LaCie XtremKey USB 3.0 32GB review
The XtremKey has been around for a while in various forms, but this is the first time we’ve seen one with a capacity as large as 32GB and a fast USB3 interface. The drive is incredibly quick, reading large files at 186MB/s and writing them at 79MB/s. It was quick to read small files with 58MB/s, but writing them was only average, with 6.9MB/s in our tests. Overall this is still by far the fastest USB flash drive we’ve ever seen.
The drive is designed to take abuse, and LaCie's website lists a whole host of tests the drive is supposed to have passed, from hyperbaric chambers to extreme heat and cold to ten tons of crushing weight. The all-metal drive screws into the thick metal casing, and there's an O-ring to keep out water. Our data survived several drop tests as well as immersion in a bowl of water for an hour - we didn’t find any moisture at all inside the casing.
No matter how tough the drive's casing, flash memory chips do fail, so you'd be a complete fool to rely on it entirely. For this reason the XtremKey comes with a year's free subscription to Wuala's cloud storage service, giving you 32GB of online capacity.
The XtremKey is around £10 more expensive than equivalent USB3 keys such as the Lexar JumpDrive Triton 32GB, but it's incredibly quick, feels beautifully made and comes with a useful amount of online storage for a year, so is good value for what you get. It's a Best Buy.
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