Anyone with a dusty old laptop knows the drill all too well. The sluggish startup. The inevitable crash. The furious jabbing at the power button. If only there was a simple solution that didn't involve chucking the blasted thing in the dustbin and buying a new one. Meet the Leaf USB stick.

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Leaf is a tiny USB stick that plugs into your grumpy old computer to give it a brand new lease of life. No fiddly installation or extra effort needed. Just plug Leaf into the USB port and its auto-activation feature will kick in, lightening the load for an instant turbo boost.

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Leaf improves the speed and overall performance of your computer by taking on some of the system’s number-crunching load, giving the onboard RAM more room to breathe. RAM is the grease that helps its cogs turn.

It means your computer should be able to process data more efficiently and respond faster, for speedier browsing, and fewer tears of frustration. In theory, anyway.

Leaf’s maker, Green Leaf Technology, is offering three specs of USB.The 8GB and 16GB should do the trick if you just want to speed up video streaming and general system performance. It says the 32GB USB is for gamers and business types, although don’t expect it to get the latest games running on a 5-year-old laptop. It’s not magic.

What it’ll do is bulk up your laptop/desktop’s cache memory, the databanks used to juggle anything you’re currently doing. It should come in particularly handy if, say, you’re editing photos on an old machine.

Want to go all-out? You can attach a whopping eight Leaf USBs to a single computer, and tweak how they operate.

The Leaf USB stick has already smashed its $10,000 Kickstarter funding goal, and is available now for pre-order. Prices range from $8 (a mere £5) for the 8gb stick, to at $18 (around £12) for the 32gb version.

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