9 USB Storage Devices That Fit in Your Pocket

USB thumb drives come in surprising variety

by Michael Gray on December 20, 2010

Lexar storage drive

USB thumb drives are small, easily portable storage devices for your electronic files. They can carry any kind of data, from office documents to music to images. USB thumb drives are about the size of a lighter or matchbox and easily plug in to most computers without any installation. Most thumb drives are easy to afford and don't require any preparation before you can start using them. You simply pop them out of their packaging and stick them in your computer.
Your USB thumb drive can easily double as a portable briefcase. Since USB thumb drives don't use any moving parts, they're safe to carry around with you without fear of jostling or a fall instantly destroying your data. With a small USB drive in your pocket, you can carry gigabytes of music, movies, and books around the city without any trouble at all.

But if you use your USB drive to carry important information, you need to know that USB drive is reliable and effective. Not all USB drives are created equal. Some are small and ultra-portable, while others focus on a huge amount of storage with some advanced features. Some USB drives have been designed specifically for photography, and others have been designed to support charity.

These 9 USB drives are some of the most highly rated devices on the market. If you're looking for a USB drive, consider one of these.

1. HP 8GB Flash Drivesd card

The HP 8GB Flash Drive is an inexpensive flash drive on which you can easily fit 1,500 songs. For a hefty amount of space at an inexpensive price, the HP 8GB Flash Drive is one of your best bets. It's straightforward and easy to use, making it a no-nonsense accessory for your computer.

2. HP 16GB USB Flash Drivememory

16GB of storage is enough to carry over 3,000 separate song files. With a single one of these HP 16GB USB Flash Drives, you will be able to carry a huge digital music collection with space to spare. The HP 16GB doesn't waste any time (or any of your money) on frills or accessories; it's a straightforward device that delivers good storage at a great price.

3. PNY Attaché 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drivememory
USB 2.0 is a faster, more reliable form of moving data, and the PNY 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive will allow you to use the newer USB 2.0 technology while remaining compatible with old USB technology. While the 4GB Attaché doesn't have as much storage as many other USB drives, you won't find a more affordable business-class USB drive out there.

4. PNY Swivel 4GB USB Flash Drivememory
The PNY Swivel has two important features that make it special. First, it comes with a wrist cord attached, which means that you will more easily be able to keep track of your tiny storage device. Second, the swivel design means there's no plastic cap to protect the USB plug; the plug itself folds back into the body of the drive.

5. PNY Susan G. Komen Flash Drive memory
The PNY Susan G. Komen Flash Drive provides all the benefits of USB 2.0, with faster and more reliable data transfer. Even better, PNY donates $0.50 to the fight against breast cancer for every drive sold. Even without that being the case, the Susan G. Komen USB drive is one of the most affordable USB drives on the market.

6. Kodak 2GB USB Multimedia Drivememory
The Kodak USB Multimedia Drive is intended for photos and music, but the drive works equally well for any kind of electronic document. Smaller than a standard house key, the Kodak 2GB USB drive is about as ultra-portable a device as you can expect to get.

7. SanDisk Ultra Backupmemory
The SanDisk Ultra Backup is more than a 16GB USB drive. The SanDisk Ultra Backup includes a one-touch backup button. You set the Ultra Backup to check selected files whenever you hit this button. If the USB drive discovers that it's carrying an out-of-date version of your document, it will automatically update itself with the most recent file. This helps ensure that not only can you carry your files with you everywhere, you can be sure you're carrying the most recent versions.

8. Kingston DataTraveler Lockermemory
The Kingston DataTraveler boasts a whopping 32GB of available storage, which makes it one of the highest-memory USB drives available. Even more impressive are the steps the DataTraveler takes to protect the information it contains.

You start by setting a password on the thumb drive; this password is required to access its content. If someone enters the wrong password 10 times, the DataTraveler will automatically reformat itself to be sure your documents can't be accessed by ne'er-do-wells.

9. Lexar TwistTurnmemory
The Lexar TwistTurn USB drive is a strong compromise between more expensive USB drives with a lot of space and smaller USB drives that are very affordable. Additionally, the Lexar TwistTurn is an attractive and fashionable little drive that houses its USB plug within its own body when not in use.

There is a surprising variety of USB drives available on the market. Some are small, ultraportable, and expensive, while others boast huge amounts of storage at a higher price tag. It's important to take the time and be sure what you want out of your USB drive before you spend your hard-earned funds on one.


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