Today SanDisk introduced a 512MB and 1GB version of the popular Cruzer Mini, an embedded USB 2.0 Hi-speed "key chain" flash drive. With the 1GB Cruzer Mini, consumers can transport up to 30 hours of digitally compressed music, more than 5 hours of MPEG-4 compressed video or more than 1000 high-resolution digital images. The 512MB and 1GB Cruzer Mini drives are part of SanDisk's most popular family of USB drives including the new Cruzer Titanium, an incredibly rugged and stylish flash drive with a titanium-coated flash drive case, and the new Cruzer Micro, an extremely small form factor that is approximately half the size of Cruzer Mini and expandable with an available MP3 Companion accessory.
"USB flash drives are now a 'must-have' item as consumers use them to transport and easily access personal computer data files, image files or video and audio between home, office, school and other locations,” said Eric Bone, retail product marketing manager at SanDisk. "With up to 1GB of storage capacity, USB 2.0 accessibility and a sleek design, the Cruzer Mini is the ideal personal storage device for work, school and personal use."
Cruzer Mini uses the latest USB interface technology to achieve the maximum data transfer rates possible today for flash storage. It easily slips into a pocket or purse or can be worn around the neck for easy carrying. Each Cruzer Mini ships with three decorative end-caps that fit over the large LED status indicator and the USB connector allowing owners to individualize their Cruzer Mini. As with the lower capacity versions of the Cruzer Mini, there is a downloadable CruzerLock file security application, which helps keep your data files safe from "prying eyes" in case the device is lost.
Market researchers at NPD Techworld, a division of the NPD Group, recently reported that U.S. retail and commercial sales of USB flash drives were nearly 650,000 units in November 2003 with a retail value of over $30 million. Retail and commercial unit sales in the U.S. have grown 613% since January 2003, according to the firm. In addition, virtually every personal computer has at least one USB port. In 2003 alone, worldwide personal computer shipments (including laptops) are expected to reach 164 million units according to Gartner, Inc., a market research company.
Cruzer Mini's thin shape allows it to be plugged in without blocking other USB ports. When the device is properly inserted, a large LED lights up to indicate its status. Cruzer Mini is "plug and play" with PCs and Macintosh due to USB Mass Storage Class (MSC) compliance when used with Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Mac OS 9.2.1+ and Mac OS 10.1.2+. A driver can be downloaded for Windows 98SE support.