The Kingston DataTraveler microDuo is a solution to the problem many smartphone and tablet owners face when you have a pile of important files on your USB flash drive that really need to be on your device: your flash drive has a normal USB plug and your Android tablet has microUSB socket. Big into small isn’t going to go, and the USB to microUSB cable you have isn’t going to work as it’s plug to plug.
Into this niche steps the Kingston DT microDuo. It’s a flash drive that has a USB plug on one end and a microUSB plug on the other. If you are using it with your PC, use the normal USB end; if you want to use it with your smartphone or tablet, flip the cap off and plug it in. It’s simple and brilliant.
As you’ll see from the pictures, the microDuo is pretty small – it’s under 3 cm long and isn’t much wider than the USB plug itself. A small lanyard is supplier to attach the microDuo to a keyring.
The other benefit is that it’s much faster than using wireless file transfers. Dropping a couple of GB of movies or music onto a tablet via 11n still takes minutes but copying over from the memory stick only takes seconds. Of course, you can play the media directly from the flash drive which is handy if your tablet is short on memory too.
In practice, the microDuo works as advertised – I was able to copy files onto the flash drive from my PC and then either copy or use directly from the microDuo to my tablet. What more can I say?
However, there is a caveat with this solution and that’s the smartphone or tablet must support OTG (On The Go) where the port can act as a USB embedded host. Many recent devices support OTG, including the HTC One Max, Nexus 10 and Nexus 5, and even then sometimes additional software is required. There’s a list of OTG-supporting devices here and an online search will usually reveal other people’s experiences with your device.
The DT microDuo comes in a range of capacities (and RRP prices).
- 8GB - £3.85
- 16GB - £6.22
- 32GB - £11.65
- 64GB – £TBC
Those prices are competitive against standard flash drives – there’s only a pound or two in it – so if you are looking for a new flash drive and you have an Android device with OTG, it’s a “no brainer”, as they say.
Thanks to Kingston for the Data Traveler microDuo flash drive provided for review.
The Disko from MVB solves that irritating problem when you have a USB memory stick, your friend has a USB memory stick, you want to share some files, but there’s no laptop or PC to make the transfer. Andy finds a solution to this problem and gets a demo of the Disko from Daniel.
Plug a USB memory stick into the Disko and you can browse the stick’s filesystem to find the files that you want to pass on. Once found, copy the files into the Disko’s internal memory and then swap the memory sticks before copying the files back out of the internal memory to the next memory stick.
The Disko also has a built-in mp3 player and FM tuner, making it a pretty handy gadget.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News for the Tech Podcast Network.
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If you are looking for a Father’s Day gift, then you might want to take a look at the Freecom Data Bar XXS. As you might guess from the XXS, it’s a tiny little USB memory stick. My measuring says that it’s just 2.5 mm deep, 12 mm wide and 31 mm long – it’s basically the same size as the USB socket, only longer.
Because it’s so small and easily misplaced, the Data Bar comes with a keyring lanyard and the little silver barrel (see picture) unscrews to easily detach the memory stick when you need to use it. The Data Bar is also waterproof and dustproof, which is handy because anything this small is bound to go through the wash at some point.
Performance-wise, bonnie++ reported write rates at around 13 MB/s and using dd, it came in around the 15 MB/s. Remember these figures will be specific to the particular setup used but should be indicative of the Data Bar’s speed. The Data Bar XXS tested was the 2 GB version.
Available in fashionable white and in 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB sizes, prices start at 9.95 euros going up to 79.95 euros. If you want small, they don’t come much smaller than this.
Thanks to Freecom for the review unit.
Andy speaks to Philip of LaCie on the latest USB 3.0 devices from LaCie, including the new highspeed FastKey USB3 SSD memory stick which comes in 30GB, 60GB and 120GB sizes – yes, that’s 120GB in a memory stick, so don’t lose it! Also on show were USB3 upgrades across the range, including ruggedised external drives and designer models.
Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.
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