In late 2005 we looked at the ATP ToughDrive 1GB flash drive and in 2006 looked at ATP's ProMax 150x CF card, but since then we haven't heard much from this company. However, they have recently released two new products, which we are looking at today. There is the ATP 8GB EarthDrive, which is advertised as the world's first recyclable USB drive, and secondly there is the ATP 8GB ToughDrive. The EarthDrive is made of a biodegradable material that is derived from corn.
PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is made from cornstarch or sugar canes depending upon the application. The EarthDrive's housing is made of this Polylactic Acid plus an additive and a Poly Carbonate. In addition to being the first biodegradable flash drive, the EarthDrive is also waterproof and resistant to dust and shock. The ATP EarthDrive is available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB models, with the review sample we have being the 8GB AF8GUFE1BK.
With the second flash drive we have for testing, the 8GB ToughDrive, it is not very different from the ATP flash drive we looked at three years ago. The ATP ToughDrive has the same rubberized coating to increase its durability, offer waterproof capabilities. The difference though is that on the rubber surface there is a camouflage pattern. The ATP ToughDrive, like the EarthDrive, is available in capacities between 1GB and 8GB. Both the ATP ToughDrive and EarthDrive simply included the USB 2.0 flash drives themselves and a small loop/clip to attach to a keychain or elsewhere to prevent the drives from getting lost.