED
- small size
- USB 2.0 and 1.1 backward compatible
- faster read & write speeds
- limited lifetime warranty
- affordable cost
Not so quick…
- no included software
- no keychain attachment spot or pocket clip
- cap not secured to body
- lanyard difficult to attach
Who should buy this?
The Crucial Gizmo! is designed for the user looking for a “no frills” hi speed USB flash drive. Just about every computer user out there will benefit from having one of these drives available to use.
Crucial’s Gizmo! drive is a nice example of the current crop of USB flash drives. Its small size, combined with the faster read and write speeds make it well worth considering. Given its competitive price point, I think it should be on the short list of USB flash drives that users looking for functionality in this segment should seriously consider. In my opinion, the Crucial Gizmo! is “LD Approved.”