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Introduction

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USB memory keys have gone from being cool, but expensive gadgets, to invaluable tools for anyone that uses electronic data. Initially devices started at around 8 or 16MB, which was larger than a floppy disk, but never really useful for anything more that transferring document files between computers. But now you can get 128MB devices for under £20 and 512MB devices coming in at well under £100. With this in mind we thought it was time to round up some of the latest crop of USB 2.0 memory keys and separate the wheat from the chaff.

We received samples from Buffalo, Crucial, PNY, SanDisk and Sweex - most of them are well known names in the memory market, although Sweex is a company that we hadn’t heard of before this roundup. The devices range in size from 128MB to 512MB, with most being available in a variety of capacities from 64MB up to 1GB.

So is the floppy drive dead? Well, not quite yet, but we’re definitely approaching that day and very fast. But in the mean time, let’s take a closer look at the memory keys on test and how they stacked up against each other.

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