Not a long time time ago money was mostly in alloy and paper. Let’s say an amount of Rs.5 lacs could only fit in a suitcase. A rectangular piece of plastic changed it all. The credit card became the new face of money. Rs. 5 lacs or even Rs.10 lacs or even more fit in that little piece of plastic less than weighing less than 10 gms that fits in the wallet. Technological innovations are fascinating. Somehow they head for the wallet! The latest to head for the wallet is memory.
Memory that started from the good old days of tape drives. Many innovations later came the hard disc. Suddenly someone decided he wanted to carry the load of memories wherever he went, without the burden of course! Out came a Flash Drive. Man always wants the best of both worlds i.e. memory without the burden of carrying it. A Flash Drive also meant a load, even if it was just maybe 100 gms. Now out comes India’s first ‘credit card-shaped’ USB Flash Drive by Moser Baer, weighing more of less the same as a credit card.
Launched last week, Moser Baer Zap pocket flash drive comes with 4 GB memory, measures 84.15 X 52.83 sq. mm and weighs just 10.25 gms. It fits in the wallet easily and can easily be mistaken for a credit card. With USB 2.0 interface (direct plug-n-play), it is compatible with Win 2000/XP/ME/Vista/7, Mac OS 9.0 or later versions and Linux Kernel 2.4.0 and higher versions.
The Good and the Bad
Price - Priced at MRP Rs. 1,100 the price is super high. In comparison an ordinary pen drive like Transcend JetFlash 500 4 GB comes for just Rs.255 at
and San Disk at around the same price of under Rs.300. Moser Baer may argue it has size on its side but even that argument goes void when you already have Transcend
that comes at Rs.233 on Flipkart.com.
Ofcourse Moser Baer Zap has looks, aesthetics and convenience but even then Rs.1,100 is very high even if it is being charged for the novelty of being like a credit card. Having said that Apple charges a bomb for its aesthetics. So its a personal decision for the buyer on what he chooses, the functionality or aesthetics or a combination of both. However the good news is the product is available at
(at a special introductory price of INR 399/. At Rs.399/- it maybe worth it.
Convenience - Convenience wise Moser Baer Zap is super good. It fits it easily in the wallet. Even the USB interface is made in a way that it is as thick as a credit card
Storage - At 4 GB, its a decent option. It means suppose you have pictures taken from a 5 mega pixel camera you can carry around 3000 pictures in this credit card pocket drive
The aesthetics are good. It looks like a credit card. Interestingly the credit card shape gives the much needed safety feature to the USB interface and keeps it safe when folded. Moser Baer says Zap is rugged in design, design wise yes but insertion wise it needs to be handled with care .
Warranty - It has been introduced with a warranty of 2 years. However what needs more clarification is the safety of data. For example when you buy a San Disk pen drive there is a certain reliability you get with the brand. Moser Baer capabilities so far lie in optical storage media like CDs and DVDs . Hopefully the same reliability will come in its new line of products.
The Last Word
Google used scarcity to create demand (remember Gmail only by invitation) and it was a success. However the same strategy didn’t work for its newer launches. Same is with dual pricing. This system of dual pricing Rs.1,100 as printed price and “introductory” at Rs.399/- I wonder if it is taken seriously by customers. Anyways these days it matters less what is printed on the pack. The Flipkarts and Infibeams of the world will anyway level the pricing right. Overall a convenient product. Moser Baer Zap at Rs.399 maybe worth it, at Rs.1,100 it is not.
Puneet Mehrotra is a columnist on business and technology