From the get go, I need to tell you that the Cruzer Contour is a God-send to chronic fidgeters like myself. I’ve had the Cruzer Contour for about a week now, and cannot tell you how often I’ve found myself sitting at my desk with my mouse in one hand and the Cruzer Contour in the other, just flipping it open and closed. Open and closed. Open and closed. I’ve walked up to more people than I can count saying ‘That’s not a USB drive… (flip-flip) THIS is a USB drive!’
As far as technical specs go, the Cruzer Contour boasts 18mb/s write speeds, and read speeds of up to 25mb/s. In testing, however, the Cruzer Contour performed better than advertised. Using the freeware version of HD-TAC, I was able to achieve 26.3mb/s read speeds (See graph below), which is significantly faster than the handful of other USB drives I tested, including my fairly new Cruzer Mini (which only read at 18mb/s).
The Cruzer Contour comes preloaded with SanDisk’s U3 technology allowing you to run portable applications directly from the drive. In essence, U3 allows the user to plug his flash drive into any computer and operate it as his/her own personal computer. Additionally, the Cruzer Contour provides password protection through U3 which is backed by AES hardware encryption, much stronger than the typical software encryption found on other USB drives.
Conclusion: This is a well functioning, high-speed device. Though the Cruzer Contour is significantly heavier than SanDisk’s previous Cruzer incarnations, the weight comes mostly from the drive’s stainless steel shell. My only complaint about the Cruzer Contour is that the grip ridges (see pictures below) are on the side of the drive where the USB port is. For whatever reason, when attempting to manipulate the opening and closing mechanism by gripping the ridges, the process was often strained and difficult. I found the mechanism operated much easier and smoother by gripping it on the bottom instead. Additionally, when connecting the Cruzer Contour into a particularly tight USB port, the mechanism clicked in and attempted to close the drive. It’s quite frustrating trying to plug a drive in when the port keeps receding into itself. Other than that though, a fantastic, sleek, and stylish piece of personal tech!