Memix 128MB USB Memory Watch
Memix 128MB USB Memory Watch
Date: Oct 2003
Price: £69.95 @ time of writing
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USB drives have been around for several years now and are becoming more popular, primarily as they offer a quick and simple way of storing or transporting data. They are available from various companies and are styled in several different sizes and shapes. The next step in these drives is likely for more USB 2.0 versions to be available, this will allow for faster transfer and may allow for the cost of the larger units like 512mb to become more affordable.
This unit is a combination of the usual USB memory drives but encased within a watch, this although may seem quite novel it does reduce the chances of forgetting your usual USB drive, I have often forgotten to take my drive out of my jacket or trouser pocket and then not realised till the next day at the office, having it on your wrist may well appeal to you.
What you get:
- Watch Unit
- Driver/Utility CD
- 1m USB extension cable
Driver CD contains: User Manual, Application software (UMSDTools2.33) Win 98 & Win CE drivers.
- OS: Windows ME/98/2000/XP, Linux, MacOS 8.6 and above
- Capacity: 128MB
- Interface: USB 1.1
The Watch we looked at in this review was a 128MB USB1.1 version; the USB 2.0 version is now available at 256MB capacity.
Before this arrived I did wonder how the watch would connect to a PC would you need to carry a USB lead around with you or could you connect it via a small USB connection similar to the type used in some digital cameras. Upon its arrival I was pleasantly surprised to find that it incorporates a short lead with a USB connector on the end to connect either directly to the PC or via the extension lead provided.
The Watch itself looks ok but to my mind looks a bit cheap and has the 'plastic' look to it, if you get what I mean. However my personal preference is that I don't like plastic straps but then hey that may just be me, its got nothing extra really other than the small USB connector.
An advantage of this is that it has a dual purpose and is less obvious to would be thieves for example if you currently use a laptop, pda or even a mobile phone for that matter these are all potential targets for would be thieves. Who would think that important files would be contained inside the watch?
As with other USB devices you can connect this in seconds to Windows 2000/XP machines the device drivers are only needed for Windows 98/ME and Linux. Once connected and the system has detected it you are greeted with an icon direct to the drive via your desktop or My Computer. When the watch is connected you see a small LED on the dial of the watch.
To release the USB connector you have to slide back the loop on the watch that holds the strap of the watch, once that is complete the connector and short length of cable is easily accessible.
I wore the watch for nearly two weeks and it surprised myself when it got several comments on how good the watch looked, some people I told about the 'hidden feature' others I let watch me take off the watch and connect it to my work pc and copied some documents to it which needed to be backed up. The looks of wonderment and then the questions began. 'How does it work?' 'Wow that's really small and quite clever.'
Using the watch on some days where I was moving around it was a bit of a pain to take off the watch each time and often I just put it in my pocket. This is an advantage of stick drives; in and out connection no fuss.
Connect the watch and there's your Flash drive, on your desktop or My Computer folder. A tiny LED on the watch's dial (@ 9 o'clock position) reminds you the watch is connected.
Software isn't needed to use this item directly; as if you connect the watch to your PC a few seconds later you will have 125MB waiting for you. Software however on these types of drives is welcome as it can help to secure the unit.
The software may not look too pretty but it is simple and functional. The screens allow you to divide the memory between a secure and public area. You can enter a password, which will allow only yourself to access the data on that division.
SiSoft Sandra 2004 Benchmark
The benchmark test which is designed purely for removable devices, was run five times and this was the outcome of the thrid occasion. All were very close the 1st & 2nd did have slightly higher test scores but with a slightly lower index result.
It's a functional and different way of carrying an usb memory stick around with you, but I don't think it will stop me using my current drive (although I often forget where I left it.) I believe this defiantly has appeal and is reasonably priced as at the time of writing a 128MB Pen drive + dock station was £75, which some refer to the best all round package.
I think the appeal could be limited, a good feature if it was possible would be to integrate a drive into the watch easily rather than having it statically installed. The watch as far as I know has a Japanese mechanism, which makes the unit slightly more expensive, but you are getting good quality.
At the end of the day would you prefer a watch with built in memory or a standard drive which cant tell you the time and may be more likely to be misplaced.
Unique and one of those what will they think of next, performed well and is respectably priced. Also available USB 2.0 versions & 256MB capacity.