Tech Tuesday: Frohne Florida Key USB DriveJuly 10th, 2012 by Michael Kwan
This way, you can easily attach it to your keychain, giving you access to some portable storage no matter where life may take you. Over at a friend’s house and he has pictures he wants to give you? No problem. Visiting with a colleague and need to save some important PDF documents? You can do that too. A little bit of storage is always close at hand.
Style and Design
Taking a look at the overall design, you’ll find that the Frohne Florida Key has essentially the same dimensions as a regular key, like the one you might have for your house. It feels reasonably well built and is quite stiff, so it should be able to stand up to usual wear and tear.
You’ll also notice from the picture at the top that there is a mini ruler on the drive, giving you 2cm of measurement. I can’t see how this would be particularly useful under most circumstances, but it’s something.
One feature that did bug me, though, was how the actual USB connector was designed. Frohne went with the “slim” design for the USB connector, but the two sides raise up. This results in two rather sharp edges that could easily start carving holes in your pockets or bags. This is supposed to be a “feature” for cutting open thin boxes and packages, but I feel it’s more troublesome than it’s worth.
Yes, performance matters. While I certainly didn’t expect the Florida Key to give me the 120MB/s range read times that USB 3.0 flash drives are able to provide, I was expecting it to perform within the range of most conventional USB 2.0 drives.
When I reviewed the Kingston DataTraveler 150 a long while back, I achieved an average transfer rate of about 29MB/s. The Frohne Florida Key didn’t even come close with a read time of 11.76MB/s and a write time of 4.76MB/s. That’s usable for smaller files, but transferring anything substantial will feel quite slow.
The Price of Convenience?
The Frohne Florida Key is different and it looks like it could be great for the road, accompanying your travel surge protector and ultrabook PC. However, you do pay a price for the added style and convenience.
You pay in terms of performance, as described above. You pay in terms of design, regarding that sharp edges by the USB connector. And yes, you also pay in terms of price. The 4GB Florida Key has a suggested retail price of $73.99. There are tons of 4GB drives available for $5 to $10 that are faster and just as portable. For these reasons, I can’t recommend the Florida Key.
Do You Want to Win It?
I have enough USB flash drives kicking around already, so I’d rather this Florida Key not go to waste.
Leave a comment below with what you look for in a USB drive and I’ll draw a random winner in one week’s time. This contest is open to anywhere in the world, assuming that you have reasonable access to postal service.
UPDATE (7/17/12): The winner has been randomly selected. Thanks again to everyone who entered.
Filed under Technology.