ATP ToughDrive 4GB Camo USB Flash

Author
Logan King
Posted
August 21, 2008
Views
35508
ATP ToughDrive 4GB Camo USB Flash
Many flash drive companies claim superior performance, pricing or in some cases even design. But how many flash drives can claim to be waterproof and heat resistant? Today we look at a product from a company that does just that, in the form of the ATP ToughDrive 4GB Camo.

Page 1: Intro and Overview

Intro:

ATP Electronics is a 17 year-old company best known for their EarthDrive recyclable USB flash drive, which is not only made of recycled materials but also has part of the proceeds go towards rainforest protection. They also make memory products for both enterprise and home applications in addition to various types of removable storage. Today, ASE Labs has the ATP ToughDrive 4GB Camo edition.

About ATP Electronics:

Quote

Established in 1991, ATP has over 17 years of experience in the design, manufacture, and support of high performance, highest quality DRAM modules and NAND flash storage products. ATP focuses in mission critical applications such as industrial/automation, telecom, medical, and enterprise computing where high levels of technical support/expertise, consistency of performance, and manufacturing quality are required. A certified Eco/Green partner of tier one OEMs, all ATP products are fully RoHS and China RoHS compliant.

A true manufacturer of both flash and DRAM products, ATP offers in-house design, testing, and product tuning at both the system and component levels. In addition, ATP supply chain support includes controlled/fixed BOMs and long term product life cycles.


Packaging:

Package Front
Package Rear


ATP retail packaging claims that this product is "Waterproof" and "Rugged," and you can be certain that such claims won't go untested. The rest of the packaging is mostly just specs and features, though the packaging itself was nicely designed. As good bonus feature is that after you open it the package shape allows it to be closed again, which is a rarity for plastic containers of this type. Of note, however, is what is either a print error or an inconsistency with the ATP website; which claims the product can be used with Mac OS 8.6, whereas the packaging claims at least OS 9.0 is needed.

Specs:
  • High Speed USB 1.1/2.0 Certified
  • Compatible with Mac OS 8.6 and up, Windows 98SE and up, and Linux Kernel 2.4.0 and up.
  • Available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities
  • Dimensions: 2 1/2"(L) x 3/4"(W)
  • Synthetic Polymer Housing
  • LED Status Light
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost.
  • Carabiner
  • Up to 30 Mb/s read speed, 20 MB/s write speed.
  • Manufactured with System-in-Packaging.
  • SKU: AF4GUFT1BK-SE


Plug and Play functionality isn't mentioned, so it will be tested to see how closely it follows the USB standard.

Parts:
Package Contents


The package includes two things: The drive itself, plus a nifty carabiner rather than the more frequently seen lanyard. While I think the carabiner is a nice touch, and certianly more expensive than a lanyard would have been, I think it would have been nice to include a lanyard in the package in addition. The carabiner contributes nicely to the burly, strong image the drive is trying to project; but it is arguably less practical than the more common lanyard if one was to attach it to a key ring or something similar.
The carabiner itself seems strong enough to handle the rough and tumble life that being on a keychain would cause, being made out of what seems to either be steel or aluminum. My only concern is the swivel point next to where it attaches to the drive, as it looks rather flimsy when you rotate it.

Tough Drive Camo:

ToughDrive Front


The drive itself is mostly black with slick camouflage paint on both sides, which adds a bit of style compared to the standard ToughDrive. Rather than a lanyard hole, the drive has a triangular piece of metal so one can attach the included carabiner without fuss. I think this is a great feature, as it allows flexibility. Most flash drives only have a hole in which you only can put a lanyard through, but this design allows you to use the included carabiner, your own lanyard or connect it directly to a keychain.

ToughDrive Back


On the back is much the same. It has the part number and its FCC certification logo. The case of the flash drive is sort of like silicone, with a tiny bit of give when you press down on it. The material is surprisingly smooth considering what it looks like, so the grip notches cut into the side are a nice design decision that actually help give it some style as well.

ToughDrive Cap Off


The cap is nice in that it doesn't matter which way it is facing when it is replaced on the drive, as the camo design flows smoothly either way it is put on. One thing that does concern me is how well the cap sticks on the flash drive. The polymer the cap is made of seems somewhat similar to that which SanDisk put on their old Cruzer Micro, and I have first hand experience with how easy it was to lose the cap on that flash drive. Whether the ToughDrive has the same problem is unknown, but it is worth noting to look out for. The LED is of the passive blue type, so when you plug it in to doesn't flash or do anything annoying. When it is under use, however, it does become akin to a strobe light.

Included on the flash drive is the users manual (in .PDF format) and some utilities. Hilariously enough, the manual warns to "Keep this Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Flash Disk away from heat, direct sunlight, and water. Do not bend, flex, or drop it." Comical for a drive that is supposedly "shock-proof," "waterproof" and capable of "Extreme Temperature Resistance." Regardless, that is just the type of legal blurb which is necessary in all products, so we will ignore it in this case.

On the Utilities front (based on the manual), it has the password and login stuff that seems somewhat standard these days, but included within the security features is a partition tool. Windows cannot partition USB flash drives natively if they are done in the standard FAT or FAT 32 (and NTFS-formatted flash drives are just taunting potential data loss), so this software is of great use to anyone who needs to break up the drive into partitions, which normally would require the purchase of an outside program. This is obviously intended for use to create a secure partition that requires a password to enter, though the manual states it works just as well for creating two public partitions.
Also included is a tool to turn the flash drive into an MS-DOS boot disk, which is normally a complicated and annoying procedure, so its conclusion does not go unnoticed. These two seemingly great utilities will be included in testing as well.
members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2770.jpg Package Front members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2771.jpg Package Rear members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2772m.jpg Package Contents members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2773.jpg ToughDrive Front members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2774.jpg ToughDrive Back members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2775m.jpg ToughDrive Cap Off members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2776m.jpg HD Tach 1 members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2777m.jpg HD Tach 2 members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2778m.jpg HD Tach 3 members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2779m.jpg Flash Toolkit Benchmark members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2780.jpg ToughDrive in Water members/attachments/upload/2008/08/22/2781m.jpg View from the Top

Title

Medium Image View Large