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Yep, it’s a USB memory stick. It’s also quite small (there are smaller but they can be really fiddly to use). Available in a number of colours and capacities, I have the dark red 4GB version. It cost me £6.49 from Play.com.

The packaging is minimal and it comes with absolutely no software installed (as I like it). What it does come with, though, is a 5 year guarantee.

OK, so the USB key is in two sections – the black bit and the coloured bit. They slide apart to reveal the USB connector, which is a new-style slim one. I find it hard to work out which way these new style connectors plug in – even so, my Belkin hub didn’t seem to like it. Thankfully, the USB port on the front of my PC didn’t have an issue and the drivers quickly installed.

Speed wise, reading is average, whereas writing is particularly good. I’ve used CrystalDiskMark for testing purposes, and this will read and write sequential, 512k and 4k files repeatedly to the drive. Writing those 4k files is a USB memory stick’s particular Achilles heel, with speeds of anything around 0.02 to 0.1 MB/s. The Kingston, in comparison, was 0.5 MB/s. Strangely, it’s average read speeds was particularly let down by reading the very same 4k files – just 2.3 MB/s compared to an average of 4.5 MB/s for others.

[review]In a way, both 4k results cancel each other out. What that leaves is an average speed device at an average price. Just be careful of that USB connector![/review]
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