32MB Mega Memory USB Watch, by PowerMax
Posted: 11-Jun-2004

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: PowerMax Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE

Overview
The Mega Memory USB Watch is a combination wrist watch and USB storage device. By making a watch serve as a storage device, what better way to ensure you always have your important data with you? The USB connector is built in to the wrist band so it can be easily extracted for connection to a USB port, but its not obvious while its on your wrist that its anything but a watch. The watch comes with an extra extension cable so you can hook it up to a USB port while leaving it on your wrist, or you can remove the watch or just hold your wrist next to the USB port if you don't have the extension cable. Once the USB connector is plugged into your Mac's USB port, a 32MB disk drive appears on your desktop. Transport data, save important files as a back up, or share a few songs.

Price
The USB watch goes for $49.95, but PowerMax is currently offering it free with any CPU purchase (after rebate).

Features

  • Standard USB 1.1 connectivity
  • Built in USB plug
  • No external power supply needed
  • Plug and play operation
  • Shock proof and anti-static
  • 3 year battery life

In Use
The Mega Memory USB watch is exactly as advertised. It is a fully functioning analog watch with a secluded USB cable that, when plugged into your Mac, turns your watch into a 32MB disk drive.

The watch itself is sturdy, made of a software rubbery plastic. It's certainly not as comfortable as a leather watch, but as plastic banded watches go, it is pretty decent. It's simple to set the time, and operates just like a standard analog watch. The band is black, with a silver metal frame over the timepiece. The timepiece is glass covered, and the background of the piece has "PowerMAX" inscribed in large letters with "32MB" inscribed below it in smaller letters. I guess that is to remind you how much disk space the watch offers in case a different size watch is released.

On one of the bands is where the USB cable is entrenched, and the connector is cleverly covered by the overlapping strap (the thin cable is exposed in the trench, but looks like a pin stripe rather than a cable). Most people will not know that the watch is a USB disk drive from looking at it on your wrist (the techno geeks who see "USB" on the band slip cover or "32 MB" on the time piece will have a good idea). There is a spine on the underside of the band where the cable is entrenched, but I couldn't feel it while wearing the watch.

I liked the black band with the silver timepiece frame theme, but I didn't care for the background of the timepiece. I don't mind the brand name being on it, but it was displayed in a messy way (making the minute and hour hands harder to see). The mini-URL for PowerMax listed under the brand gave it the appearance of an advertisement.

NOTE: The picture on the PowerMax web site indicates that the PowerMax silver background was dropped in favor of a much more stylish black background.

As a USB drive, I did find it easy and convenient to whip out the USB cable and connect it to my Mac. It serves as a very reliable 32MB drive, making it simple to carry around important data. It almost has a "James Bond" feel to it, and is certainly a far cry from the old "secret agent" days of carrying important papers locked in a brief case handcuffed to your wrist.

Summary
The Mega Memory USB Watch is a fully functioning analog wrist watch that serves reliably as a 32MB disk drive as well. It sports a nice silver and black color theme, although the timepiece background could be improved. It is fairly comfortable to wear with a soft plastic band, and except for a few textual hints, the watch conceals it's USB disk drive function quite well. With the USB cable hidden in the wrist band, it is easy to pull the USB connector out and plug it into a USB port, or into the USB extension cable that comes with the watch. This is not a watch you would buy for design or comfort, and probably not something you would wear everyday. This watch is designed for the gadget loving techie, and provides a fun and convenient way to transfer documents and songs.

Pros

  • Unique analog watch and USB disk drive combination
  • USB cable well concealed
  • Cool "James Bond" gadget for transporting documents
  • Solid construction and reliable function

Cons

  • Timepiece background cluttered
  • Bulky comfort
  • A bit pricey for a 32MB drive
  • May have limited audience appeal


Overall Rating:

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice