Gadling gear review – Victorinox Swiss Army SwissFlash Flight

The Victorinox Swiss Army “SwissFlash Flight” is a USB flash drive cleverly disguised as a Swiss Army knife. Victorinox developed 2 versions of the SwissFlash tools – one with all the bells and whistles (knife, scissors and nail file/screwdriver) and one without those tools (the flight lineup) – specifically designed for taking past airport security without being told to dump it in the trash.

The SwissFlash Flight combines a removable USB drive, ultra-bright LED light and a ballpoint pen in a single Swiss Army tool. The flash drive is available in sizes from 1GB ($34.95) to 16GB ($109.95).

I won’t pretend that these prices are in line with the normal price of a USB flash drive, but the tool does offer some features that make it worth(ier of) the high price. The LED flashlight is a handy inclusion, and something everyone should consider carrying on their keychain. The ballpoint pen is by no means capable of letting you write your next essay using your flash drive, but if you have ever been on a long haul flight without a pen, sitting in front of a stack of customs forms, you’ll appreciate having quick access to a writing instrument.

The USB flash drive itself is surprisingly decent – It tests about 30% faster than most of the flash drives I have here, including popular drives like the Cruzer Micro. The USB connector is protected by a folding/locking portion of the tool and you can remove the entire USB flash drive if you need to give someone some files without wanting to give up anything the tool is attached to (like your keys).

On the side of the USB key is a write protect switch and the tool comes with a small USB extension cable in the box.

All in all this really is a luxury product. Some retailers sell the 8GB SwissFlash for just under $60, which is 3-4 times as much as a generic 8GB flash drive. The Victorinox SwissFlash Flight adds some style and extra features to the otherwise boring USB flash drive market. The looks alone make this drive worth more than a generic flash drive, and the extra features and high quality make it a great option for someone who doesn’t mind spending a bit extra for travel gadgets.