We’ve seen various USB transfer devices over the years, and for the most part they’ve been clunky and sloooow. Not so with Data Drive Thru’s Tornado, which blew into our Lab and impressed the hell out of us. Essentially a coiled, flat USB 2.0 cable that retracts into a plastic housing, the Tornado works by plugging into the Hi-Speed USB ports of two PCs running a newer Windows OS (Millennium, 2000, XP, or Vista). A basic file-transfer application executes from a bit of flash memory in the device, which allows you to simply drag and drop files between the two rigs. Similar cables from other companies force you to install software to transfer files.
The snazzy part, though, is how fast data moves across the cable. We copied about 4.2GB of data from a Raptor X drive installed in our zero-point Athlon 64 FX-60 to a notebook PC in 3:28 (min:sec). Using a crossover cable hooked up to the Gigabit ports on both machines, the same transfer took an additional minute. The company claims that the Tornado is one of the few flat cables that can actually meet the Hi-Speed USB 2.0 specs for shielding, and thus, the device can burn up the data-transfer rates. Other flat cables actually leak enough data to cause speeds to plummet, as corrupted data must be resent. We tested this claim using generic retractable USB 2.0 cables and, indeed, a slew of transfer issues cropped up—but didn’t occur with the Tornado.
The flat USB cable retracts into a case to make a nice, neat package. This design is our one complaint about the device though. The cable retracts so far into the case that it’s difficult for people with stubby fingers to pull it out. Elven folk will have no such problem.
That’s a minor complaint, though. The Tornado gives you easy and fast file transfers without the need of additional software and should fit right into any tech’s toolbox.
Fresh New Kicks
Blazing-fast & easy-to-use data transfer; no software req'd.