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Review: 2GB SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox

I’ve had Swiss Army knives on my keychain for years, it’s come in handy on many occasions. Recently I always seem to have a USB flash drive in my pocket too. When I received the SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox drive from Swissbit it was obvious that combining the two was actually a very good idea. The Victorinox is compact, easy to use and brings the usefulness of the Swiss Arm tools. The USB drive comes in a variety of sizes from 128MB to 2GB and is a plug-n-play (unless Win 98) device and price points range from $50USD to $225USD respectively.



The Victorinox is small and compact given what it’s trying to accomplish. The unit looks and feels very sturdy and would handle plenty of pocket abuse, keychain banging and those occasional across the counter-top tosses. The Victorinox has a snapping clasp at one end which holds the flash memory in place. The clasp prevents the USB memory stick from popping out at an undesirable time and provides an aid in retrieving the USB connector when ready for use. The pivot end of the clasp can also be detached from the main chassis of the enclosure so the USB thumb drive can be disconnected. Although the rotation of the USB stick does provide enough room for those tight USB ports we all know about, the ability to quickly and easily disconnect the flash memory all together is definitely a bonus…and Swissbit knows this as it’s a patented technology.  The USB Victorinox comes with the classic tools needed for everyday use. The tools include scissors, filing blade with screwdriver head, 30mm knife, ball-point pen, red LED light, keychain loop and of course the USB flash memory stick. Swissbit does offer a non-tool version for airplane flight but this review doesn’t cover that model. The product is 60mm x 18mm x 19mm and weighs about 1.35 ounces. Though the Victorinox requires no drivers for the MAC or PC it does come preloaded with software. The Swissbit data SecureLOCK allows you to encrypt and decrypt files and folders. The first time you use SecureLOCK it will walk you through a username and password setup along with a reminder question in case you forget.  Once there, the SecureLOCK provides you the flexibility to encrypt the entire drive, or create partitions where they are “public” or “private” areas. SecureLOCK also includes formatting software to clean up everything but the encryption utility region (software takes 488kb of memory out of a 2MB partition), a bootable disk feature and repair utility to check for bad blocks. We did run into a small glitch, if the SecureLOCK icon in the desktop tray is closed it prevents the drive from being ejected. Signing back in and logging off didn’t do the trick, but rather loggin in and using the Exit button of the software did. Performance wise, the USB Victorinox is middle of the road. In our informal tests of the 2GB version, it took about 6 minutes to write a 400MB folder of mixed file types from our PC to the device. It took about 35 seconds to read the same data back to our PC, but of course results will vary depending on the system running the device and the types of files being transferred. All in all, the SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox is a good deal for the price. It comes packed with the traditional tools we love about Swiss Army along with a wide range of flash memory sizes to match a users’ needs. The SecureLOCK encryption software is a plus and the read/write performance of SWISS MEMORY is right on par with other products available.   Review by: GMo April 6, 2006 GetUSB.info is a USB News and Information website

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