Y-shaped USB drive fits user needs to a T

Advanced Media's RiData Yego EZdrive USB drive

CUTE IS AN overused word, but sometimes it fits. Almost everything about Advanced Media's RiData Yego EZdrive USB drive is cute, from the smooth way it fits in your hand to its simple, colorful design.

About the size of a cigarette lighter, the Yego drive is shaped like a chubby Y. Why a Y? Because it lets you expand your computer's storage capabilities by hanging additional USB ports off of it like branches on a tree, a real boon for new ultraportable laptop PCs that might come with a single USB port.

We tested two versions, the 2G that sells for $30, and the 4G, which sells for $50.

The port has a Y etched into one side that is transparent and shows the flicker of the drive as it transfers data. I plugged an indigo 2G device Y-side up into the USB port of my test computer, an HP Pavilion zd7000 laptop with a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 processor and 512M of RAM running Microsoft Windows XP. An E drive popped up on my computer, and I was good to go.

My test document was an excruciatingly dull 202M PowerPoint presentation consisting of family and staff photos, digital GCN covers, and whatever else I could find on the test network to fill the file to 200M.

Transferring the 202M Power-Point snoozefest from my laptop to the 2G drive took 1 minute, 54 seconds, a transfer rate of a little more than 14 megabits/sec. Not exactly the lightning speed described on the package, but fast enough for my purposes.

GCN Lab Test resultsOn to the 4G Yego drive. Once again, it was a snap to pop in, and this one showed up as an F drive. The transfer time of the test file from laptop to 4G drive was a zippy 59 seconds, about 27.4 megabits/sec.

Then I decided to see if the transfer rate would slow if I hung the drives off each other, which is one of the main advantages of the Yego. I easily inserted the 4G drive into the 2G drive, which was plugged directly into the computer.

Moving the same file from the PC to the 4G drive via the 2G drive took exactly the same time, 59 seconds.

Next, I tried transferring data from the PC through the 4G drive to the 2G drive. This time it took 1 minute and 57 seconds, three seconds longer than the direct transfer from the PC to the 2G drive. The conclusion was that the 2G drive could handle a 202M file with minimal slowdown, but how would it fare with something more substantial? I padded my PowerPoint presentation to 400M.

Transferring this behemoth from the laptop directly to the 2G file took 3 minutes, 42 seconds, a consistent transfer rate of 14.4 mega- bits/sec, the same rate as for the 202M file.

Again, there was a slight slowdown with the 2G drive when I started to pile on the Yego drives.

After plugging the 2G drive into the 4G drive and hanging the drives off the laptop's USB port like a pack of Y chromosomes, transferring the 400M file took 3 minutes, 46 seconds, a slowdown of four seconds, at a slower transfer rate of 14.2 megabits/sec.

Transferring the 400M file from the laptop directly to the 4G drive was a breezy 1 minute and 56 seconds, about 27.6 megabits/sec, a shade faster than the 4G drive performed with the 202M file.

Performance slowed about two seconds when I moved the 400M file from the PC through the 2G drive to the 4G drive, not enough to get upset about.

The last tests I performed were the easiest ' transferring the files in the other direction, from the Yego drives to the laptop.

It took only 20 seconds to transfer the 202M file from the 2G drive, a rate of 80.8 megabits/sec. Hanging the 2G drive off the 4G drive didn't slow the rate. The same was true when I transferred files from the 4G drive to the laptop via the 2G drive ' no degradation of speed at all, a consistent rate of 95 megabits/sec. This was also the case when I moved the 400M file from the drives to the laptop.

The RiData Yego EZdrive is fast, sturdy and offers two removable extra ports by virtue of its Y shape.

Each port you use gives you two more to work with. And if ever a USB drive could be described as adorable, these could be.

RiData Yego USB EZdrive, Advanced Media, (909) 861-2269, www.ritekusa.com.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.


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