- Review Price: £158.00
There’s no denying that USB memory keys are fantastic devices, and I can’t ever imagine being without one now. A little while ago I looked at a device from Swissbit, that incorporated a USB memory key and a Swiss Army Knife, and it was an excellent device for someone, like me, that has a use for both items. I’m very sorry to say that my SwissMemory knife managed to fall out of my pocket a few weeks back, and I’ve been missing it ever since. However, great as the SwissMemory knife was, its USB 1.1 interface and 128MB capacity, did make it a bit limiting for my uses. Thankfully I can’t level either of those criticisms at the Swissbit TwistPro sitting in my pocket right now.
The TwistPro is Swissbit’s high-end USB memory key, and it’s aimed directly at people like myself that need to have masses of data in their pocket all the time. The TwistPro has a huge capacity of 2GB! Yep, you read that right, that’s 2GB of data storage sitting in my pocket. I can still vividly remember buying a 1GB hard drive and thinking how massive that was. I walked out of the supplier with a 1GB Quantum Fireball in my bag, feeling very pleased with myself and wondering if I would ever be able to fill such a capacious drive. Now I have twice that amount of data storage in a small and pocketable device.
The TwistPro is finished in dark blue and black, and is pretty understated compared to the standard Twist range, which is finished in white and a variety of colours. The outer black casing hides the USB connector – in order to access the USB connector you need to twist the device out of the black casing, hence TwistPro. One major advantage of this type of design is that there’s no cap to lose while you’re using the memory key. I have seen sliding designs, which achieve the same result, but there’s something cool about the twisting design of the Swissbit, and I often find myself twisting the device in my hand without even realising I’m doing it.
On the back of the black casing is a clip so that the TwistPro can be attached to your belt or clipped to a shirt or jacket pocket. The TwistPro isn’t the smallest memory key I’ve used, but it’s far from obtrusive, and I don’t really notice it in my pocket.
As with the SwissMemory knife that I reviewed, you can protect a portion of the storage area on the TwistPro with a password. The SecureLock utility is preloaded on the TwistPro and lets you create multiple partitions on the device and protect one of them with your chosen password. I thought that this was a good idea on the SwissMemory, but on the TwistPro it’s invaluable. With 2GB of storage space, you’re bound to have some sensitive data on there at some point, and even if you create a 500MB secure partition, you’ll still have 1.5GB of freely accessible space.
Performance wise, the TwistPro can hold its own against the competition, but it’s not the fastest memory key I’ve tested. The read times were far more impressive than the write times, but it’s not like you’ll be waiting hours to copy stuff to it. Copying 105MB of MP3 data to the TwistPro took 27 seconds, but reading it back took a very impressive nine seconds. Copying a single 100MB file on the other hand took 19 seconds and only eight seconds to read back. Copying the 205MB mixture of files took 47 seconds, while reading it back took 27 seconds. The latter result seems a bit strange considering the fast results when reading the MP3s and single file by themselves, but I retested it a few times and there was no deviation from the result.
When SwissBit suggested that I review the 2GB TwistPro, I was looking forward to getting my hands on it, but I didn’t hold out much hope of the device doing well in the value stakes. Surprisingly, my initial fears about pricing turned out to be completely wrong. Although there is no UK supplier currently selling the 2GB TwistPro, Swissbit is selling it via its own online shop for €229, which works out to an amazing UK price of £158. When you break this down to cost per megabyte, you’re looking at under eight pence per MB. Both Scan and SavaStore stop Swissbit Twist products, so hopefully they will be stocking the 2GB TwistPro soon.
The 2GB Swissbit TwistPro, may not be the smallest or fastest USB memory key on the market, but at under eight pence per megabyte, it definitely offers the best value for money. You’ll be amazed by how useful it is to have masses of data storage in your pocket, so if you can afford to splash the cash on the TwistPro, my advice would be to go for it.
The 2GB TwistPro offers truly massive amounts of mobile storage at a price that’s unbelievable. If you’ve got the money, buy one.
Score in detail