Just the other day, my son was looking for his flash drive that is a requirement for all college freshmen. His mom was the one who found it due to the loud clanging noise coming from the automatic dryer. Yes, he had neglected to empty his pockets before washing his jeans. I had to say goodbye to a 1-gigabyte flash drive that cost me 50 bucks when I bought it for him when he started high school. Actually I was amazed it lasted that long.
Flash drives are ideal for anyone wanting to carry along any kind of data without having to lug around a laptop. They store gigabytes of data and require no power to maintain all of it. The cost of flash drives has come way down as well. Typical capacities range from a gigabyte on up, the average usually are 2, 4 and 8 gigabytes. But until now, the one flash drive weakness was their fragility. These are complex little devices with their delicate components stored within some kind of brittle plastic casing. But Verbatim has come up with their new line of TUFF-'N'-TINY USB drives that address not only the fragility problem, but also make them even more transportable.
The TUFF-'N'-TINY drive is almost as thin as a penny! That's pretty amazing since the thinnest flash drive I've seen to date is at least four times thicker. The actual dimensions of the TUFF-'N'-TINY is about 1 inch long, a half inch wide and about the thickness of a penny. But although its physical size may be small, the storage capacities offered are keeping pace with the fatter versions.
The other amazing thing about the TUFF-'N'-TINY is how tough it actually is. For starters, it's completely sealed and doesn't sport the typical metal USB plug used by other flash drives. The USB plug is one of the weakest points on a flash drive. The drive is open to damage at the vulnerable point where the body of the flash drives meets with the metal USB plug. Too often will you see damaged drives with their plugs bent out of shape or completely snapped off because too much pressure was applied in a perpendicular direction while it was plugged in. The TUFF-'N'-TINY's makes its connection on its underside which has its electronic connections exposed. When you insert it into a USB port, the connection is made directly.
Being sealed leaves it impervious to water and dirt damage as well. You can drop the TUFF-'N'-TINY into a glass of water, dry it off and it's ready to be used. Drop it on the beach, keep it in your dusty pocket, it doesn't matter. It's sealed so nothing gets in our out except your computer data when you need it.
So now both of my sons now carry their TUFF-'N'-TINY drives wherever they go and if their mom does find it again in the washing machine, this time I won't be worried about it. They're tough, they're tiny and they're ready to wear (they also come with a lanyard).
The TUFF-'N'-TINY comes in an orange 2GB ($19.95), green 4GB ($29.99) and purple 8GB ($49.99) capacity. The TUFF-'N'-TINY is compatible with Windows, Macintosh and Linux OS computers.
(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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