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LaCie iamaKey Flash Drive Review

on March 8, 2009 10:32 am

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LaCie has just announced the iamaKey, itsaKey and passKey USB flash drives. They have a design that I can’t believe hasn’t happened until now. They are shaped like – keys. :) Lacie sent me a 4GB iamaKey to test drive.

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Available in 4 and 8GB versions, the iamaKey has a metal body and Gold SIP connectors, making it both water and scratch- resistant. It is also ReadyBoost compatible.

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It comes with a protective plastic clip for the Gold contacts, but this is probably something that will get lost really quickly. The body of the flash drive feels really solid and I am betting that it will be able to easily survive on a keychain with other keys. If you have a worry about the contacts, you can opt for the itsaKey. It has a thicker body with a covered connector. I like the look / size of the iamaKey better.

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As you can see, it is similar in size to regular keys that you keep on your keychain. To give you an idea of the size overall size, here we see it next to an over-sized car key.

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I tested this flash drive with my iMac…

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…and with my HP mini 1000 netbook. Its performance was on par with other USB 2.0 flash drives that I use on a daily basis. LaCie claims up to 30MB/s transfer rates. My informal tests clocked the transfer speeds a little slower than that…

I think the LaCie key shaped USB drives are an idea that should have appeared a long time ago. Kudos to LaCie for creating them. Now, just bring out some higher capacity versions please :)

 

Product Information

Price:$17.99 (4GB), $27.99 (8GB)
Manufacturer:LaCie
Pros:
  • Sturdy
  • Water resistant
  • Always with you (on keychain)
Cons:
  • Need higher capacity versions

Comments

  1. 1

    That’s great! I’m always on the look-out for new and whacky flash drive shapes. As you mentioned though this one is rather obvious, isn’t it? I think my favorites remain hamburgers and USB humping dogs.

  2. 2
    Geakz says:

    Although I don’t think I would want to tie up my whole key ring by plugging this into a PC or port, it WOULD be great to have as a backup/copy of my existing thumb drive. Keep it synced every week and if you are ever caught without your thumb drive, you’ve got your ‘key’ as a backup. Reasonably priced too!

  3. 3
    MemoTrek says:

    Wow ~ this looks nice a nice, simple and clean design for a USB flash drive.
    And looks like the perfect drive to store your personal pass key’s, passwords or key-chains. Nice design and to a reasonable price indeed!

  4. 4
    JoAnn says:

    I’d be worried about what would happen to the contacts after it had been kicking around with my other keys in a pocket for a while.

  5. 5
    Ryan says:

    What is that red small usb jumpdrive in the 5th pic??
    I want it :)

  6. 6
    Julie says:

    @Ryan It’s a Kingston DataTraveler flash drive. Here’s a review I wrote:
    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2007/11/27/kingston_datatraveler_usb_flash_drives/

  7. 7
    Todd says:

    Where can I buy one? Is it really only $9.90 for a 4 gig version?

  8. 8
    Julie says:

    @Todd hmmmm, the press release that came with the iamaKey said that they started at $9.90. But now on the LaCie site, it says $17.99 for 4GB the itsaKey.
    http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11225

  9. 9
    Jake says:

    I have about 12 flash drive but am willing to add to my collection

  10. 10

    [...] a covered USB connector. The iamakey costs $10 and should be available soon. [via CrunchGear and the Gadgeteer] Posted In: [...]

  11. 11
    Julie says:

    Ok, the pricing is:
    Iamakey-
    4GB 17.99
    8GB 27.99
    ItsaKey-
    4GB 14.99
    8GB 23.99
    PassKey-
    9.99

  12. 12
    Todd says:

    Still pretty good prices. Are they actually available anywhere. Appeared to be out of stock. I’m guessing amazon.com will have them eventually.

  13. 13
    M Ryan says:

    An 8 GB key is really too small for serious backup. Bit of file transfer maybe but not everyday bulk movement. Put a 32GB key on the list and I am there. Quick release keychain and things get ideal.

  14. 14

    Genius! Going to order one right now.

  15. 15
    Ronan says:

    After 2 days, what do you think about the contacts of the iamaKey? That’s really my favorite one, but I worry about them…

  16. 16
    Julie says:

    @Ronan No problems yet. There are sides to the connector that sorta protect the Gold contacts.

  17. 17
    Ronan says:

    Thanks Julie. I was about to buy one when I saw the prices of iamaKey and itsaKey got up by €5 during the night. Same thing in $ ?

  18. 18
    Sushruta says:

    That’s a nice lookin’ flash drive you have there Julie. :)

  19. 19
    yakov says:

    problem with this is that if you put it on your keychain, then plug it in to a computer, the weight of the rest of the keys will pull down on the usb stick and eventually bend and ruin the connectors — trust me on this it happened to me back in the day.

  20. 20
    ZZamboni says:

    I ordered and just received one of these – I got the 4GB model. It looks great, it’s about the same size of a regular key, small enough to carry in my keychain. I agree with yakov that plugging it in together with the rest of the keychain may not be a good idea (not only the weight, but the other keys may scratch the machine, accidentally get into neighboring connectors, etc.). Having a keyring that allows for quickly releasing keys is very useful in this case.

  21. 21
    John Elias says:

    Great design. I like it, but does anyone know if it has a write protect switch?

  22. 22
    Julie says:

    @John It does not have a write protect switch.

  23. 23
    Ben says:

    I am going to try one, I was looking for a flash drive that would specifically hook on my keychain. I currently have the Corsair Voyegar mini that might be coming up on a year old and the rubber loop broke so it doesn’t stay on my keychain anymore. The part that holds the usb connector in the housing broke a long time ago but the connector is not warn and it still works good.

    I dunno how many time it has saved me from losing my flashdrive, I worked was a traveling network engineer I always throw drivers utilities and documents on my flash drive and use it at a customers site. The best part was I could not drive back to the shop or home without my flash drive.

  24. 24
    Barry says:

    I have used the 16GB model for a few months on my regular key chain, tossed the little plastic protector and given it no special treatment. It seems to be solid and works just fine.

  25. 25
    Si says:

    I’ve had this key for 4 years now, always on my key chain, still going strong. The transfer rate is super slow compared to other usb sticks so if you’re looking for something fast, better not get this one.

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