I ordered my engraved Lexar 2gig JumpDrive Lightning 120X way back on May 7 and it arrived July 29.
Yesterday I received an email informing me my JumpDrive had shipped and to expect it soon. I didn’t have the heart to write back and tell them the product was delivered a couple of weeks ago. 

Lexar make a great product, but their information gathering, order
tracking, and automatic online status updates do not work well
together. The Lexar system stated the product shipped to me twice via
FedEx. I found out later that only meant my backordered product had
shipped to Lexar and my Lightning thumbdrive had shipped to the
engraver. There was never an online status update when my Lightning
actually shipped to me.

If you call Lexar customer service and ask for
a status update on your order they cannot be any more specific than
saying your product will arrive in “a couple of weeks.” The process of
trying to pull information out of Lexar is unforgiving and maddening
and, while Lexar blame their delays on the lack of product due to
overwhelming popularity of the JumpDrive Lightning, I always counter
their argument with, “We wouldn’t mind the delays if you could be more
specific in telling us the status of our order.”

Waiting over 10 weeks
to get the product is a bit silly.
I love these portable USB “thumbdrives” and I have an old SanDisk Cruzer Titanium version I bought a year ago that logs in at 512MB for storage capacity.

 SanDisk Cruzer

I now finally have in hand my 2gig Lexar JumpDrive Lightning. I will do a quick compare between both thumbdrives.

 Lexar JumpDrive

Invulnerability

Cruzer Titanium. This thing is heavy and tough. The JumpDrive Lightning is light, but flimsy and plastic-feeling.

Lights

Lexar Lightning. When data is exchanged on the drives a blue light
flickers to indicate read/write action. The Cruzer light, however, is
an awful bright blue that is “on” the entire time you have it plugged
into your computer. That light makes the Cruzer really hot to handle.
The Lightning, on the other hand, only flickers its light when
something is actually happening. That means the Lightning is cooler and
not as obnoxious with an always-on light status.

Sexiness

The Cruzer is sleek and sexy. The Lightning is just sleek.

Keychain
Neither. Each of these drives claim they can
hang on a keychain. Bwa-ha! No chance. They are both too big and too
ugly to fit on anyone’s keychain.

Engraving
Lightning. I had my email address engraved
on my Lightning and that process added two weeks to my order. The
engraving looks okay but not great. The Cruzer doesn’t offer an
engraving option and I don’t know if it is even possible to engrave on
Titanium. Oh, and my 512MB Cruzer has an entire shell made of Titanium.
I hear rumors the 1gig Cruzer Titanium only has a Titanium “coating”
instead of being entirely made out of the stuff.

Shininess
Lightning. Bright and chrome-like. The Cruzer has a duller finish

Fingerprints
Cruzer. Every time you touch the Lightning
you leave behind essential oils, sweat, fingerprints and other
disgusting bodily secretions. With the Cruzer you leave behind no
evidence of how dirty your hands are every day. Lexar knows
fingerprints are a problem because they include a special Lexar
“polishing cloth — to keep Lightning clean.

Speed
Tie. I thought this would have been hands-down
winner for the Lightning since my Cruzer was a year older. Not so. Both
drives are equally speedy in saving data.

Software
Lightning. Lexar write great software.
Backing up and securing information is simple with the Lighting and it
takes little effort to get those two Gigs working to back you up.

Connection
Cruzer. I like the slider action on the
Cruzer that exposes and withdraws the USB connector compared to the cap
you have to use on the Lightning to protect the always-extended USB
tip. I know I will soon lose the cap to the Lightning.

Storage
Lightning. 2gigs vs. 512MB is no contest. A
year ago the Cruzer Titanium was the top dog in storage and style. What
a difference a year makes!

Size

Tie. Both drives are the same physical size. What a difference a year doesn’t make!

Price
Depends. A year ago I paid around $300 for my
Cruzer and I paid around that amount for the engraved Lightning this
year. In 12 months the storage capacity of these thumbdrives quadrupled
while the price, theoretically, stayed the same.

My Lexar 2gig JumpDrive Lightning 120X has become my emergency fire backup system.
All my important documents and files are automatically synched to my
Lightning throughout the work day. If I have to vacate the house for
any reason, I unplug the Lightning, cap it, and run — and it takes all
of three seconds to achieve.

10 Comments

  1. I have a Titanium Cruzer 512MB as well and do keep it on my keychain. I don’t think it’s too big. Heck, my truck key is the size of the Cruzer in volume. If I didn’t have it on a key ring, I’d lose it altogether since it’s so small. And it’s tough, it’s never come off the ring.
    The 2GB Titanium is actually coming out in a couple weeks, so I’ll probably buy *it*. This talk about the Lexar losing caps (exposing the USB connector), dealing with fingerprints and not being sexy doesn’t sell me.
    Even if the new Cruzers are just coated in titanium, the website still claims the “Crush force exceeds 2000 lbs”, which is the same as the current model, so that’s fine with me. I just want something that doesn’t break.
    My problem is there are 4GB and even 8GB flash drives now of the same size. Why can’t I buy a 4/8GB drive with metal casing? I had a 512MB 2 years ago with a plastic case and it broke within 5 months. What a rip off. If you use these things a lot and have important data on them, NEVER buy a plastic flash drive!

  2. Hi Jim!
    Thanks for the great comment! If the new Cruzer can sustain 2,000 lbs of crushing power then it must be an all Titanium shell.
    You must have a lot of big keys! 🙂
    I am with you on staying away from the plastic drives. They are rather awful. I also agree we need 8 gig Titanium monsters!

  3. Well, you know these new keys nowadays have the remote built into them. I only have the one big key for a Dodge Durango, but it makes the Cruzer look small. It’s funny, all the printing on the Cruzer has rubbed off long ago, so you don’t know how big it is from the outside.
    Since I develop software for a living, having a recent & reliable backup of the password encrypted source code on my key ring is one of the most important things in my life. I don’t mind buying a new Titanium every year as long as I can double the size or more the next year and still get it for a good price.

  4. The cut of your jib ain’t to shabby either. I wanted to give a little update on the new “Liquidmetal” casing. I just read on the Liquidmetal’s site that the new Cruzer’s case is “more than twice the strength of titanium”. That’s a pretty bold statement.
    See here:
    http://www.liquidmetal.com/news/dsp.press.031005.asp
    A video clip of this stuff makes it sound like a kind of “metal flubber”. You have to see this. It makes me wonder if the Cruzer will just go bouncing away if it’s dropped. 🙂
    http://www.liquidmetal.com/media/ball_bounce_DSL.mov