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Crucial Gizmo review: Crucial Gizmo

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The Good Simple, attractive design; can password-protect data; very inexpensive per megabyte.

The Bad Forget your password, and you'll have to send the drive back to be reset.

The Bottom Line Crucial's Gizmo offers password protection and an attractive look at an excellent price per megabyte.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.3 Overall

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Crucial Gizmo USB Flash Drive

The slick-looking Crucial Gizmo, which measures 3.25 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 0.37 inches thick, is neither the smallest drive we looked at, nor is it so big that it will obstruct neighboring USB ports when you plug it into your PC. The Gizmo's attractive two-tone design features opalescent white plastic on the front and gray plastic on the back, with a small hole at one end to accommodate the included neck strap. Crucial provides a brief data sheet on how to use the drive and also includes a USB extension cord--a handy extra if your computer's rear USB ports are hard to access. We like that the Gizmo comes in plastic packaging that doesn't require an industrial-grade box cutter to open.

The Gizmo includes Crucial's Secure-D software, which allows you to password-protect up to 97 percent of the drive. The Secure-D setup file comes loaded on the drive, but you can access it only on systems running Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP. Also worth noting is that if you forget your password, not only will you lose all your data, you'll have to return the drive to the manufacturer to be reset. The Gizmo does not include a driver disc, so users on pre-2000 versions of Windows will need to download driver software from Crucial's Web site.

The Crucial Gizmo is available in capacities from 64MB to 256MB. At this time, the Gizmo offers only a USB 1.1 connection, which makes it a bit slower than most of the other drives we tested. Still, our 256MB test model costs about $63, or 25 cents per megabyte, which is very inexpensive.

Return to CNET's USB flash drive roundup.

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