Colorful Iomega Micro Mini USB 2.0 Drive Offers Versatile App Platform

 
 
By Jeremy Kaplan  |  Posted 2004-03-18
 
 
 
At first glance, you might think Iomega has spent too much time designing the Iomega Micro Mini USB 2.0 Drive and not enough time adding special features. Actually, its the other way around.

The companys Active Disk technology, which it developed to let ZIP drives work as hard drives, allows you to install and launch applications directly from the flash drive. As it turns out, this is a remarkably versatile device.

Hardly bigger than the USB plug itself, the Micro Mini consists of two parts: a USB plug/flash module and a colorful, hinged cap that swivels to protect the plug when not in use. It ships with a light-up USB extension cable, a lanyard, and three different colored caps—orange, navy, and dark gray.

Good looks make the product stand out on the shelves, but in our eyes, its the software that shines. Plug in the drive and youre automatically taken to Iomegas Web site (www.iomega-activedisk.com), where you can download a host of Active Disk titles; each title comes with the driver and installs simply on to the flash drive.

Cleverly enough, the program will launch automatically the next time you plug in the Micro Mini. You do, however, need to run an application on every PC where you plan to use the device; and upon first installation, the Micro Mini uploads the Active Disk driver files and forces the PC to reboot. By the way, although the applications may install on non-Iomega flash drives, they wont necessarily work properly.

We started with the fun stuff: MusicMatch Jukebox 7.5, a PC Magazine Editors Choice. After running the installer, we stored nearly two albums worth of MP3 files and the MusicMatch program on the Micro Mini. We could then listen without downloading music or programs to the host PC. Very clever.

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