Lion, Apple's newest update to its OS X operating system, has now materialised in thumb drive form on the Apple Store.

Weighing in at a meaty 3.49GB as a digital download via the App Store, many have avoided picking up Lion due to their internet connection speeds.

The thumb drive option, priced in at £55, costs a significant amount more than the download only offering, which went on sale late last month at £20.99. Apple fans and completionists will likely find the USB drive appealing, as will those keen to get hold of Lion instantaneously. 

The drive is not unlike the included install key provided with MacBook Airs. It looks like Apple has begun phasing out the use of discs altogether, with a heavy reliance on its App Store as a source for new software. 

Those keen to avoid the extra cost of the thumb drive can go for the in-store Lion install route. This involves booking a slot at your nearest Apple Store, heading in with your Apple product and asking them to stick Lion on it. This means you avoid the bandwidth issues, but still get your hands on Lion in a relatively speedy manner. 

If you are still a bit uncertain about whether Lion is worth the install then why not head over to our full review, which details the software in all its four-fingered gesture glory. 

There is also the home made USB Thumb Drive alternative if you fancy a physical backup of your operating system. Whilst not massively straightforward, it does save you downloading the whole Lion software again should you want to format your Mac's hard drive.

Amazingly really that an operating system as powerful as Lion can cram itself onto a tiny USB key, especially when you think that the first version of Windows shipped on no less than 20 floppy discs. 

Like Lion? Or is Snow Leopard already good enough?