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Posts Tagged ‘Memory Sticks’

Wooden USB Flash Drives should you Engrave or Print them

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Some of our most popular USB flash drives at the moment are our wooden versions. It’s not just professional and wedding photographers that are buying them either (although they do buy a significant number) but a growing number of large corporate companies that like the “eco-credentials” of the wooden and bamboo USB sticks we sell.

We have eight different wooden and bamboo styles to choose from and they typically come in dark and light wood options and of course they come in a wide range of memory sizes typically starting at 128MB and going all the way up to 32GB. The most popular models are our Woodland USB Flash Drive and our Wooden Twister USB Drive.

Wooden-USB-Twister-Printed

Wooden-USB-Twister-Printed

The Woodland version is rectangular, incredibly tactile and the cap is held in place with two small discrete magnets that are carefully recessed into the cap. The Twister version has no cap to lose, it’s a little smaller than the Woodland but it has equally strong eco-credentials and style.

The biggest decision facing anyone buy any of our wooden USB models is whether to get their logo printed onto the USB stick or engraved onto the USB stick – both options (as the images here illustrate) produce excellent results but they have their own benefits:

Woodland Engraved USB Sticks

Woodland Engraved USB Sticks

Engraving onto a wooden product somehow just seems the right thing to do, it seems more sympathetic to the core product and because no ink is being applied to the product it maintains the integrity of any “eco” message that you want to push.  You also get a very tactile finish and robust finish that isn’t going to chip or fade.

The compromise though is that no colours are involved when they are laser engraved – the image is created by cutting away at the surface of the wood and because of this you will get some variation across the USB sticks – this is simply because you’re dealing with a natural material with different grain effects and slight variations in colour. Arguably this adds to the appeal albeit some “brand managers” are put off by the absolute lack of control you get with engraving on wood.

If you want the benefits of a wooden promotional USB stick but you need your logo reproduced in full colour then you’ll need to opt for the printed option – the results can look striking and they’ll keep the brand police happy. The only compromise is that the print will eventually chip off unlike an engraved logo which is there to stay!

Whichever option you choose we can typically supply these from UK stock in as little as 24hrs! Call us for latest availability and prices.

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Wooden USB Flash Drives should you Engrave or Print them

USB People Memory Sticks – Full Body Customisation

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Have you ever wondered what you might look like as a USB Memory Stick – we’re guessing you haven’t but these new “mini you” people shaped USB flash drives give you a cost effective option to do just that. So instead of thinking about promotional USB sticks with your name or company logo printed on why don’t you go the whole hog and get USB sticks that truly represent you or your company’s staff.

These “mini you” USB people are just 5cm tall and they can be printed to represent body style or shape, we can print any uniform or dress code onto them and we can supply them with a standard cartoon face or we can customise every drive with a photograph – order them for the team in your company and get the teams photos on them! Not only will they create a great talking point but it’s going to be pretty easy to work out who they belong to!

USB People - both options shown

USB People - both options shown

f you run a business based where your staff are in daily contact with your customers then a USB person is a great option; think KwikFit fitters, UPS delivery drivers, dental assistants, mechanics and so on – any uniform (even down to the logo’s and decals on the uniform) can be reproduced. The “mini you” USB sticks are available from 1GB to 16GB and the lead time is around 14 days from order.

You can either choose any of the “standard” uniforms and characters or we can create a fully customised version for you – just send us a picture of the look/uniform you’re after together with artwork for any logos you want to appear on the uniform and we’ll do the rest. Of course if you want pictures of your actual staff on the heads then don’t forget to send these to us as well!

USB People in Overalls - Both Options Show

USB People in Overalls - Both Options Show

The minimum order quantity is only 50 pieces which makes them an interesting option not just for businesses but sports clubs, schools, weddings and re-unions! 30 different ones of these printed up for a class reunion (and pre-loaded with lots of digital memorabilia) would make a brilliant “class photo”.

If you wanted to have a bit of fun at shareholder meetings you could even get the USB “mini you” sticks printed up to represent the executive board and hand them out at the shareholder meetings (pre-loaded with the annual reports and press packs etc.) At the other end of the scale they could be used to use them for children’s birthday parties as a fund sticking filler!

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USB People Memory Sticks – Full Body Customisation

These New Metal USB Memory Sticks Are Beauts

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

There are literally hundreds of different styles and types of USB memory stick to choose from which can create a bit of a problem if you’ve been tasked with buying some for your company, school or university – where do you start?  How do you narrow down the choice and what makes a good USB memory stick or are they all as good as each other?

There are some basic considerations for the novice buyer and these are:

  1. If you are planning on printing or engraving a logo or design onto the USB sticks then they need to offer a reasonably large, flat print area to work with – too small and any narrative printed on them will be hard to read (web addresses become a non-starter) but too large and they become a bit unwieldy, people are reluctant to carry and use them which sort of defeats the object of giving them away in the first place.
  2. With or without caps? – for many this is a key consideration and they simply won’t buy (and give away) promotional USB sticks if they have a removable cap that can be subsequently lost. Perhaps not surprisingly therefore the most popular USB sticks have consistently been those without a cap or lid e.g. the Twister, the USB credit card and the Retractor.
  3. Metal, Plastic, Leather or Wood? – which material your USB stick is made from is often down to personal choice but if you want a printed finish then plastic will give you the best results. Metal, leather and wooden USB stick tend to look (and feel) better engraved. Arguably (albeit again it is down to personal perceptions) metal, leather and wood options look a little classier and are certainly more tactile than the plastic options. Surprisingly there is often little cost difference between the four options.
  4. Printed or engraved – Printing obviously allows for any logo or image to be reproduced in full with all the colours that the “brand police” demand but engraving (particularly laser engraving) can produce stunning results that last. No matter how good the print looks on a USB memory stick when it is made the print will inevitably chip, scuff and fade in use whereas a laser engraved image is permanent. Think tattooing for USB sticks!

Two new metal USB sticks that are available from USB2U are the Carbon and the Engraved Slider – one is “capless”, both are available in a range of different colours and both are available from UK stock for delivery (engraved not printed) in as little as 24hrs. They look and feel stunning and should definitely be on any short list of USB sticks you draw up – ask for a sample to get a better feel for the quality of the sticks.

Metal USB Memory Sticks

Metal USB Memory Sticks

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These New Metal USB Memory Sticks Are Beauts

Printed Small Tin Gift Boxes for USB Memory Sticks – Wow!

Friday, March 15th, 2013

People often say that the best things come in little packages and our latest small tin gift boxes are no exception to this rule. It can be a challenge trying to find a decent looking gift box to hand out your promotional USB memory sticks in – some are simply too big and bulky, others too flimsy and cheap looking and some are simply too expensive for what after all is often a freebie giveaway.

These new small tin boxes with a see through window in the lid score on all levels – they look great, they feel like an expensive high quality gift box, they can be printed with a logo (although with the see through window this is not always necessary), they’re compact and they come with a custom foam inlay to hold the USB stick in place. Despite this they’re relatively inexpensive.

Small Gift Tins for USB Memory Sticks

Small Gift Tins for USB Memory Sticks

What’s more these small tin gift boxes are a stock item with tens of thousands available so next day delivery (even printed) is rarely an issue.

When they are printed (and they can be printed top and bottom) they really come to life. Even though we are printing directly onto the tin the print process does not dull the colours as the examples here show.

Printed and engraved USB memory sticks have long been one of the most popular promotional products and have all but replaced CD’s and DVD’s as the preferred option when companies (and schools and universities) want to distribute lots of information. Part of the reasoning for buying and then “giving away” USB sticks in volume is that people will remember the company/brand associated with the USB stick, they’ll hopefully use them on an on-going basis which in turn will lead to increased brand exposure and awareness and ultimately they’ll buy into the product/service of the company giving the USB sticks away.

Tin boxes for USB Sticks

Tin boxes for USB Sticks

This being the case it’s important to make as big an impact as possible with the USB sticks when they are handed out – make the branding on them strong, bright and clear. Get noticed and make an impact because this will help with brand recall. Putting your USB sticks in a gift box or gift tin will help raise their perceived value and again just helps lift the bar in terms of impact.

As well as these small window tin boxes we also carry small tin boxes without a “window” and options with a “hinged lid”

 

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Printed Small Tin Gift Boxes for USB Memory Sticks – Wow!

Why we recommend Professional Photographers buy High Performance USB Memory Sticks

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

One of the big trends in the professional photography sector is the move to supply customer portfolios on USB memory sticks. Typically the memory sticks are printed or engraved with the photographers’ logo/brand although occasionally the sticks are personalised with their clients’ details.

A good example of this is where the sticks are personalised with details of a wedding and then photos, video clips, details of the service and the speeches are then pre-loaded onto the sticks before being sent to the wedding guests as a memento of the day.

Whilst some professional photographers still prefer to use CD’s and DVD’s the move to use USB memory sticks has been hastened by the recent drop in the price of customised USB sticks, the availability of higher storage capacity sticks and the relative ease of finding local suppliers of customised sticks. Coupled with this CD’s and DVD’s are falling out of fashion, many of the latest laptops and ultra-thin notebooks are sold without a CD/DVD reader and frankly, no matter how well you print a CD they don’t really enhance the overall value of the brand printed on them.

Custom USB flash drives on the other hand can help photographers differentiate their service, improve their image, enhance their professionalism and provide a new revenue stream.  However for this statement to be true it is important that photographers ensure they buy USB sticks that are fit for purpose – externally (apart from the aesthetics of the different casing options; leather, wood, metal, plastic etc.) all USB sticks are pretty much the same. They have a standard USB connector on one end and the internal flash memory and controller is housed inside a case and it’s the case that is printed or engraved.

The real challenge when buying custom USB sticks is to make sure that the components that are inside the case (the flash memory and the controller chip and the capacitor) are good enough to support the use that photographers will put them to. If they are not up to the job then it can take hours to load images onto them (because the read/write speeds they support will be slow) and images loaded onto them can “fragment” – see the example shown here:

Bear in mind that most companies selling custom or printed USB flash drives are providing them to the promotional sector where “cheap” is the fundamental requirement. Typically promotional drives are bought in the thousands with an expectation that they’ll be thrown away or rarely used once given out – let’s face it a corporate sales brochure that are stored on a USB drive are  not as important as Wedding photos. Whilst the drives are still Grade A the internal components are right at the bottom end of the performance spec – If you think of it in camera terms these are like Grade A disposable cameras that you can buy for a couple of pound when what might be needed is a decent Digital SLR Nikon or Canon.

Of course if USB sticks are only going to be used to market your services then standard promotional grade versions might be fine but, if you’re entrusting them to carry important portfolios from events that can never be repeated and have a huge emotional significance then it’s worth making sure that you buy better quality sticks.

Our advice is to ask question not only about the Grade of the flash but the manufacturer of the flash memory (ideally chose a Samsung or Hynix memory and not an OEM look alike). Ask if better quality controller chips can be supplied as well and finally get details on the read/write speeds of the drives and any warranty that comes with the drives. Do remember though that warranties only get you replacement drives they won’t help deal with unhappy customers whose images are corrupted.

Finally choose a supplier with a proven track record, get views from other photographers than have bought from them, check out their Twitter feeds to see what other photographers are saying about them, check 3rd party review sites – 10 minutes homework before you buy could save hours or days of grief if you end up with the wrong product from a supplier that does not care once they have your order.

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Why we recommend Professional Photographers buy High Performance USB Memory Sticks

Usain Bolt is Quick But We Reckon We Could Beat Him Printing USB Sticks

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

With the 100m Gold Medal from the London 2012 Olympics already in the bag and the 200m Gold Medal  looking nailed on (unless his training partner and fellow Jamaican, Yohan Blake can throw a spanner in the works) Usain Bolt is once again destined to be crowned the fastest man on the planet.

All eyes will be on him this evening to see if he can break the 19 second barrier in the 200m final and such has been his form in these Olympics that it would take a brave to bet against him pulling it off.  As Bolt himself said to journalists after winning the 100m Gold on Sunday;  ”I really want to do something special in my 200m,” The world waits with baited breathe.

At USB2U we’ve got a few athletes amongst us; some of us are no slouches on a bike, we’ve got a couple of pretty good tennis players in the team and a good number of us work out regularly in the gym (does that count?) but in all honesty none of us, even in our wildest dreams, are ever going to challenge Usain Bolt in a sprint event. But, put us on our “turf” (printing USB flash drives) and we reckon we could beat him.

For the last year we’ve invested in the best print (and engraving equipment) money can buy, we’ve put ourselves though rigorous daily training sessions and we’ve worked long into the night and at week-ends to hone our skills. We’ve taken the advice of local nutritionists and adjusted our diets and we are now as fit as a USB print team can be. We like to think of ourselves more like the British rowing teams – honed to perfection, focused and pulling (or is that printing) in the same direction.

Whilst there are no Olympic medals on offer for us we treat every day as if we were rowing at Eton Dorney or on the track at the Olympic Stadium. Our “Gold Medal” is turning around orders for printed (and engraved) USB memory sticks in the quickest time possible and we’re confident that if there was an Olympic event for this that we’d win. The French might claim foul and challenge the superiority of our equipment, the Chinese would be a stern test but the Australians on current form would be a pushover.

Why are we so confident? Well, we are now consistently taking orders for printed USB sticks from customers in the afternoon, creating mock-ups and proofs and then printing the sticks within a couple of hours and then delivering the same USB sticks the following morning.  Our best total elapsed time from order to completed (printed) USB sticks is under 1hr! Beat that Usain!

So, whilst we’re clearly never going to win Gold in any sprint event we like to think that we could beat the best in the world at printing USB memory sticks – not sure? Then put us to the test, we like a challenge but don’t make it this evening because we’ll be watching a certain Jamaican athlete strut his stuff like only he can do.

USB Olymipic 200 meters results

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Usain Bolt is Quick But We Reckon We Could Beat Him Printing USB Sticks

USB2U Invests to Double its Data Loading Capability

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

USB flash drives continue to be one of the most popular promotional gifts in the market today. Companies, schools and universities buy them in the thousands and give them away to help develop their brand, to raise awareness of who they are and what they do and to encourage customer loyalty. Recipients of them love them because they have a high perceived value, they’re useful, small, portable and really handy.

If you’re buying promotional USB flash drives on behalf of your company and you plan to give them away to customers, prospective customers, students or journalists then you really should be pre-loading them with data before they are handed out. After all, the basic function of a flash drive is to store and carry data and if you’re paying for the USB drives then they should carry your data! Make sure you stuff them with your brochures, your price lists, press releases, videos, website detailsl anything and everything – with an average of 2GB to 8GB to play with you’re going to be able to fit loads onto the average sized promotional USB memory stick.

The downside is that loading data onto USB flash drives is incredibly tedious so whilst it makes sense to do it lots of companies (and universities) are put off pre-loading data because of the challenge of organising people, the files and the time to do it.

USB Data Loading Service

USB Data Loading Service

The simple answer to this conundrum is to let your USB flash drive supplier do the data loading for you. Professional suppliers should not only be able to print and engrave in-house but they should be able to offer you a professional data loading service as well.

USB2U is one of the few suppliers in Europe that holds a significant level of blank stock, has in-house printing, engraving and data loading capability and is able to turn around orders in less than 24hrs.

To bolster its data loading capabilities USB2U has recently invested in additional state of the art data loading equipment and is now able to load between 3,000 – 4,000 USB flash drives every day. So, if you need your USB sticks data loading call the team at USB2U or better still if you are looking to buy USB flash drives printed with your logo and loaded with your data then call USB2U – they offer free data loading (up to 200MB) on every drive you buy from them.

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USB2U Invests to Double its Data Loading Capability

USB2U Adds More USB Flash Drives to its “Printed in 24Hrs Service”

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

If you need printed USB flash drives in a hurry then there are very few UK suppliers that can help. Lots offer a “fast” or “rush” service but the reality is that typically means a 5-day wait which is hopeless if you really do need them quickly. After all, if you’re looking to get them at the very last minute then you’re more often than not going to want them the next day (or at the very least within 48hrs) and you’re going to want a fair degree of certainty that nothing is going to delay their delivery.

If the “rush” service you’re being offered is based on products being airfreighted in from China (where most of the flash drives are manufactured) then alarm bells should ring – not because the supplier is necessarily being disingenuous but simply because products imported in a hurry are always subject to potential freight and customs delays and no matter how good the supplier is they have no control over these issues.

Remember the travel chaos caused during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. It wasn’t just passengers that were delayed but freight as well (including branded USB sticks). It’s also likely that Customs inspections will increase in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics again leading to delays.

So, if you need printed USB sticks in a hurry your safest bet is to use a supplier that holds stock in the UK, can print in the UK and can turn the stock around in 24-48hrs. USB2U is one such supplier and up until now it has offered its USB credit card, Twister, Chic and Trident models on a 24hr service. Today it has added its Probe model (see image below) to the growing portfolio of sticks that are now available on a genuine “rush” service.

Probe UBS Flash Drive - Printed and Delivered in 24hrs

Probe UBS Flash Drive - Printed and Delivered in 24hrs

As well as a growing range of styles that are available to order USB2U also hold them in a range of different colours and memory sizes so you’ll have lots of choice and as you can tell from their TrustPilot feedback they don’t sacrifice quality for speed.

USB2U – the first choice for anyone looking for USB flash drives (in a hurry or otherwise).

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USB2U Adds More USB Flash Drives to its “Printed in 24Hrs Service”

Will You Be Getting Your Wedding Photos on A USB Flash Drive

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

If you’re planning to get married this year and you’re using the services of a professional wedding photographer then you might want to think about the best way to take delivery of your wedding day portfolio.

When the day is over and all you have left are some fabulous memories (and hopefully your partner!) then it’s your photo’s that will help bring the day back to life and help you enjoy and celebrate the day all over again with your family and friends.

Tradition dictates your wedding photos are supplied in a professionally produced Album that reflects the day. Most specialist wedding photographers will have their own portfolio of Albums that you can choose from with price breaks to reflect the quality and size of the Album. But, given that most photographers now use digital cameras for their shoots and then edit the digital images after the day it’s not unusual to be offered a CD or DVD with your wedding photographs on as well (typically for an extra fee).

USB flash drives

USB flash drives

The digital images supplied on the CD/DVD will typically be high resolution .jpg that are viewable on most PC’s and Macs. Because they are “high resolution” images each image can be quite a large file and this is one of the reasons why photographers have historically chosen CD’s and DVD’s over other products like USB flash Drives. Flash drives (whilst available with large amounts of storage) have been comparatively much more expensive than a CD and it’s been easier to get hold of CD’s and DVD’s locally and print a label for it before they hand it out to their clients.

But, things are changing:

  • Storage capacities on USB flash drives are increasing all the time and a typical USB flash drive has between 4GB – 16GB of storage – more than enough to store hundreds of high quality photographs on!
  • Costs are falling – only a year ago an 8GB USB flash drive would have costs around £15, today it’s less than half of this.
  • Less PC’s and Macs are shipping with a CD or DVD player because the technology is now considered “old” and unfashionable.
  • Data transfer speeds for USB flash drives have taken a massive step forward with the introduction of USB 3.0 (which also works with PC’s running USB 1.x and 2.0) – this means it will be quicker for photographers to load their images onto a flash drive and it’ll be faster for you to view your photos
  • Professional Wedding Photographers are gradually moving towards printed USB flash drives in snazzy presentation (gift boxes) – these look so much better than a CD/DVD and they make great gifts if you wanted to order a few to hand out to friends and family. You might even think about using some of them as wedding favours (pre-loaded with images of your courtship, things about you, the hen and stag night photos etc.)

If, like lots of couples you’re looking to post your wedding photos on Social Networking sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter then you’ll definitely want your photos supplied digitally. If you’re going to get them supplied digitally then don’t be surprised to be offered them on a USB flash drive.

 

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Will You Be Getting Your Wedding Photos on A USB Flash Drive

Where To Go If You Need Printed or Engraved USB Sticks In A Hurry

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

If you’ve been dropped in it at the last minute and given the challenging task of finding a company that can deliver USB memory sticks printed (or engraved) with your logo on within 24hrs or so then good luck because you might need it.

Whilst there are lots of companies that claim to be manufacturers of USB memory sticks with some even stating they have their own dedicated factories the reality is that the vast majority are simply middle men who take your order and place it on a supplier in China. The value they add to this process is, in many cases, limited and because they are dealing with factories in China the lead times tend to be at least 10-14 days (although some will suggest they can do it more quickly). So, beware of companies offering fast lead times if all they are going to do is ship them in from China.

What lots of suppliers won’t tell you is that even if they manage to get their Chinese supplier to produce them quickly and ship them out there is still a risk that they will get delayed in customs – it’s not unheard of for customs (at either end of the shipment chain) to impound goods and demand more information before releasing them. This is a particularly common problem if the brand printed on the USB sticks is a well-known, global brand like IBM, Nike or Microsoft because the customs teams are always on the lookout for forged goods.

If you are in a hurry for your printed USB memory sticks you need to find a local supplier that not only holds blank stock of the sticks but has the capability to print or engrave the sticks in-house and get them delivered to you within a matter of hours or days. This way you de-risk the whole thing because you know the USB sticks are being held locally and you can confirm an exact printing and shipping schedule – you could even arrange a “point to point” same day van or collect them yourself.

The challenge of course is finding such a supplier because very few are willing to hold in stock a wide range of USB memory sticks that they “might” sell particularly because the price of the sticks drops over a relatively short period – so holding stock is a risk and of course requires a capital investment that not many of the smaller suppliers can carry.

In the UK one of the few suppliers that hold stock and can offer a rush 24hr service are USB2U. They’re in their 10th year of supplying USB products are your best chance if you need digging out of a hole.

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Where To Go If You Need Printed or Engraved USB Sticks In A Hurry
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