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SanDisk's USB Drive Cruzer

Techstination feature for Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Carrying your files in your pocket. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They are the latest trend in portable computer storage. Small flash memory devices that plug into the USB ports of PCs or Macs that let you store megabytes of data. They're a simple way to transport files between office and home PCs or notebooks to desktops. And with operating systems newer than Windows 98, the devices require no driver installations at all. There are lots of manufacturers making them. One of the most unique I've seen is the Cruzer from SanDisk. It allows you to upgrade the amount of storage available with SD memory cards. SanDisk's Tanya Chuang...

"The main feature between this product and other products out there... is that other products out there like ThumbDrives and the Micro Volt... they're embedded memory. What that means is that if the user buys 32 megabytes for example, it's a lot more expensive than our Cruzer, but you can't upgrade it unless you go buy another ThumbDrive. With our Cruzer, you simply take out the card, say it's 32 megabytes, and put in a higher capacity. So it's upgradeable. So the three features that I always promote are that it's upgradable, it's portable and it's just convenient.

Prices start at about fifty dollars. On the down side, while the Cruzer is still small enough to fit into any kind of pocket, it is considerably larger than other USB drives on the market. Will these new devices catch on? Some big names, including FujiFilm are introducing branded products. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.