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At TestFreaks we have a rather strange affinity for USB Flash Drives as seen here, here and here. So when Verbatim offered us the chance to test out the Tuff N Tiny 8GB Flash Drive; we couldn’t refuse. Verbatim a highly regarded name in data storage and Flash Drive media sounds like a match made in heaven.

One of my earliest computer related recollections involve using 5.25” Verbatim branded floppy disks. I am dating myself, aren’t I? These days USB Flash media has become the equivalent of a floppy disk and Verbatim has joined the fun with their Tuff N Tiny drives. Hopefully this drive will match my prior experiences with Verbatim’s other products.

The Tuff N Tiny is designed to be portable, rugged and resistant to dust, water and static discharge. It includes a key ring lanyard allowing it to attach to one’s mobile phone or keychain. This miniature USB Flash Drive is composed of a durable light plastic and is perfect for carrying around on one’s keys meaning your data is always nearby and readily accessible.

The Verbatim Tuff N Tiny 8GB Flash Drive arrives in the dreaded plastic clamshell package. Once carefully extracted from the plastic we find the Flash Drive, a key ring lanyard and an instruction sheet. The drive comes in only three colors – purple for the 8GB version, green for the 4GB model and orange for the 2GB size.

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The Tuff N Tiny measures 1.19 x 0.5 x 0.06 inches, is rectangular shaped and is as thick as a penny. On one side of the drive is the Verbatim name, logo and drive size and on the other side is the USB copper contact. Opposite this contact is a loop for the key ring lanyard.

Of course you may be wondering why these USB contacts are exposed which could easily lead to scratches and damage. Thankfully Verbatim was prepared for these types of hazards as these contacts have a plastic coating to protect the drive from danger.

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Here are some comparative size pictures of the Tuff N Tiny compared to a stick of gum, a penny and a standard USB connector.

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On the drive itself we find a pre-loaded password security software for Windows systems called V-Safe100. Using this software allows the user to create a private zone for sensitive data, while allowing a public zone for open access and sharing of non-sensitive files.

For those using Kingston’s DT400’s SecureTraveler software the V-Safe100 version should look familiar as it is probably the same rebranded utility.

Specifications:

TUFF-’N’-TINY™ 8GB USB Drive – Purple

Penny-thin and travel-tough, the Verbatim TUFF-‘N’-TINY™ USB Drive offers secure storage in one of the most compact, durable USB flash drives available.  Designed for everyday handling and resistant to dust, water and static discharges, this drive measures up to its name and is compatible with all USB ports. It offers password security for Windows users and is enhanced for Windows® ReadyBoost™ for Windows 7 and Vista users. Perfect for carrying the files you use every day, the TUFF-‘N’-TINY™ drive comes with key ring lanyard to attach to mobile phones or key rings.  Choose from capacities of 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. See for yourself how the Verbatim TUFF-‘N’-TINY™ sizes up!

Features & Benefits
-Tiny, rugged USB drive measures 1.19 x 0.5 x 0.06 inch
-Resistant to dust, water and static discharges
-Compatible with ALL USB ports
-Password security for Windows users
-Enhanced for Windows® ReadyBoost™
-Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2000, Mac OS 9.x or higher, Linux kernel 2.6x or higher
-Bonus key ring lanyard for mobile phones or key rings
-Available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities

Price: $26.99 (At Amazon at Time of Review)

Installation of the Tuff N Tiny 8GB Flash Drive involves orienting the copper contacts so they touch the PC’s USB port properly. If you don’t get a connection the first time around, then flip the drive over. Once the drive is recognized by the PC you can go into the V-Safe 100 program and partition the drive into public and private zones if security is a concern. This password protects the data but does NOT encrypt it.

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For performance testing I used DiskBench running the copy and read bench marks and HD Tach version 3.0.1.0. To compare the speed of the Tuff N Tiny I pitted it against some recent large capacity USB Flash drives including the DataTraveler Locker+ (16 GB), DataTraveler 400 (16GB) (a password protected but not encrypted drive), Corsair Voyager 16GB and the OCZ Rally2 64 GB drives.

Surprisingly it beat the others on the copy bench and kept pace on the read bench using DiskBench. Running the Tuff N Tiny on HD Tach RW we saw a consistent 22 MB/s in sequential read and burst speed.

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To test the ruggedness claims of the Tuff N Tiny I dropped in a cup of water and left it there for ten minutes. I then dried off the flash drive and proceeded to reconnect it to my PC. As advertised the Tuff N Tiny worked without a hiccup.

Since the drive is so light dropping it from most any height should leave it unscathed. The plastic coating did its job protecting the drive from the battering of my keychain.


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Conclusion:

The Verbatim Tuff N Tiny Flash Drive does live up to its moniker. It is a miniscule size spacious flash drive that can be always near by when attached to your keys. It is tuff, I mean tough enough to withstand the daily abuses of life especially if residing on ones keychain. Falls, spills and scratches should not affect the Tuff N Tiny’s performance and that is why you would buy this drive in the first place.

Compared to some standard size USB flash drives, the Tuff N Tiny’s performance is easily on par meaning you do not sacrifice speed when using this ultra portable device. It is currently available from Amazon for less than thirty dollars making this a terrific deal.

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Pros:
+Tiny size
+Rugged, waterproof and dust resistant
+Fast speeds
+Includes security software
+Did I mention really small?
+Price

Cons:
-Easily lost if not tethered to keys or phone
-Limited color options

Grades:
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10

This product was given to TestFreaks for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.