Lexar Media JumpDrive Secure II Plus (8GB)

8GB thumb-drive with capacity meter

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Lexar Media JumpDrive Secure II Plus (8GB)

Pros

  • 8GB, storage meter will indicate the available capacity even after you unplug it, encryption software

Cons

  • Doesn't ship with a lanyard

Bottom Line

For less than $80, this 8GB USB key will give you ample space for storage, as well as a couple of cool extras such as a capacity indicator and encryption software.

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'JumpDrive Secure II Plus' is one heck of a long title for a tiny USB thumb-drive, but Lexar's naming of this product is reflective of its capabilities.

Taking the product name at face value, you can assume that the JumpDrive comes with some sort of software that allows you to encrypt and password protect your data. And you'd be right. It ships with a utility called, funnily enough, Secure II, which lets you create encrypted vaults up to 4GB in size in which you can store all your 'for your eyes only' documents. Secure II runs off the thumb-drive — it doesn't need to be installed — and lets you mount and unmount encrypted vaults on any PC that you use (it also works with Macs running OS X).

Not only that, Secure II can encrypt individual files and it also has a shredder utility. This is handy for when you're changing jobs and wish to rid your work PC of any personal files that have accumulated over time, for example, so that they can't be recovered. Judging by how fast it shredded files during our test, we'd say it writes over deleted files only once. It would be nice to be able to specify how many times a file should be written over.

Now moving on to the 'Plus' portion of the model name, which suggests that there's more to the JumpDrive than just a security utility; and there most definitely is more. A little storage meter is located on the cover of the thumb-drive, which allows you to see how much space is left on the drive. A long white line means that there is plenty of space left, while a shorter line means that the drive is nearing its capacity. This meter maintains the capacity reading even after you unplug it, which is very convenient.

Physically, the drive is made out of plastic and doesn't have any protective measures such as a rubberised case. A blue LED illuminates the Lexar logo on the drive, which lets you know that everything is working fine once you've plugged it into a computer.

When it comes to speed, the 8GB version of the JumpDrive isn't as fast as the 4GB version. It wrote data at a rate of 4.27MBps and read it at a rate of 14.36MBps. But this is faster than what the 8GB KingMax U-Drive 8GB managed. The drive can be used to speed up a Vista-based computer using ReadyBoost.

At 8GB (7.45GB formatted capacity), the JumpDrive has enough space to store up to 5321min worth of 192Kbps-encoded MP3s, and with a retail price of $79.10, its cost per formatted gigabyte is just over $10, which is one dollar better value per gigabyte than the 4GB version.

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