I just received a sample USB key from LaCie. Can you spot it among my keys above? Hint: it sports the LaCie logo. ;) Aside from the logo, it does look like a key. In fact, it’s called the iamaKey. Go figure.
iamaKey comes in 4GB and 8GB capacities: I have the smaller one on loan. LaCie says the contacts are gold, making them water and scratch resistant, although I’m not going to submerge the flash drive. They’re fast too: LaCie claims up to 30 Mbps for reads and 10 Mbps for writes. Using the CrystalDiskMark application, I tested the speeds and found LaCie to be generally spot-on with sequential data; random reads and writes are noticeably slower.
Yup, there are plenty of USB flash drives out there that fit on a keyring. Call the iamaKey a gimmick, and you’d be correct. The MSRP for the 4GB model is $17.99, while another $10 will double your capacity. LaCie is also introducing two other USB key solutions today: the itsakey and the passKey. The former is just like the loaner I have but it offers a different design. The latter is a key-shaped microSD card reader.