Flash drives are little more than external solid-state drives. Consequently, they're awesome for expanding the available storage on devices like Ultrabooks, hybrid PCs, tablets, and even smartphones (by way of USB To Go).
For example, if you snagged one of those $169 or $179 Surface RT tablets the other day, you'll quickly find that only about half of its 32GB of storage is actually accessible. (Boo, Microsoft. Booooo!) Easy fix: pop in a flash drive.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Newegg has the Patriot Supersonic Pulse 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive for $23.99, plus 99 cents for shipping. That's after redeeming an $8 mail-in rebate (PDF). That rebate offer expires tomorrow, meaning you must have made the purchase by then. You'll get your money back in the form of a prepaid Amex card.
That's one of the lowest prices I've ever seen for a 64GB drive, especially one that supports USB 3.0. Even without the rebate, the Patriot drive is a pretty sweet buy at $31.99.
The caveat here is that the couple of dozen or so Newegg user reviews are decidedly mixed, mostly owing to a higher-than-average failure rate. Alas, that seems to be the unfortunate nature of the beast with current-generation flash drives, because if you check the reviews for other makes and models, you'll see similar complaints. "Drive died after a week," "Drive died after three months," and so on.
For example, Newegg also has a PNY 128GB USB 2.0 flash drive for $37.99, shipped (again after a mail-in rebate); it has similarly mediocre ratings thanks to sudden failures.
On the plus side, the Patriot comes with a two-year warranty. Obviously that's small comfort if the drive dies on you, but to my thinking it points to greater reliability than a drive with one year of coverage (like the aforementioned PNY).
So, two points of discussion here. First, are you rolling the dice with today's flash drives? Have you ever had one up and die on you? Second, are you better off with a portable (mechanical) hard drive, especially if you can get, say, a 1TB drive for around $70? These are considerably larger than flash drives, of course, but they also store considerably more data. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: Portable speakers come in all shapes and sizes. (One of my favorites: GOgroove's adorable Pal Bot.) If you're not hung up on Bluetooth but want a speaker that's compact, rechargeable, and bass-boosted, Amazon has the Kinivo ZX100 Mini Portable Speaker for $18.99. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers, or pad your cart to at least $35. (Tip: these speakers can be linked, so buy two!) I love this little guy's pop-up design, as well as its 4.5-star average rating from over 2,500 (!) Amazon customers.
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