The SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus (4GB) has several features that should appeal to business travelers: AES hardware encryption, the ability to run applications, password protection, and 4GB of online backup. Add in a durable design, and you have an all-around champ--if you're willing to pay more per GB.
Design and Features
The Cruzer Titanium Plus isn't the most attractive flash drive, but it felt sturdy, and we appreciated its slide-out USB connector and included lanyard, which helps keep it from getting lost. Once we plugged the Cruzer Titanium Plus into our notebook, we began to appreciate its true value: We were prompted to create an online account, which then automatically backed up the 1GB of mixed data on the drive courtesy of the BeInSync data backup service. Users get 4GB of free online storage for six months; after that it costs $29.99 per year, which is an offer exclusive to the Cruzer Titanium Plus. This is a technological godsend because if you accidentally delete a file from the drive, you can recover it from the online storage. The USB stick will back up new files as well as changes made to pre-existing files.
We were impressed with the seamless backup process, but unfortunately, the backup and password protection doesn't support the Linux or Mac operating systems; those features are only compatible with Windows 2000 (with Service Pack 4), XP, and Vista. If you forget your password, you can request a new one to be e-mailed to you by inputting your address into a form on BeInSync's site.
U3 software comes preinstalled on the drive, which allows you to emulate a Windows environment and run applications directly from the stick. This enabled us to download and install programs such as Firefox, OpenOffice, Skype, and Trillian from the SanDisk U3 Download Central in U3 Launchpad (a program manager that lets you download applications). It was great being able to have our favorite services on hand, complete with our settings intact, whenever we plugged the Cruzer Titanium Plus into a Windows PC.
The Cruzer Titanium Plus offers excellent performance. On an HD Tach test, we saw a 26.2-MBps read speed, second only to the OCZ Technology Rally2's 33.9 MBps. The Cruzer also had a quick 10.4 MBps write speed, transferring 1GB of photos, video, music, and documents in 1 minute and 38 seconds. Of the other flash drives we've reviewed recently, only the PNY Attache, with a write speed of 10.0 MBps, comes close. SanDisk also covers the drive with a lengthy five-year warranty.
Despite a ho-hum design--and the fact that you're paying essentially twice as much per GB as many other flash drives--the SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus is a stellar device that delivers the essentials for a mobile business lifestyle: security, durability, performance, and online backup.