LaCie intros rugged, waterproof XtremKey USB flash drive

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LaCie has announced a new flash drive capable of withstanding pressure, heat, water and drops, keeping your data safe as you go on the harshest of environments. Dubbed XtremKey, the PC and Mac compatible drive is housed inside a 2mm thick pipe casing made from a zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper alloy called zamac, while the shell itself is sealed with a rubber O-ring and wear-resistant screw threads for maximum protection.

LaCie claims the drive is tough enough to resist being run over by a 10-ton truck and five meter drops (16.4 feet), work in extreme temperatures ranging from -58 up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 to +200 Celsius), and be watertight up to 100 meters (328 feet) of depth. All that ruggedness will come at a premium, of course -- the XtremKey will be available in August priced starting at $50 for 8GB in LaCie's online store and featuring a variety of capacities up to 64GB.

By comparison, Corsair offers their 16GB Flash Survivor drive for the same $50 while standard non-ruggedized flash drives with 8GB capacity often sell for $20 or lower. Those who really feel their rough lifestyle requires this much protection might be able to justify the extra cash. As far as performance goes, LaCie quotes USB 2.0 read and write speeds up to 40 Mb/s and 30 Mb/s respectively.

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