Apacer's USB sticks it to the rest

Apacer's latest flash drive introduces common sense.

We've all had it happen at one point -- you've plugged a USB key into your PC, only to have it kicked at accidentally as someone walks past, breaking the USB connector away from the memory part of the stick and losing all your data in the process. Swear words ensue, things are thrown, mute curses become slowly audible as your heart breaks.

Apacer has seen the light first with the Handy Steno AH241, and has addressed this by putting the USB connector at 90 degrees to the base, meaning the stick always sits flush with whatever machine you plug it into. Once plugged in it can rotate 180 degrees as well, meaning that nothing ever sticks out and it's kept safe, nestled out of foot and harm's way.

It supports ReadyBoost, so Vista can load just a little bit quicker while it's plugged in, and comes with a handy tag that's similar to that found on clothing, and allows easy removal of the device.

Our only concern is that the right angle USB connector would be less protected inside your pocket, even with the little plastic cover -- so by solving one problem, Apacer has created another.

Apacer claims that it should hit read speeds of 17MB/s, which is fairly common, but the 5MB/s write speed is severely whupped by Corsair's offerings, some of which are advertised at 21MB/s write.

The Apacer Handy Steno is available 1GB, 2GB and 4GB capacities, for AU$49, AU$59 and AU$85 respectively.