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SanDisk Cruzer Titanium 512MB

The SanDisk Cruzer Titanium feels like it would withstand a lifetime of abuse, which is in keeping with its Titanium branding. The metal casing is really what sets it apart from the competition and this has been coated in a thin layer of titanium alloy to give it a very rough and ready look. Now we wouldn’t try and run it over with a lorry or anything, but this is one memory key that’s not going to crack open if you drop it down the stairs or step on it by accident.

One feature that more of these devices should have is the retractable USB connector that the Cruzer Titanium exhibits. The reason for this is that there is no cap to loose and it reduces the chance of damaging the USB connector. It does make the device larger, but at 84 x 22 x 8mm (LxWxH) the Cruzer Titanium can hardly be accused of being oversized, even though it’s not as small as some of the devices on test. A blue LED has been placed underneath the push button that is used for ejecting and retracting the USB connector and it flashes when there is read or write activity.

The Cruzer Titanium comes with two pieces of software installed on it; one is a password protection application that locks the drive to anyone that doesn’t have the correct password. Then there is the Cruzer PocketCache software, although this is only a trial version which will cost you $20 to register. The Cruzer PocketCache software is an automatic backup utility that allows you to backup a certain folder on your computer as soon as you insert the Cruzer Titanium into your USB port. The Cruzer Titanium is compatible with Windows 98SE and later, although you need to download drivers for 98SE as well as Mac OS 9.1 and later. As with most of the devices on test you get a neck strap, but SanDisk also provides a clip which can be attached to the Cruzer Titanium – unfortunately we found out the hard way that attaching and detaching the clip scratches the unit’s lovely metallic finish.

No matter how well built the Cruzer Titanium may be, it wouldn’t be much good if it didn’t perform well, but there is no need to worry on this count, as the Cruzer Titanium is easily the fastest USB memory key we have come across. It even beats the write performance of the Apacer Handy Steno HT203 which was the fastest USB memory key we had encountered until now, although it is pretty much level in the read tests. To be fair, the Apacer is £5 cheaper, but it is also a lot bulkier, but as far as this group test is concerned, none of the other memory keys come close in terms of performance.

Overall the Cruzer Titanium is a first rate product, although at nearly £60 it is one of the most expensive devices on test, but not by much and you do get superb build quality for your money. Add to that the first rate performance and a five year warranty and you’ve got a clear Editor’s Choice.

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