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Holiday Buyer's Guide 2005

Is That A Rocket In Your Pocket

From the ultra big to the ultra small, we next present the Memina Rocket 2 GB USB Flash Drive.

These days, a flash drive is now something of a commodity. We all use them - and lose them, alas, from time to time as well. It takes some unusual and interesting features to make any single flash drive stand out from the hundreds of affordable alternatives available nowadays. But we think the Memina Rocket qualifies on multiple counts.

To begin with, as its name suggests, the Rocket is FAST. The vendor rates it at 200X, which translates into 200 times 150 kBps or a putative maximum of 30 MBps when reading data. THG's own testingof a 4 GB version of this device showed that it could indeed read at 30 MBps, but writing topped out in the 22-24 Mbps range. Even so, it's one of the fastest USB flash drives we've ever used: it made extremely short work of a nearly 1.2 GB Outlook (.pst) file for one of your authors, the last time he had to take his laptop (and his e-mail files) on the road.

The unit is also quite intelligently designed. Instead of featuring a typical separate pop-off/plug-on top as many other flash drives do, the Rocket's USB connector cover is integrated right into the unit itself. It's a solid aluminum shield that rotates around the center axis of the device. When the drive is in use, the shield rotates around to the back of the unit away from the USB connector. When the drive is unplugged, the shield rotates around to cover that connector and locks into place there to keep dirt and gunk away from the business end of the USB jack. A gentle pull on the shield pops it loose from the USB connector, so it can be rotated back 180 degrees to get it out of the way any time you should need to use the device.

Memina also includes a wire split ring assembly in the retail package, so you can attach the drive to a lanyard to go around your neck, or to a key chain to carry in your pocket. We use a special pouch in our laptop case to keep it with our machine while traveling, and it pretty much stays connected to a USB extension cable hooked up to one of our desktop machines when it's in the office. Memina also thoughtfully includes a 1 meter long USB extension cord along with this unit, which prevents unnecessary trips under the desk to plug and unplug the device.

At prices in the $140-150 range, the 2.0 GB Rocket isn't as cheap as some other similarly equipped USB Flash drives of the same capacity. But its screaming speed and smart design should make it a great stocking stuffer for anybody who's in the regular habit of lugging lots of data around with them wherever they go.

Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.