Slap me! These USB Wristbands are Impressive!

Slap and Snap

It’s only natural to call these new USB Wristbands – Slap and Snap! Even though it sounds cheesy, and possibly risque, these wristbands borrow on the invention of the slap wristbands all the way from the 80s and the 90s.

So What?

These bands are practical, functional, hold a ton of data (yes a ton – that’s the technical term for data capacity), and are incredibly easy to put on. Unlike the slap wristbands of the 80’s, it does not come in the leopard print. These are soft and durable silicone rubber, and they have USB flash storage for up to 16GBs. You could only dream of owning one of these in the 90’s.

The Slap Wristband colapses into a single dimension spiral; however can be formed relatively easily into a spring
These 2 Slap Wristbands have been formed to resemble springs. Naturally, they form a tight 2D spiral once released. Notice the buckle that hides the USB drive. The small cap protects the USB connector.

How do they work, again?

The idea behind the slap wristbands is quite simple. A thin piece of curved metal strip is the core of the wristband. When the wristband is in its open state, it is similar to holding shape as does the metal tape measure. However, unlike the tape measure, when the metal piece snaps, the wristband starts to curl (i.e. form into a spiral). So if you decide to slap the wristband on your wrist or ankle, it will snap and then curl around to contour your shape.

Slap USB Wristband snaps and countours your hand
This band has been snapped around an imaginary wrist. In reality, a small piece of double-sided tape is barely holding the wristband in the present shape, before it compresses into a tight spiral

The Super Band

Your common USB wristband needs to be manually closed by pressing the USB connector against the female connector on the other side. Dexterity is required to some degree. Even with the leather wristband that has a magnetic closure to help with connecting the ends; it is still not incredibly easy.

With the slap USB wristband, it’s as easy as Slap and Snap! (Sounds like infomercial talk, ouch!) Infomercial or not; the ease of use of this wristband is truly simple. We’ve wrote about usability and adaptation of the promotional products in previous posts; the simplicity of putting this wristband on and its large imprint area makes this a superior promotional/personalized product.

Charged with potential energy, this Slap USB Wristband is ready for action
In this state, the wristband is straight, and it holds its shape before releasing its potential energy, similarly to a compressed spring

Kids and Adult Sizes

Occasionally, we are asked for different sizes of the USB Wristbands. While it is possible to make them in any size, most kids or youth sizes have to be custom made. With the slap wristband, there is obviously no need to worry about the sizing issue. The wristband will contour to any size wrist or ankle.


It’s easy to see that I’m impressed with these wristbands. Interestingly, I’ve been waiting for sometime before the slap wristbands became available with the USB flash drive. It’s only a natural extension for already a great product.

The wristband material is soft silicone and is comfortable on the wrist; it fits any size with ease, there is a great surface area for logos and/or text, and it’s a flash drive! The Slap USB Wristband is a fantastic product; I recommend it – 5/5 stars.

Best Grade Flash Memory for My USB Flash Drive

The question about the flash memory (NAND) grades or tiers have come up on occasion. When I first heard about grading being used for the flash memory, I was not sure what to make of it. I was set to learn more about this intriguing nomenclature and get it all figured out.

The Saga

Without too much thinking, Google was the first obvious choice to easily load up on the subject. However, after the clock turned a half of the dial, it was clear to me that it’s not going to be easy. For some reason, I could not get any authoritative explanations; just opinions and hearsay. This will not do; I must press forward!

Truthfully, after realizing that grading may be just hot air, my enthusiasm has waned. A couple of months later, I decided to ask a couple of USB flash drive suppliers about these grades or tiers or something that can relate to the quality aspect of the flash memory. To my surprise, I got similarly vague answers as my extensive Internet search – Bummer!

A Potential discovery

The following is a summary of the collected information:

  1. Flash memory (NAND) comes in various grading or tier systems
  2. Flash memory manufacturers can also belong to different tier systems
  3. Tier or Grade systems refer to quality (i.e. reliability of transistors (cells) or cell’s ability to retain data or Manufacturing capability and technology) or performance characteristics (i.e. MB/s read or write throughput)

A little more detail

  • It’s claimed that grades from A to D exist. Grade A being the best quality and D the worst.
  • The tiers are the number equivalent to the grades. Grade A would be Tier 1 and so forth.
  • When the tiers are being refereed to the manufacturers of the flash memory (e.g. Hynix, Samsung); the reference is to the volume, level of the technological know-how, and the level of advancement in the manufacturing process. Tier 1 is highest.

What they say

Grade A –  Original (i.e. just as it came form the original manufacturer’s production line) flash with all the manufacturing identification marks, and passed manufacturing inspections

Grade B – Original flash, potentially without manufacturing identification marks; also with passed manufacturing inspections

Grade C – Modified or upgraded flash. The controller on the PCB is modified to report a larger capacity than what really exists on the drive. The USB flash drive reports 64GB; however you only got 32GB of the flash storage.

Grade D – Recycled and/or heavily modified flash. If it’s recycled, who knows how much life this memory has left in it. It reports 64GB; but there is a 1MB worth of the actual storage.

Flash Memory Tiers (1,2,3)  – Basically Grade A = Tier 1 and so forth

Manufacturer Tiers (1,2,3) – Members of the Tier 1 are Samsung, Hynix. Tier 2 members are Micron, Nanya, Inotera. The Tier 3 members are Elpida, Powerchip, Rexchip.

So what’s the verdict?

It’s rather difficult to tell for certain. It seems that this terminology has been adopted by the flash memory traders and USB flash drive manufacturers. However, an educated guess can be made when the processor technology is compared to the flash memory technology. (What?)

Even though the technology is different, there are some parallels that can be drawn. After the dies are deposited on the wafer, they are tested for quality. Those dies that have a sufficient number of transistors to pass under the intended specifications, are marked and released from manufacturing. Basically, if you are making a 64GB NAND memory die, and the tested amount of transistors return at 549,755,813,888 bits or more, you got a solid die. The testing will also involve performance characteristics.

Future NAND MLC chips

Some dies do not pass the test  to a point where there is less than the intended amount of working transistors. As in the processor chip manufacturing, these are sorted into a different pile. In the processor world, the failed dies become your economical choice processors (e.g. Intel’s Celeron or AMD’s Duron or some other downgraded processor). A similar process must exist for the NAND dies as well.

I want the best grade!

The best grade, one way or another, is Grade A, Tier 1 or Original Flash Memory. If your source is reliable, this is your choice, if you’re looking for the highest performing flash memory with the potential of being the most reliable.

The Grade B flash is close second. It still passed the manufacturing testing, just not to the intended specifications at the time of production. The capacity of the flash memory is full, and its capacity is fully tested.

The Grade C flash is something that you don’t want, unless you’re looking for the biggest bang for the buck. Hmmm… I cannot really think of a promotional or any drive where this can be used. Why would you want to mark the drive higher than it can actually hold? That’s just mean!


The discovery of the grading and tier terminology was a tedious and sometimes frustrating adventure. I’m sure that more specificity and corrections can be made to the discussion; overall, some certain conclusions can be made.

If you’re ready to spend a little more and need extra performance and possibly reliability from  your flash memory, choose Grade A (Tier 1). If a reasonable price, good performance and reliability is required, Grade B (Tier 2) is your choice. Grade C (Tier 3) or Grade D should not be your choice in any situation.

In regards to the flash memory manufacturers, Tier 1 Samsung and Hynix tend to stay on top of the NAND manufacturing world. Being the leaders of the industry and with the reputation for being reliable, they are an easy choice.

Beauty Always Gets Attention

When it comes to the promotional products, it what’s on the outside that counts! Even though it may sound superficial; a great looking product is pretty super in the eyes of potential clients.

Once it’s in your hands, you realize that it’s a light weight, sturdy pen, with a nice balance, and ergonomic design. When I first tried it, I started to pull on the cap to open the USB flash drive. However, to my surprise, I opened the pen to reveal the ink refill compartment. It’s nice, but where is the drive? The cap needed to be unscrewed to get to the USB flash drive. You can see the thread on the cap in the photo below.

The pen will look fantastic with a lasered logo for a subtle branding; a color silkscreen logo will look incredible as well. We called this model Iridium for the silvery luster on the pen’s finish. If you would like other colors: red, blue, black, etc… It’s available in many colors to suit your needs.

This USB pen looks beautiful, and is sure to attract attention. Try it out at your next Expo to get a few more people interested.