A new era is dawning for the humble USB flash drive, the ubiquitous portable data storage device built with Universal Serial Bus interface. SanDisk, the world's largest supplier of flash data-storage card products, has turned functional storage into a luxury personal accessory with the release of the Cruzer Contour. The sleek flash drive features a glossy black top, silver metallic body and a unique sliding USB connector. Using a thumb to slide the top of the device back and forth either exposes or hides the connector, which eliminates the need for a protective cap. When the device is attached to a computer, blue light-emitting diodes illuminate the word 'Cruzer' on the drive's top. But beauty here is more than skin deep, as Cruzer Contour provides fast data transfer, strong security and a generous bundle of pre-loaded software. Its write speed is up to 18 megabits per second while the read speed clocks in at 25Mbps. The drive offers password protection, so owners have less to worry about if the drive is lost or stolen. Pre-installed software includes PC-phone service Skype, SanDisk's CruzerSync to synchronise files between a computer and the drive, and two titles from Big Fish Games: Sudoku and Mahjong Towers Eternity. Cruzer Contour is available in 4-gigabyte (HK$585) and 8GB (HK$995) capacities.