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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [08.29.05]


As with the round-up we did last year, there was no product that could fit every one's needs. The introduction of packaged software certainly made things interesting though and helped to differentiate the different drives. Let's take a look at each of them individually.

Seagate 400gb USB/Firewire

There's no denying that this drive is impressive! Plenty fast, especially over Firewire and offering huge storage capacities - it is a must have in small offices that need a backup solution but do not wish to invest in a tape drive. Its bulkiness reduced its effectiveness as a portable device, but it was nice to have an option when you needed it. Apart from the size, the biggest shortcoming was the 1 year warranty which is the shortest of all the drives in the round-up.

Seagate 100gb Portable

With performance practically on par with its bigger cousin (because of its USB interface), the 100gb Portable provides a great balance between physical size and capacity. The was extremely portable and would have a must have for those who travel around with their laptops and want to have a backup solution just in case. As with the 400gb drive, the one year warranty was an issue.

Corsair Voyager

With the longest warranty for drives and a tough enclosure, the Corsair definitely stood out with its impressive performance. While the software was a little basic, this drive would be suitable for anyone who just wants to move files around. Heck, you coud even fit a couple DiVX movies on it!

Kingston DataTravel II Migo Editon

A good solid Five year warranty combined with Migo software makes this a recommended product. The fact that could at times rival the performance of external hard drives certainly helps as well! With prices dropping the way they are, it's hard not to suggest a 1gb model for all your travelling needs.

Kingston Elite Pro Compact Flash

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the slow speeds of the compact flash make it hard to recommend as an external storage device unless you own a PDA that can make use of it. In that case, its added versatility makes it a sure bet. A lifetime warranty is also very useful!

SwissBit TwistBit Pro

It's true that this product had the biggest capacity of the flash based drives, however, it was among the slowest as well. It is quite unfortunate as the software was among the best of the roundup. If Swissbit could make the drive faster, then it could be competitive.

Swissbit Victorinox

As with its Twistbit Pro cousin, the Victorinox suffered from poor performance, but had great software. However, the unique Swiss Army Knife packaging would make this a good gift for those who seem to have everything. As a standalone USB key however, it would be hard to recommend.