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Apacer Handy Steno USB 2.0 Flash Drive review: Apacer Handy Steno USB 2.0 Flash Drive

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The Good Inexpensive per megabyte; can password-protect data.

The Bad Permanently attached cap is a slight impediment.

The Bottom Line Apacer's Handy Steno offers solid encryption and compression features, plus a very low price per megabyte.

8.0 Overall

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Apacer Handy Steno

The Apacer Handy Steno's reflective graphite-colored casing makes for a snazzy design. Though the drive's capacity is stamped on the end of the cap, Apacer keeps other embellishments to a minimum and preserves the device's sleek look. The Handy Steno measures 3.25 inches long, 0.75 inches wide, and 0.37 inches thick and flares out slightly at one end. A thin steel wire keeps the cap permanently tethered to the Handy Steno--good, because it eliminates the possibility of losing the cap, but also a bit annoying, because you have to hold the cap and the wire out of the way to plug in the drive.

The Handy Steno comes with Flash Disk Utility, a simple app that lets you encrypt, decrypt, and compress your files on a PC before you load them onto the drive. The CD also contains a user manual and driver software for Windows 98 users. When you plug in the drive, an orange LED near the back flashes once to confirm the connection; this same light flashes during file transfers. The Apacer Handy Steno is available in capacities ranging from 32MB to 1GB, and the 256MB model we tested costs about $60, or 23 cents per megabyte, making the Handy Steno an excellent value.

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