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(Pocket-lint) - Whatever you call them, memory sticks, flash or thumb drives, we find it hard to get excited by the things. Usually.

The PNY Attaché Pro got the hair on the back of our necks standing firm though, thanks to the none-too-shabby 4GB capacity coupled to a truly stonking performance.

The read speed of 29MB/s is darn fast, as is the write speed of 17MB/s it has to be said. One thing you won’t be doing is blaming this memory stick for keeping you hanging around as you appropriate the MP3 collection from your mates PC. And once appropriated, nobody will be able to access the files if you misplace the drive or someone gets a crafty 10 minutes with it, thanks to the supplied Secure Lock software.

What sets this apart from your run of the mill stick security solution, and all but the lowest budget devices have realised that protecting user data helps sell the things, is the fact that it doesn’t need to be installed on your PC. Instead, it is pre-loaded on the drive itself and just requires you to set a password to get started. Once done a 128-bit AES encryption system protects what shows as a "virtual disk" on whatever PC you stick your stick into. You can increase the storage capacity of your secure virtual drive from the basic 128MB right up to the full 4GB if you must, but it’s probably best to leave a little free for straightforward non-secured access just in case. Forget your password, by the way, and you’ll have to reformat the USB drive and lose all the data held upon it.

Measuring just 80mm x 20mm x 11mm and weighing in at 13g the PNY Attaché Pro is one of the smaller devices on the market, albeit not the toughest. Unluckily for PNY we had a SanDisk Cruzer Titanium to compare it to, and there was none. Comparison that is. The PNY leaves the USB connector exposed, protected just by an easily misplaced cap, whereas the Cruzer goes for the much safer retractable connector option. Equally, the PNY body is made from fairly tough plastic yet with enough flex to cause us a little worry. The Cruzer’s tough titanium body leaves you feeling comfortable about your Auntie Ethel sitting on the thing, and while not flimsy we wouldn’t say the same of the PNY. However, PNY do supply a 2-year warranty which should be enough to qualm any fears.


Fast and furious sums up the Attaché Pro: fast performance and curios security. If you need to get access to your data as quickly as possible while ensuring nobody else can, then look no further. Handily, £119 for 4GB of such storage is damn fine value as well.

Writing by Davey Winder. Originally published on 21 July 2006.