I first learnt about the Kingston range of Chinese New Year USB Stick a few years back with a little post on a popular tech news site, who were showing off a previous years’ stick.  This prompted me to hunt high and low to get hold of one and it’s been a bit of a New Year ritual for each year.

 

This year we have the Year of the Sheep Edition and thanks to the people at Kingston I’ve managed to get hold of one of them for my growing collection.

Packaging

The packaging on the New Year’s drives has always been rather special, with the Horse coming in a fire cracker style packet and the Snake in a custom cardboard casing.  The Sheep is no different.

The octagonal shaped packaging is made from a nice slightly texture cardboard printed up with Chinese style patterns, letters and the Chinese Zodiac.  The front is adorned with the Kingston Logo and some of the features and specifications

  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Suitable for Desktop and Laptop
  • Capacity, which is 16GB.

 

In the centre of the octagon there is a clear plastic domed window, showing the Sheep’s face inside.  The rear of the packaging is more of the same, with the window showing the little red tail on the USB stick. We also have a few further specifications, with the drive is listed as USB2.0 & USB1.1 compatible.

Without further ado let’s get the package opened and see what we’ve got.

The USB Drive

The box isn’t the easiest package to work out how to open without damage.  In the end I had to cut through the barcode label on the bottom and then loosen a glued section. The entire base then unfolds allowing the clear plastic shell to be released and inside this clamshell case we have the Sheep!

Previous New Year sticks have been red in colour, but this year to try and fit with the sheep zodiac they have gone with white as the base colour.  The sheep has a little red tail and what look like red wings on the side.  The face that we could see through the front window is now clearly visible including the yellow hair style the sheep is rocking.
The rear quarter has the Brand name and the capacity printed on confirming once again that this is a 16GB USB stick.

The USB stick is large but not too heavy, the weight allowing it to stand nicely on all four legs without toppling over.  The entire stick is made using a nice soft-touch material, though this does pick up dust and dirt very easily.
So where is the all-important USB interface? History tells me the answer to this as all the previous ones I’ve seen and own have removable heads with the little USB interface hidden inside the either the head itself or the body. I little tug on the head and it pops straight off revealing the USB interface attached to head section.

The USB isn’t too bulky and can be easily used as a regular USB stick on either your laptop or desktop PC.  As this is a novelty pen drive I haven’t bothered to benchmark the it - being USB 2.0 is not going to break any records and I would expect the same level of performance as the stands USB2.0 Data Traveller or SE9 USB Stick.

Conclusion

Overall it’s a great flash novelty flash drive and looks great as part of the range.  Personally I’m not too concerned that it’s only USB2.0 as the drive isn’t aimed at the performance user - it’s just for a bit of fun and at this it excels.  Next year I believe is the Year of the Monkey and this should make or a rather interesting design.

Thanks to Paul at Kingston for sourcing me the sample for review.

Finally as pointed out by Tom here in the office, the head can even be re-fitted upside down making for a rather puzzling look on the Sheep.

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