USB2U
We Ship Worldwide
Click Here for Details
Get A Quote

Archive for the ‘USB Memory Stick’ Category

UDP Flash Has Driven USB Memory Stick Innovation

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

When the first USB flash drives hit the market just over 10+ years ago they were all based on one core technological solution and that was the combination of flash memory with a controller chip and a capacitor – these components were soldered onto a printed circuit board and a USB connector provided the interface to the PC. The result was a small(ish), portable and easy to use data storage device – the USB memory stick was born!

The “guts” of the memory stick (the printed circuit board, memory module, capacitor, controller and USB connector) are generally referred to in the industry as a COB solution – think of it as a common engine around which manufacturers build different designs/shells.

In subsequent years the storage capacity of these first generation USB sticks grew from a relatively small 8MB to eventually break through the 1GB barrier. Today memory sticks with a storage capacity of 64GB are common place!

The big shake up in terms of design came with the introduction of the UDP chips – in common with other sectors in the computer and gadget sector what was once achieved on a large COB card could now be achieved on a much smaller form factor. Effectively a UDP chip has the flash memory, the controller and the capacitor all rolled into one and as you can see it’s much smaller.

USB Memory Sticks  - COB vs UDP

USB Memory Sticks - COB vs UDP

As a consequence the USB memory stick product designers have had a field day! No longer did their designs have to work with a largish rectangular internal component but instead they could now unleash their creative talents and come up with all sorts of shapes, designs and styles.

Today the market is awash with thousands of different designs ranging from super thin credit cards to tiny little Iron Sticks and lots of really cute custom USB sticks. UDP chips are a boon to designers of Custom USB sticks because pretty much any shape can now be accommodated hence the proliferation of custom USB lips, USB animals, USB truck and cars and USB sticks in the shape of characters from movies.

USB Cards Using UDP Chips

USB Cards Using UDP Chips

There is no difference in the performance of USB memory sticks that use UDP technology. Their read/writes speeds are just as fast and they’ll support the same number of read/write cycles. Arguably they are more stable because there are no soldered connections to break or weaken over time.

Share

Laser Engraved USB Memory Sticks Create a Lasting Impression

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

If you’re the market for some promotional USB memory sticks and you’re thinking of ordering them with your logo printed on them then before you place the order you might just want to take a few minutes to consider getting your logo laser engraved rather than printed.

We understand that for some customers printing is the only option because they have to have their logo reproduced in full colour and of course we understand that printed logos and designs look great.  After all the majority of our USB sticks are printed and all of our USB sticks can be printed on!  But there is one obvious downside with printing and we’d be failing in our responsibility to our customers if we didn’t point it out.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

The downside with printing is that over time the print will begin to chip and wear away leaving behind a logo that might not be legible.  It doesn’t matter what printing process is use, what primer is applied to the sticks and how long they are baked for to harden the ink after being printed because at some point ink and its adhesion will “give” and chip away or simply fade.

Of course the resilience of the print will vary depending on the material that the USB stick is made from and how well they are printed in the first place.  Equally the environment they are used in can have a major bearing as can the way in which they are carried –  if printed USB memory sticks are attached to a bunch of keys (on a key ring) then the constant chaffing of the stick against the keys will accelerate the erosion of the print.

If you really do want your logo to last and for your promotional USB memory sticks to look as good after a few months as they did on the day they were supplied then you ought to consider getting them laser engraved.

Laser engraving “etches” the surface of the USB stick leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a very popular technique that is used on a wide range of promotional products.

Of course you won’t get the option of full colour but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that the design engraved onto them will last the test of time.

Engraved USB - Iron Stick

Engraved USB - Iron Stick

Share

Wedding Photographers Guide to Buying Faster USB Memory Sticks

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

If you’re a professional wedding photographer (or any professional photographer for that matter) and you’re thinking of changing from CD’s and DVD’s in favour of USB memory sticks with your logo printed or engraved on them then there are some basic things you need to be consider before you commit to buying them:

  1. Most suppliers of memory sticks printed with a company brand or logo are supplying then as “giveaway” promotional gift – the sort of thing that are handed out like sweets at trade and retail shows. Typically these memory sticks won’t get a huge amount of usage and the demands the sticks in terms of read/write cycles (the number of times the USB sticks is used) and the read/write speeds (the speed taken to transfer files onto the USB stick) are pretty light.

    Typical read/write speeds of a “standard” promotional USB sticks can be as low as 2MB per second (write) and 6MB per second (read). Whilst this is slow it’s fine if all you’re doing is loading up a couple of sales brochures onto the sticks but, if you’re a professional photographer or wedding video company you may (depending on what you are doing with the drives) need to specify certain minimum requirements – read/write speeds, grade of memory chip etc.

  2. If you buy standard promotional USB Flash drives and you then start to load very files or lots of high quality images onto them then pretty soon you’ll notice that they’re not the quickest of products. If you’ve been used to working on Apple Mac’s and you use top end Memory Cards with fast read/write speeds, or Firewire or Thunderbolt to move data around then by comparison a promotional USB flash drive is going to be a “horse and cart”.

    For example top end SD cards or CF cards have a read/write speed of around 40MB per second – X10 times the speed of standard promotional USB flash drives. Thunderbolt is on a different planet with transfer speeds of 10GB per second!

  3. All promotional USB memory sticks will be USB 2.0 rather than the latest and faster USB 3.0 The reason is cost – USB 3.0 memory sticks are still priced at a premium so unless you ask for USB 3.0 the prices you’ll be quoted will almost universally be for USB 2.0.
  4. If speed of data transfer is an issue for you then ask for a price for USB 3.0 memory sticks – these have read write speed of around 50MB – 100MB per second so they are blisteringly quick! The downside is cost and you need a PC or Mac that is equipped with USB 3.0 USB ports to take advantage of the speed improvements. They’ll still work on USB 2.0 PC’s but only at USB 2.0 speeds!
  5. A sensible compromise if you’re looking for decent data transfer speeds it to ask for “upgraded” USB 2.0 flash drives – they’ll be a little more expensive but you should get something that has a longer warranty period and better performance with speeds closer to the High performance products sold by brands like Kingston and Lacie. Remember if you don’t ask for this you will just get “standard” promotional USB flash drives which are fine they’re just slow! By default USB2U always quote professional photographers for upgraded USB 2.0 products.
  6. Ideally talk to your supplier about what you plan to use your USB memory sticks and get them to recommend a solution. If you’ve chosen your supplier well and they know their industry they should not only be aware of the issues but they should be able to put forward a range of different solutions.
Wooden USB Sticks for Professional Photographers

Wooden USB Sticks for Professional Photographers

Share

Ten Is the Magic Number for Professional Photographers

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Like lots of our competitors the minimum order for printed USB memory sticks has always been twenty five (25) but the feedback we were given at The Photography Show in Birmingham was so supportive of our “show offer” that we have now decided to reduce our minimum order quantities. From today all of the discounted USB bundles and packages of our USB2U photography web site have been had their minimum order quantities reduced to ten (10)!!

So, if you’re a professional photographer, wedding photographer or videographer and you’ve been thinking of making the switch from CD’s and DVD’s but you’ve been out off by the level of upfront commitment you needed to make to buy 25 USB sticks and boxes then this is going to be good news.

Starting today you can get yourself ten fully personalised USB sticks and ten personalised USB gift boxes to go with them for around £100! That includes all of the artwork set-up costs, the printing (or engraving), custom inserts for the USB sticks and delivery by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

You can choose from six different bundles including our very popular wooden USB sticks and wooden USB gift boxes or you might opt for our USB cards with the option of a leather wallet or a printed gift box.

Whichever “bundle” you choose you’ll be getting upgraded (high performance) USB sticks that we assemble specifically for professional photographers – these ensure a higher read/write speed, more read/ write cycles (a longer life) and they all come with a ten year warranty. We print/engrave all of our sticks in the UK so the lead time for any order is normally just a few days (depending on how busy we are).

The feedback from photographers to our range of bundles has been amazing:

A perfect job with perfect service

Having used simple DVDs to provide clients with high res files in the past I had it in the back of my mind that I should present them with something a little more refined. I’ve found that in USB2U, the customised memory sticks I’ve just received have blown me away and the feedback from clients just from posting an image of the sticks to facebook has been amazing. Don’t hesitate order some today! (Russell Lewis Photography)

A very efficient service from start to finish and great communications every step of the way.

I found USB2U very easy to deal with and they provided clear instructions and guidance where necessary – I had seen their website a year or so ago, but since the introduction of their ‘professional photographers’ section on their website, it has greatly improved my ability to present digital images to my clients and brings image and video presentation up to date. With quality in mind, the processing chips are uprated to make sure that my professional products are made to last. (Taylors Photographic)

Innovative stylish products, great quality with fast efficient and friendly service.

Had the chance to view the woodland style USB drives in wooden boxes at USB2U Stand at the Photography Show. Had been looking for a stylish way to present digital images to clients and this product is in a class of its own.  The little touches like the small magnets, to hold on the cap & sliding lid for the box, give that touch of class to what is a very elegant product. The team at USB2U where friendly, helpful and professional enabling the artwork processes to be achieved in a few hours and delivery was on time and as promised. A great experience all round (Andy Meany Photography )

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

USB2U Memory Sticks and Boxes for Taylors Photographic

Share

Promotional USB Memory Sticks – Looking Good In Leather

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The promotional USB memory stick market tends to be dominated by plastic and metal products but for those looking for something a little different there is always leather or wood.

Leather USB memory sticks are only marginally more expensive than standard plastic or metal counterparts but when you compare them in the flesh it’s a pretty easy decision to make to spend the extra cash. The price differential is typically only 20p – 30p per sticks! The leather versions are incredibly stylish, robust, and tactile and like most leather products they are warm to the touch and ooze quality.

Leather USB Memory Sticks

Leather USB Memory Sticks

If your company brand warrants marketing as a “prestige” or premium” brand then it’s definitely worth looking at the leather options (for example we currently supply them to Aston Marti and Maserati). Equally, if you’re looking for a promotional give-away or “thank you” gift for conference speakers or company executives then leather USB memory sticks will deliver the right level of sophisticated appreciation.

In terms of branding leather USB memory sticks are either embossed or printed with embossing being the most popular option. Embossing is more subtle. It won’t rug off and it will age with the leather but the downside with embossing is that the branding is subtle – it’s not going to jump out at you from the memory stick because there is no colour or printing involved. If you want immediate visual impact then printing is the way to go but do bear in mind that over time any print will fade and eventually it will rub off.

There are lots of different models of leather USB memory sticks to choose from and all of them have been designed to allow you to attach the memory stick to a lanyard, key ring or belt loop. As they are premium products they really deserve giving away in a custom (printed) gift box – there are lots to choose from and most come with a custom cut foam insert that allows them to be shown off at their best.

Leather USB Flash Drives

Leather USB Flash Drives

If you do buy leather USB memory sticks (or any type of promotional USB stick for that matter) then don’t forget to take full advantage of the memory capacity on the stick and pre-load your sales brochures, presentation slides, media files etc. onto them before you hand them out! Equally, if the memory sticks are being purchased as a “thank you” it’s a nice idea to include a personalised thank you message on the stick – in other words to pre-load the a personalised thank you file onto the stick that is displayed to the recipient when the memory stick is used for the first time.

USB2U supply a wide range of leather USB sticks and printed USB gift boxes and they can pre-load your data file for you as well – make sure to them to your short list of potential suppliers.

Share

Printed and Promotional USB Sticks – A Roller Coaster Ride

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

No, this is not about the challenges of finding a reputable supplier of promotional USB memory sticks but instead it’s about the changes taking place at theme parks around the world and how USB sticks are now likely to be offered to you at the end of your rides/visit.

Visit any theme park and you’ll quickly discover that your picture is worth a small fortune (it has to be given the price you’re asked to pay for photos at the end of each ride).  Let’s face it when you visit a theme park it’s almost impossible to avoid having your photograph taken whilst you’re scared out of your wits on an extreme “thrill” ride or whilst you’re getting soaked on the log flumes and water slides

The savvy theme park operators know that these photos, as embarrassing as they are, make brilliant souvenirs and of course they’re a great reminder of a fun packed day spent with family and friends. As a parent “pester effect” at the end of each ride as you’re corralled though a gift shop and photo booth can be irritating but the photos are a great source of revenue to the theme park operators.

USB Sticks Enjoying a Day Out at a Theme Park

USB Sticks Enjoying a Day Out at a Theme Park

If you’re tempted to buy any of the photographs then there is the hassle of carrying them around with you all day (and keeping them dry and flat). Some theme parks have a facility where you can order them at the end of each ride and pick them up on your way out. Handy.

It’s been possible (from some of the theme parks) to buy a portfolio of photos at the end of your visit on a CD or DVD and recently, some of the larger and more “switched on” theme parks have introduced an option to buy the ride photographs on a printed USB memory stick. This is a great idea because it’s far easier and a lot more convenient to carry around a small USB flash drive with you as you go around the park. Then, at the end of each ride if you see a photo you like you can simply hand over your flash drive and get the images copied onto it! There’s even scope to combine an admission of “fast pass” wristband with a USB stick – a USB wristband!

The benefit of buying digital copies of the snaps is that they are easy to print off on your own colour printer and just as easy to upload to Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Of course you can do this with your smart phone but it’s a bit tricky taking a “selfie” as rocket around a thrill ride and you’re pulling several “G’s” in a tight turn!

Share

Promotional USB Sticks – Free Lanyards

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

If you’re looking to buy some promotional USB memory sticks during February and March 2014 then it’s definitely worth checking out the options available from USB2U.

Not only do they offer a huge range of USB sticks but they also have a wide range of gift boxes, lanyards, key-rings and engraved ‘dog tags” that can be used individually or together to make a fantastic promotional package. For a limited time the lanyards are free with any order of 100 or more USB Sticks (just quote FreeLanyards).

In addition to free lanyards you can also get up to 300MB of data pre-loaded onto your USB sticks at no extra cost – the only proviso is that you’re not ordering your USB sticks on their Express or Super Express service (24hrs – 72hr delivery service).

There are lots of different colours of lanyard to choose from and with around 100,000 in stock in the UK there are plenty to go around! If its something that might be of interest to you then speak to one of the sales team and get a quote that includes the free lanyards (and free data loads)!

Irrespective of which colour you choose all of our USB lanyards come with a quick release mechanism that allows you to remove the USB stick from the lanyard without having to struggle to get the whole thing over your head! A small number of the USB sticks they sell don’t have an option to connect a lanyard

USB with Lanyards

USB with Lanyards

Share

PostScript to the 5k USB Stick Scam

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Last week we posted an article about a company that approached us in a panic because the 5,000 USB sticks they had purchased direct from a “factory” in China were not working on any of their PC’s or Mac’s. They were dumbfounded because they thought they had done everything they could to make sure the factory they were dealing with was legitimate and that the USB sticks they’d ordered would be up to the job.

Not only had they taken the precaution of buying from a “Gold” supplier on a reputable Chinese supplier brokerage web site but they’d also insisted on being sent a sample of the USB sticks for testing before they committed to the final order of 5,000 and importantly before they agreed to pay for them!

The dialogue with the factory was good and the shipment of the sample was arranged promptly. The independent tests on the sample undertaken in the UK suggested everything was in order so they pushed ahead with the order for 5k USB memory sticks. Payment was wired to the suppliers’ bank account in China and three weeks later the USB sticks arrived – then the fun began!

When inserted into any PC a quick check of the “properties” of the USB sticks suggested they had 512MB of memory (the size they had ordered) but when they tried to use the memory and load content onto the USB sticks alarms bells started to ring – it looked like data was being transferred onto the USB stick but when it was taken out and re-inserted it had nothing on it! The same scenario was repeated with multiple samples from the 5k batch and irrespective of whether they used a PC or Mac and irrespective of how large the data was they tried to copy onto the stick nothing was on them when they were re-inserted!

All attempts to contact the supplier in China were met with silence. Panic set in.

Having been sent a couple of the samples our initial suspicion was that the USB sticks had no memory in them at all but having sent the samples to our factory in China they have discovered that the USB sticks do have a very, very tiny memory module and that this has been “masked” to look like a 512MB stick! The small memory module inside the sticks is normally used on “web keys” – its just large enough to carry a website URL and nothing else.

The “masking” of this memory to make it look like it has 512MB of storage is pre-meditated fraud. The supplier knew exactly what they were doing and they knew the 5,000 sticks they supplied were nothing like the original sample. The buyer had been duped and was now thousands of pounds out of pocket and without the USB sticks they so desperately needed for their event.

The simple moral of this story is that whilst it’s tempting to save a few pounds by buying direct from a factory in China it’s also incredibly risky and you’ll have no safety net or recourse – if it all goes wrong as it has in this scenario then don’t expect to recover your money or get replacement USB sticks.

At USB2U we’ve been supplying promotional USB memory sticks for the last 12 years and we don’t let our customers down.

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

USB2U - Your Trusted Supplier of USB Memory Sticks

Share

A Cautionary Tale – Buying USB Flash Drives Direct from China can be Very Expensive

Friday, February 7th, 2014

It’s incredibly tempting when you are looking to source promotional UBS Flash Drives to have a go at buying them direct from China.  In todays connected world with easy access to Chinese suppliers over the internet and via email it all seems so simple.

On the face of it all you need to do to save a few pounds is to find a Chinese supplier on a supplier directory website like Alibaba, ping off a few emails, agree what you want and confirm your order. You’ll then need pay for your order (up-front and in cleared funds to a bank account in China) before anything is produced and then you’ll need to wait for the order to arrive. Easy. What could possibly go wrong?

Well here’s a cautionary tale from a large(ish) UK marketing company that called us in a panic yesterday. We should stress that this is not the first time we’ve fielded such calls and it’s unlikely to be the last. Hopefully by publicising this issue we can help other businesses avoid the same pitfalls, anxiety and cost (loss)!

The 5,000 USB Stick Sting:

Business A decided to search for a Chinese supplier of promotional USB flash drives. Their online search led them to Alibaba and from there to a “Gold” supplier. Let’s call them “Supplier B”.

Supplier B responded to their enquiry quickly, professionally and they have a web site that suggests that they are a supplier to Sony, Kingston and other well-known brands. They also promote a 5 year warranty and have lots of images on their website of supposedly happy clients from around the world. They supplied a sample to Business A for testing and all was well. Business A then placed and order for 5,000 USB sticks and wired a payment to their Chinese bank account.

Two weeks later the 5,000 USB sticks arrived and they looked fine. The only problem is that none of the PC’s that they were plugged into recognised the USB stick. They tried other PC’s and Macs all with the same results. Panic began to set in. They called us and sent us some samples for testing.

Our tests confirmed what Business A had already suspected – they’d been scammed. The USB sticks “looked OK” but when taken apart there was no flash memory inside them so when we ran a battery of tests on the USB sticks it was no surprise to anyone that they failed them all!

The Chinese Supplier can’t be contacted, they are not responding to emails or phone calls – they only have a gmail account anyway! The net result is that Business A is now thousands of pounds out of pocket, has no USB sticks for its event and is hugely embarrassed by the whole situation.

There is little or no recourse open to Business A. It’s incredibly unlikely that any legal action against Supplier A could be taken or indeed be successful, the Chinese authorities are unlikely to be interested and the Chinese Embassy in London have historically proven unhelpful. It really is a case of “buyer beware”.

Our Advice on Buying Promotional USB Flash Drives is simple – buy locally, buy from a proven supplier, buy from a company that operates from a country that has laws and protection you can fall back on if things go wrong, check 3rd party review sites. Use simple tools like Google maps to make sure they are operating from a business premises and not a back-bedroom in a house, use credit reference agencies to check that they are financially sound (they only cost a few pounds) and don’t deal with companies that use free email accounts (Hotmail, gmail etc.) and only use mobile phone numbers! Use you common sense.

USB2U - A trusted UK Based Supplier of USB Flash Drives

USB2U - A trusted UK Based Supplier of USB Flash Drives

At USB2U we’ve been supplying USB sticks since 2002. We’re a UK registered company with 20 staff. We’re based in Northampton in the Midlands and we assemble and print the majority of the USB sticks we supply on-site in the UK. All of our USB sticks are supplied with a 10 year warranty and you pay nothing until your sticks are ready to be sent to you and for many customers we offer 30-day terms. We have over 1,400 reviews from genuine customers on Trustpilot where we have a score of 9.6 out of 10 and are ranked as “EXCELLENT”.  But, more fundamentally if anything goes wrong with your order we will guarantee to put it right – we take enormous pride in what we do and we want our customers to love their USB sticks. We can help if things go wrong but we’d much rather be your supplier of choice in the first place – trust us, it’s far less painful all round!

Share

Come and See us at The Photography Show at the NEC 1-4 March

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

If you’re as a passionate about photography as we are about promotional USB memory sticks then you need to get yourself tickets to attend The Photography Show. It’s a brand new event and it’s open to anyone with an interest in photography. It’s taking place from 1-4 March 2014 at the NEX Birmingham.

For all details of opening times, how to get tickets and all the latest news on the show be sure to go to The Photography Show website and make sure you also sign up to their Twitter account for the very latest news.

USB2U at The Photography Show

USB2U at The Photography Show

We’ve had some much interest in our branded USB memory sticks and gift boxes that we’re going to be exhibiting at the show – we’re on Stand L1 – come and see us, we’ll have tons of give-aways and loads of show offers running throughout the 4 days the show is on. We’d love to meet you and get your feedback on our products and service.

We’re also running a very special competition every day that will see us giving away over £1,000 worth of our stunning wooden USB memory sticks and

wooden USB gift boxes – entry is open to everyone you just need to call by and enter the prize draw. We’ll post details of the winner at the end of the day on our Facebook and Twitter accounts – be sure to sign up and follow us!

If you can’t wait for the show then take a sneak peak at what we can do on our brand new mini-website. It’s dedicated to photographers and features a range of stunning high specification USB sticks and USB gift boxes. There’s are lots of gorgeous images of actual USB sticks we’re produced for professional photographers (you might even recognise and name or two) and we’ve also put together some discounted “bundles” that might be of interest.

USB2U Photographer offers

USB2U Photographer offers

More than anything we’ve tried really hard to pull together USB sticks and complimentary gift boxes that we know will appeal to your customers, there’s a strong focus on natural wood, eco-friendly box fillings and solutions that you simply can’t buy on the high street. From the feedback we’re getting we seem to have got the balance about right but we’re interested to hear what you think at the show.

They’re be a few of us there for the 4 days but if you do stop by make sure you have a chat with Bethany – she looks after most of our photographers and her mum is a highly regarded professional photographer so she’s got the industry in her genes!

Share
This site is protected by WP-CopyRightPro