Flash drives are a dime a dozen these days. One gig flash drives can be bought for as little as £15, but more robust, solid-feeling models will cost double that or more.
Lexar’s latest offering to the flash drive market is the JumpDrive Firefly, a tiny PC- and Mac-friendly model that comes in a variety of colour-coded cases to indicate the storage capacity, which ranges from 256MB to 4GB.
One of the big selling points for this particular flash drive is that it comes loaded with Google Desktop, Google Toolbar, and Picasa software in a zipped drive. Perhaps it’s a bit churlish to point this out, but the software is available for free online download anyway, so why it’s necessary to bundle it on the flash drive is questionable.
We got our hands on a blue 1GB model to give it a go and see how it performs. The robust-feeling device is only about 2 inches long including the clear plastic cap that protects the USB plug. The cap features a small ring so that it can be kept on a cord or string, or perhaps attached to a key ring.
Once it’s plugged in, its compact shape means that it doesn’t protrude quite as far as most other flash drives, but otherwise it’s mostly unremarkable. Transferring files on to it, however, makes the little blue LED on its rear flash, revealing why it’s been called the Firefly.
The inoffensive zipped Google file isn’t lodged on the flash drive permanently; one dab of the delete key gets rid of it forever.
The JumpDrive Firefly loses points for being quite pricey, with a 512MB model retailing for around £30, but Lexar does promise secure storage in a small, well-made package.