Well I've been a loyal PNY product user for over 10 years, and I can honestly say, that their products have been reliable, functional, and have lasted the test of time. So as both of my 32GB flash drives approached maximum capacity, I found myself sifting through the web, in search of 32GB replacements, at a reasonable price.
The price of memory is such a fickle thing theses days.... Much like buying a new car, what costs a fortune today, is worth just pennies tomorrow. Not wanting to pay a king's ransom, I managed to locate a distributer that was selling PNY 32GB Attaché USB Flash Drives for approximately $34 each. I bought two flash drives, from the merchant, and anxiously awaited their arrival.
When they showed up at my door, I found that PNY had made a few changes to their Attaché USB Flash Drive product line, since my last purchase.
1. The 32GB Flash Drives no longer have a LED activity indicator of any sort on the drive. I'm not quite sure how they expect anyone to know when their flash drive is being accessed. I, like many other users have come to expect, utilize, and some even require an activity light of some sort on their external devices. This omission was a major disappointment.
2. Over the years, I've found it necessary to reformat external storage devices, such as flash drives, and start fresh. This worked fine with both of my PNY 32GB Flash Drives, going all the way back to my first 256MB Flash Drive. Well this functionality has got an added rub with this 32GB Flash Drive. Apparently, the 32GB Flash Drive utilizes the exFAT system, which requires a patch/driver from Microsoft, before your Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 machine can `handle' the drive properly. Sort of pain, and no mention of this added requirement on the documentation or packaging the flash drive came in.
3. Lastly is the cheaper case & USB dust sleeve. The case is noticeably cheaper in heft. Seems like PNY elected to go with a cheaper grade of plastic, while at the same time updated their design to incorporate a capless dust sleeve. I say sleeve, since it clearly only protects the sides of the USB plug, but not the connections on the end - the most important part of the drive! They undoubtedly chose this course, like many other manufacturers, to eliminate the problem of lost flash drive caps. A capless system would be fine, if the connections of the USB Plug were afforded some degree of protection.
While it may sound like I've blasted the PNY 64GB Flash Drive, it still has its place. However, the short comings of the new design - no LED activity indicator, cheaper case, and only partial protection for the USB Plug do affect its versatility & reliability; especially if it's used as a daily worker.
A decent Case Logic case, would be a good & highly recommended compliment, to the transport & integrity of this flash drive. At the very least, it would give the USB Plug some much needed protection, while prolonging the life of the flash drive.