SanDisk has extended its strategy of reinventing the USB flash drive as ‘do-everything' device, with the announcement of a new one-touch flash backup product, the San Disk Ultra Backup.

As with external drives built around 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch hard disk, the Ultra Backup can be used to back up chosen data directories and data types data at a the touch of a button, but in a much smaller physical package.

The Ultra Backup comes with built-in encryption for a basic level of security, and capacities from 8GB to 64GB, the latter putting it in direct competition with lower-cost hard drives in terms of practical backup.

"Like flossing our teeth or balancing our chequebooks, when it comes to backing up our digital files, even though people know they should do it, they simply don't - and that behaviour is putting many consumers' precious digital content at serious risk," said Kent Perry of SanDisk.

That statement makes clear that the Ultra backup is aimed at consumers, leaving the possibility of a business version - SanDisk's business line is marketed under the Cruzer brand - for the future.

SanDisk has already put automatic and mandatory encryption on that product line, plus a version with built-in anti-malware control, and in future plans to turn the drive into a whole virtual environment for those who need it.

Earlier this week, SanDisk announced a version of the Cruzer that can automatically and securely back up data to an online service every time it is near an Internet connection.

Prices for the Ultra Backup will range from $40 (approx £25) for the 8GB version to $200 (approx (£130) for the 64GB equivalent, with higher capacities no doubt in the roadmap.