As the editor of TechRepublic’s Smartphones blog, I’ve had
the opportunity to test several really neat up-and-coming gadgets. The most
recent one I received is called US3 Drive, and it’s actually three devices in
one very small package. In fact, its multi-functionality is probably its
strongest selling point – that, and the fact that it works with both Android
smartphones and Apple iPhones.
So, what is US3 Drive? According to Kickstarter,
US3 Drive is:
- A waterproof flash drive (the storage capacity
depends on the amount of money you pledge: 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB,
or 64 GB)
- A stylus that works with all touch screen devices
- A stand that’s compatible with both Android and
Chitanshu Vora, the creator of US3 Drive, has
already achieved his funding goal on Kickstarter, but pledges are still being
accepted until the funding period ends on September 15, 2013, at 6:00 A.M. EDT.
What this means is that Vora will move forward with the production of the US3
Drive, and backers will receive the final product before the end of the year.
Now that you know what US3 Drive is,
the next important question is whether or not it works! Let’s take a look at
each of the features separately.
Waterproof flash drive
First of all, let me say that the US3
Drive works with all USB compatible devices, and it’s the perfect size for a
flash drive (not too big or too small like other flash drives that I’ve used).
It fits nicely in my hand or pocket, and it ships with a detachable lanyard.
I also put the US3 Drive through a few waterproof tests, and it passed with
flying colors. On the Kickstarter video, a young man explained how he once lost
a lot of work by accidentally washing his pants without first removing his
flash drive from his pocket. That’s unfortunate, but it happens. As such, this is probably its best feature.
I was actually the most excited about this feature, because
there are apps that I’ve ignored or uninstalled because my fingers weren’t
nimble or small enough to navigate them on my smartphone touch screen. However,
the rubber tip of the stylus end is kind of roundish and didn’t provide the
fine point that I was hoping for. Also, while the compact size of the US3 Drive
is perfect for a flash drive, it’s a bit too small to hold as a stylus. Even
if the stylus was a bit longer (which would make it big-ish for a flash drive),
I really wanted to have some way to attach it to my smartphone — with Velcro or a
clip… something that I could easily get to, attach, and put away. In my
opinion, this is its weakest feature.
When you open the US3 Drive and flip the flash drive upward,
you can easily use this device as a stand for your smartphone. It should be
noted that it will only hold up if your phone is horizontal. Honestly, that’s
probably the only time you’d ever use US3 Device as a stand, but it does tip
backward when you set your phone against it in its natural, vertical position. I’m
fairly neutral about this feature, because while it works, I’m not blown away.
Will you reserve a place for the US3 Drive in your pocket?
What other smartphone gadgets have you come across that deserve a mention in
TechRepublic’s Smartphones blog? Share your opinion in the discussion thread