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Swissbit SWISSMEMORY| Victorinox retroALOX
About a year ago I looked at a great little gadget from SwissBit that combined a Victorinox Swiss Army knife with a 128MB USB memory key. The beauty of this product was that I always carry both a USB memory key and a small Swiss Army knife with me anyway, so combining the two made perfect sense. In fact, there were only two problems with this little gadget – one, the 128MB capacity soon became restricting and two, it fell out of my pocket one day and I lost it!
So, for quite a while I had to go back to my original method of carrying a small Swiss Army knife and a separate memory key in my pocket, but all that has changed recently. Yes, the nice people at Swissbit sent me over the latest version of the SwissMemory Victorinox, and this time it comes with a far more generous 1GB capacity.
But it’s not just the capacity that makes this new SwissMemory Victorinox cool, it’s also a very different design from the previous version. Whereas the original device I had was finished in the traditional Swiss Army red plastic, this one is flanked by hard wearing textured aluminium.
Hiding inside the swanky aluminium casing you’ll find a pair of scissors, a knife and a nail file/screwdriver. Unlike the previous SwissMemory Victorinox, there’s no pen or torch integrated into this one. Of course you can buy a SwissMemory Victorinox with the red finish, which includes both the pen and a white LED torch, but it will cost you a little bit more.
The 1GB USB memory key folds out easily and can be plugged directly into a USB socket. The memory key can be removed completely from the knife, which is handy if you need to take it with you on a plane. Once removed it becomes apparent that this is one of the smallest 1GB memory keys you’re likely to find.
As far as performance goes, this is a pretty nippy little flash drive. Writing a 110MB zip file to the SwissMemory Victorinox took only 13.5 seconds, while reading it back took only 11.1 seconds. I compared this to my trusty Swissbit TwistPro 2GB memory key which managed the write at 21.5 seconds and the read at 14.5 seconds. So the SwissMemory Victorinox is definitely fast, but it’s a huge improvement over the old model which was limited to the USB 1.1 standard.
Of course USB memory keys are generally quite utilitarian, and differentiating between them can sometimes be hard. However, Swissbit at least tries to throw in some added value with its products. The SecureLOCK utility allows you to create a protected partition on the device that is inaccessible without the correct password. When you’ve got 1GB of capacity at your disposal, it makes sense to have at least part of this password protected for those instances when you’re carrying sensitive data.