Travel with your Data, and Read Memory Cards in your Spare Time
USB memory keys (aka "thumbdrives") are a dime a dozen these days, but there are still some innovative twists to be found on the useful technology. Take, for example, the Data Traveler Reader from respected memory experts Kingston Technology.
Quite simply, the Kingston Data Traveler Reader is a basic USB flash memory drive with a memory card reader riding piggyback. Or you could look at the Data Traveler Reader as a basic USB flash memory drive with a built-in ability to upgrade its memory capacity.
Either way you choose to view the Data Traveler Reader, it is a clever product that is truly worth its meager price.
Measuring 1.16" x 2.66" x 0.445", the Data Traveler Reader is slightly bigger in size than many of the USB drives found on the market today. The main reason for the size difference is because the Data Traveler Reader can literally accommodate an SD or MMC memory card inside its backside. You simply pop open the back like the hood of a car, and slide in your memory card.
When you plug the Data Traveler Reader into a computer (it's compatible with both PC and Mac), you'll see two separate "removable drives" appear. The internal USB thumbdrive will be the first drive that appears, and the memory card will be the second drive. This is helpful if you need to move or copy a file from a memory card on to the USB memory key.
The Kingston Data Traveler Data Reader worked well in all my tests. I use the internal USB memory key just like any other USB drive, and I find the memory card reader extremely helpful in transferring pictures from my digital camera's memory card. I also use the built-in card reader to transfer files to the SD card I use in my Treo.
The Data Traveler Reader comes in 1GB and 2GB capacities. The biggest news is the price of these puppies. The 1GB model is usually less than $25 and the 2GB model hovers between $35 and $45! With those low prices, I don't see how anyone can pass up the opportunity to grab yet another USB memory key, especially one that has a built-in memory card reader.
What's that Blue Light in your Ear?
If you enjoy flailing your hands around while you talk, then you definitely need a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone.
Most Bluetooth headsets poke out from the ear and emanate a subtle blue light when in use. The new Jabra BT5020, however, takes a svelte approach and hides behind your ear as much as possible. The headset is covered in a rubbery, nondescript coating that doesn't call attention to itself.
I normally do not enjoy a headset that goes up, over, and around the back of my ear, but I found the Jabra BT5020 to be pleasantly comfortable. The only issue I had was kanoodling the headset into my ear quickly while trying to catch a phone call.
The rounded earpiece is designed to snugly sit right inside your ear. And because Jabra designed the whole headset to be compatible with either the left or right ear, the rounded earpiece easily swivels. While I appreciate the flexibility of the BT5020, it's hard to fit the earpiece inside the ear when it spins around so easily.
It took me a few days, but I've now become a pro at quickly zipping the headset on. I grab the rounded earpiece, jam it into my ear, and then use my fingers to flip the rest of the headset up and over my ear.
Once the BT5020 is in place, it feels great, and unlike other Bluetooth headsets I've used, I have no problem leaving the BT5020 on my ear for an extended period of time.
Buttons on the headset include two for volume up/down, one for call answer/end, and one for power.
The call quality was excellent in all of my tests. The headset easily paired with my phone and I could hear my callers just fine. Folks on the other end of my calls stated across the board that I sounded great on the headset.
I am most pleased with the battery in the BT5020. Jabra claims a talk time of 10 hours and standby time of 300 hours. Most companies inflate the battery life of their products for advertising sake, but I was thoroughly impressed with how long I used the BT5020 without having to charge it up. I did not use it for 10 hours straight, but I had no problem going several days at a time without re-charging.
Jabra was also gracious to include a power adaptor for charging the phone, as well as a short USB cord so you can use the USB port of your computer to charge the phone in a pinch.
Other nice features of the BT5020 include the ability to pair with multiple phones, and a nice vibrating alert mode that can quietly tell you when a phone call is coming in.
Lastly a word on safety: If you use your mobile phone while driving a car, please, please use a headset. Even a wired headset will give your head the freedom of movement you need to be a safe driver, but a Bluetooth headset provides even more freedom.
I highly recommend the Jabra BT5020 Bluetooth headset. It's not the cheapest headset on the market, but Jabra has an excellent reputation in the market. The BT5020 retails for $79, but you can certainly find it less expensive on many online shopping sites.
|Kingston Data Traveler Reader 1 GB Flash Drive and Memory Card Reader (DTCR/1GB)|
List price: $24.99 USD
|Kingston Data Traveler Reader 2GB Flash Drive and Memory Card Reader (DTCR/2GB)|
List price: $28.99 USD
|Jabra BT 5020 Executive Bluetooth Headset|
Binding: Wireless Phone Accessory
List price: $79.00 USD
Amazon price: $39.99 USD