SanDisk to Offer Cruzer Contour USB Flash Drive
SanDisk has developed Cruzer Contour, a USB flash drive with the elegant look and feel of a fine fountain pen or wristwatch. The elegance extends inside Cruzer Contour, with state-of-the-art engineering, support for Windows ReadyBoost, and, a generous gallery of pre-installed U3 software applications. What especially sets apart Cruzer Contour, with its glossy black top and silver metallic body, is the drive's unique sliding USB connector. Using your thumb to slide the top of Cruzer Contour back and forth brings out or hides the connector – there's no visible switch, and no cap to lose.
Cruzer Contour provides the greatest capacity yet for a SanDisk flash drive, offering as much as 8 GB1 of storage. And Cruzer Contour delivers a write speed of 18 MB/sec2, double the performance of SanDisk's previous top-of-the-line model. Read speed for Cruzer Contour is two-thirds faster, at 25 MB/sec2. This translates into significantly less waiting, whether loading data into the Cruzer Contour or copying data from the drive into a computer.
The sliding USB connector requires nothing more than two flicks of the thumb. Sliding the top back and then forward brings out the connector, while sliding the top forward and then back pulls in the connector. Although no bigger than previous SanDisk flash memory drives, Cruzer Contour has the weightiness and cool metallic feel associated with fine luxury goods.
Beyond its sleek design engineering, Cruzer Contour offers numerous premium features. Among them:
- Cruzer Contour includes U3 technology for running applications directly from the drive, without those applications having to be installed on the computer. U3-compatible software provided free with the drive are the PC phone service Skype, the anti-virus program Avast, SanDisk's own CruzerSync for synchronizing files between a PC and the drive, the password manager SignupShield, and HP PhotoSmart Essentials photo editor. For casual gaming, there are free copies of a Sudoku and a Mahjong game.
- Cruzer Contour includes a voucher for 30 minutes of free outgoing calls to regular phones on Skype; and a voucher for 50 free songs from eMusic, the online music service. Buyers must activate an eMusic account for their 50 free selections, and can continue with an ongoing subscription – with a choice of monthly downloads – or cancel without further obligation.
- Cruzer Contour supports Microsoft's Windows ReadyBoost feature, part of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. ReadyBoost taps unused storage space on USB flash drives to speed up system performance, especially when several applications are running simultaneously.
Contour is compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP and the upcoming Windows Vista, all versions of Macintosh OS X, and with Linux as a mass storage class device. The drive is designed for computers with USB 2.0 ports, but is backwards compatible with USB 1.1 systems. Cruzer Contour will be available in the United States in March in three models.
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