A Closer Look
The shape of the Verbatim Store 'n' Go series is kept identical across the board and is quite traditional. The only thing that differs is the color used. The U3 Smart Drive series is silver, while the standard series is red. There is also a high speed PRO series series with a blue shell. The top of the stick sports the Verbatim Logo and an LED which lights up upon access of the drive. The other side has a little spot for labels and the actual capacity of the stick - in this case 4 GB. The back of the stick can be used for the included Lanyard or a key chain. This is located in the back of the stick, so the worst that can happen is a lost cap, instead of losing the stick and being left with the cap on a key chain.
The USB plug is covered by a firmly fitting cap which by itself is not very sturdy. The fit is tight enough, so that you do not have to worry about loosing it during transportation.
U3 LaunchpadU3 is a software application placed on USB sticks to enable installation of applications on the memory stick, which then can be launched through the U3 Launchpad on any Windows based computer without the need to install anything on the host system.
Wikipedia has U3 listed with the following information:
U3 LLC is a joint venture that is backed by Sandisk and its subsidiary, M-Systems. U3 is responsible for the development of a proprietary application design specification created for Microsoft Windows operating systems so that applications can be executed directly from a specially formatted USB flash drive. Applications are allowed to write files or registry information to the host computer, but this information must be removed when the flash drive is ejected.The official website U3.com sums the advantage of the system in a short paragraph:
USB flash drives adhering to the U3 specification are termed "U3 smart drives" by U3.com. "U3 smart drives" differ from traditional USB flash drives because they come preinstalled with the U3 Launchpad, which emulates the Windows OS start menu, and controls program installation.
Imagine carrying your software on the same flash drive that carries your files. That’s what you can do with a U3 smart drive. You can plug it into any PC and work, play a game, message friends, send email, edit photos and more. A U3 smart drive makes any PC your own PC. And when you unplug it, it leaves no personal data behind.
The Verbatim Store 'n' Go 4GB U3 comes, just as the name mentions with the Launchpad, which autostarts as soon as the USB stick is inserted.
The U3 Launchpad is the central point of the system. The user can start all the installed applications from here and change the settings. There is a program manager, which lists all installed programs.
To add a new program, simply click on the 'Add Program' button at the bottom of the manager and choose your destination.
The Verbatim U3 application directory features a few free programs to use with the Verbatim U3 Smart Drive. There is also the official U3 Application store, where you can download free or trial software.
I chose a top down racing game to install. There are four step to the installation. First the U3 interface lets you know of what you are about to install. Once you have confirmed, the program is downloaded.
The third step is the actual installation on the U3 memory stick, while the final window lets you know that it has successfully finished.
After installation the new application shows up in the Program Manager and the Launchpad from where it can also be started. The game I downloaded was a trial and is available for purchase for $19.95, which may not be that cheap.