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USB flash drives have made a big splash in a short time on the tech scene. The flash drives are convenient, easy to use and fun to wear around your neck or use as a keychain. But will they last? Many technical prognosticators think flash drives will soon go the way of zip drives and other flashy storage methods of the past. The emergence of ever-tinier, more-powerful and less expensive hard drives could make flash drives obsolete, especially since hard drives have much more storage capacity. Expect to see USB drives with mini-hard drives of 4 GB-6 GB sometime soon.
But while these new hard drives will be small enough to fit into the current thumb-size package, the big question is toughness. Hard drives break and they have sensitive moving parts. One of the great things about a USB flash drive is how it can take a licking. Until the hard drive manufacturers can prove that their products are just as tough as thumb drives, there will still be a place for the flash drive, especially if makers continue building more storage capacity into smaller packages.
Bottom line: If you need convenient moveable storage for your computer files, buy a flash drive. Don't worry about what's coming up next. These tools work well as is, and they are inexpensive enough so that your investment will be minimal should something better appear soon.