What is a USB Flash Drive, and what is it for?

A USB Flash Drive is a storage device that uses SSD technology. Data is stored like in a typical hard drive found in a PC, but has no moving parts, making them very durable. Flash drives come in various forms and capacities, making them ideal for many applications. Since the vast majority of computers (over 99.9%) have USB ports, USB Flash Drives are the perfect data storage companion to your laptop, desktop, netbook, etc.

For more reading on USB flash drives, we recommend the Wikipedia article located here:

Are these USB Flash Drives compatible with my computer?

USB Flash Drives use the USB standard adopted by major computer and electronics manufacturers around the world. The USB Drive will “plug and play” with all computers equipped with a USB port and running Windows ME (including Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8) and later or Mac OS 8.6 and later. Other operating systems are supported if you use Linux or BSD variants. If your computer has a USB port but is installed with an operating system that predates the ones listed above, drivers are available for download over the internet to allow for you to use our USB Flash Drives.

How much data can I store on these Flash Drives?

Our USB Flash drives are available in different capacities: 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. These numbers below are estimates.

A 32 GB drive can store 640,000 doc pages; 19,200 pictures; or 2,048 MP3 files.
A 16 GB drive can store 320,000 doc pages; 9,600 pictures; or 1,024 MP3 files.
An 8 GB drive can 160,000 doc pages; 4,800 pictures; or 512 MP3 files.
A 4 GB drive can store 80,000 doc pages; 2,400 pictures; or 256 MP3 files.
A 2 GB drive can store 40,000 doc pages; 1,200 pictures; or 128 MP3 files.
A 1 GB drive can store 20,000 doc pages; 640 pictures; or 64 MP3 files.
A 512 MB drive can store 9,600 doc pages; 320 pictures; or 32 MP3 files.

You can typically backup all your important files on a USB Drive over 8GB or you can use our Portable Apps software to sync files between your USB drive and your home computer.

If you store movies on your computer, the average DVD compressed to MPEG format will hold a standard feature film at excellent quality by using only about 1GB per hour of movie. A typical 2GB flash drive will hold one two hour movie when compressed to MPEG format.

How durable are these USB Flash Drives?

As with all consumer electronics, care must be taken in order to avoid damaging the circuits inside of the USB Flash Drive. That said, USB Flash Drives are more robust than other removable storage devices using optical/magnetic discs, or semiconductor (Secure Digital /SD) technology. Without moving parts and being so light, you will find that USB Flash drives can shrug off most abuse without sustaining internal damage. They are able to withstand being dropped or stepped on, or thrown in the bottom of a bag or purse. If your flash drive does get wet, be sure to dry it thoroughly overnight before connecting it to your computer.

Digital Imports also has a lifetime warranty on all our USB flash drive products. If you do happen to wash your pants with your USB drive and it refuses to work, you or your customer can send it back to us for a replacement at absolutely no charge. We’ll even try to recover the data for customers that would like that option. That’s all part of our lifetime warranty guarantee.

How do these Flash Drives compare to CDs?

Even though smaller in size when compared to CDs, most USB Flash Drives exceed the storage space of CDs (which have a capacity of 650-800MB). USB Flash Drives are also able to be written to millions of times, as compared to a CD-RW’s 1000 rewrites life cycle. Scratches or dust won’t affect the USB Flash Drive’s casing as with CDs. You will find that USB Flash drives are much more convenient than CDs or DVDs.

How do I submit my logo / custom shaped design? What formats should I send?

Because of the techniques we use to imprint your USB Flash Drives, we request vector art files. Popular vector art files include Encapsulated Post Script (EPS) and Adobe Illustrator (AI) files. We are also able to convert your logo to vectors if you do not have vector files available. Contact us for details regarding converting your rasterized logo or images to vector artwork, as we can typically do this for a nominal charge and provide you with a clean vector file upon completion.

If you have a logo that is produced in CMYK format, we have a special printing process allowing us to take your vector or raster artwork and print the CMYK logo directly on the flash drive. Contact your sales representative for more details.

For Custom Shaped USB Flash Drives, just about any drawing will do. Our designers are able to create the preproduction materials needed from most media. Just be sure to specify size, color, orientation, font (if applicable), etc. We’ll even take that paper napkin or computer sketch to turn your idea into a completely custom USB drive.

How fast is Rush Service?

Receive your order in as little as 48 hours! If you are ordering a popular shape, please call us immediately and confirm stock and availability with your sales representative. Expedited delivery is available for 48-hour delivery, 72-hour delivery, or any time that fits your schedule thereafter, pending availability on the USB drive selected. Limited rush service is available for custom shaped or custom colored orders. Contact us for details.

Can you supply Flash Drives in colors not listed on the website?

We are able to Pantone color match the majority of USB Flash Drives available on our website. With this service, there are restrictions, including minimum quantity, increased turnaround time, etc. Please contact us for more questions regarding custom or Pantone color matched drives.

Can you drop ship Flash Drives to a tradeshow / exhibition hall / customer location?

Absolutely. We can ship directly to tradeshows, exhibition halls, end users, customer locations etc. Supply us with the venue and booth number and we can have your USB Flash Drives waiting for you when you arrive. Contact us for more details regarding drop shipments.

What are the differences in imprinting options?

Silk Screen printing involves a mask for each different color that is printed in layers on the drive. This type of printing is suitable for logos and images without gradients.

Full Color, also known as 4 Color process or CMYK, is a system where an image is digitally separated into four separate color values.  This is then applied to color plates and printed on a press. Just like your computer printer, this process is capable of reproducing full colored images. When printing imagery with gradients and high detail, CMYK is the best option.

Hot Stamping is the process of debossing the leather service with a metal die plate that has been heated. This is a permanent process that will not wear off of the leather it is applied to. This type of debossing is suitable for logos and images without gradients.

Laser Engraving is an imprinting method where the surface layer of the drive is etched by a laser beam through a custom template. This imprinting method is a permanent process that will not rub off or get erased. This type of imprinting is suitable for logos and images without gradients.

What are the Custom Shaped USB Flash Drives made out of?

Our Custom Shaped USB Flash Drives are manufactured out of colored PVC material cast in custom one-off aluminum dies. Pantone color matching is available, ensuring that your design has accurate color representation. PVC is a soft and durable material perfectly suited to your Custom Shaped USB drive. Due to the color being impregnated directly into the PVC material, the colors and detail on your Custom Shaped USB Flash Drive will not rub off or wear out.

I want to see a sample of product before I order. Do you offer samples?

Yes. Contact us to obtain blank non-working samples of product on our website. Keep in mind the final product will have more heft as these dummies are missing the internals.

Do you offer price matching?

We do offer price matching. We are so confident we have the lowest pricing that we will meet any competitors quote.

Do you charge Sales Tax?

Yes and no. If you are located in a US-state where we have operations, such as California, any order shipped through our California warehouse will be subject to California sales tax, currently at 9.5%. However, you can opt to place your order directly to our China company and work with our sales representatives in China, who will offer the same competitive prices we do here (and speak English!) You can feel safe with your transaction knowing that they will honor the same terms and conditions as we do here and your payment can be remitted to our US office upon receipt of their invoice.

Do you work with resellers?

Absolutely! We are active members in ASI and PPAI, the largest promotional product organizations in the USA. You will need to fill out a credit application and work with our reps who are familiar with the industry. We will also need your current resale license or certificate if you are planning on reselling product and are claiming tax exemption status.