Brando of Hong Kong is well known for its attractive range of gadgets and gizmos, and their USB Flash Drive is certainly one of the more practical offerings of recent times. This 1GB USB Flash Card comes in a simple, clearplastic package with no instructions in particular. That is a non-issue as computers and gizmos won’t be your cup of tea if you actually require specific instructions in plugging in a USB device. Prying open the package is extremely simple, requiring a little leverage and the plastic case will split in half.
The USB Flash Card shares the same length and breadth as any other ordinary ATM/credit card, albeit it is roughly three times as thick due to the flash memory chip within. For the mathematically inclined, the actual dimensions of the USB Flash Card measures 8.5cm x 5.4cm x 0.4cm. There is a cut out in the middle that houses the USB connector. It takes a simple push of the thumb to remove the connector from the card itself, while a gentle nudge will return it to its original position with a clicking sound.
Once you’ve plugged in the USB Flash Card into any available USB port (we highly recommend using a USB 2.0 port as data transfer is much faster compared to the archaic USB 1.1 standard), Windows will automatically detect the presence of the USB Flash Card as an external storage device and install the necessary drivers required for it to run. I haven’t tested it with a Windows 98 machine, but Windows ME and above ought to be able to detect this flash card without any problems. A red LED indicator will glow when it is plugged in correctly, while a blinking LED denotes that the read/write process is underway.
Running a quick test using SiSoftware Sandra 2007, the 1GB USB Flash Card clocked in average read/write times. A 64MB file test showed a read performance of 8738KB/sec on average, while write performance clocked 1092KB/sec on average. You won’t find this card to be a speed demon, but it is no slouch either, sitting comfortably in the mid-range scheme of things.
I’ve been using the USB Flash Card from Brando for over a month now, and I cannot overstate the convenience of having a 1GB flash drive at my disposal wherever I go. This is one of the more useful USB drives that you can tote around – after all, it is much harder to lose compared to the miniscule range of USB thumb drives that flood the market these days. It provides a great fit into any man’s wallet, but the Flower Motif will not sit down well with the masculine community. You can always opt for the Mona Lisa imprint if a couple of roses aren’t your cup of tea. Users who are looking for a portable storage device to store multimedia-intensive files will have to look somewhere else.
Overall, is the $39 price tag worth considering a purchase? That depends on how you prefer to carry your data – in a wallet or handbag with you at all times, or a tiny USB thumb drive which could get easily lost. A quick check of 1GB flash drives in the market reveals prices that range anywhere between $20 to $45, so it is a matter of personal preference in the end.
Product Page: Brando 1GB USB Flash Card