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SanDisk ships new USB drives without promised tech

Crossfire line that was announced at CES with U3 "smart drive" technology is shipping without the feature.

SanDisk withheld the U3 "smart drive" technology from its new line of Crossfire USB drives that shipped last week, despite announcing support for the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The new Cruzer Crossfire drives do not come with U3 support, a SanDisk representative confirmed Monday. The U3 standard allows USB flash drives to launch applications and carry settings and passwords between different PCs.

SanDisk had been planning to include software based on the U3 standard that could allow gamers to move their saved games from one PC to another, according to its press release from CES in January.

"The decision was made to hold up the U3 functionality for a little while to work on a unique gaming Launchpad," the representative said. The Launchpad is a menu of applications that appears when a U3 drive starts working.

Although SanDisk announced this capability for both the Crossfire and Cruzer Micro drives in January, the Crossfire devices will not get U3 support until the third quarter, the representative said.

A limited number of Cruzer Micro drives shipped with U3 technology around the holidays last year, and new U3 Micro drives are expected to ship this spring. Potential customers should check the package for the U3 logo before making a purchase.