The two-year old LaCie XtremKey has just received a much needed update: USB 3.0. The original version has already made a name for itself as one of the handful of flash drives being able to survive pressure, water, heat and cold. LaCie claims it can resist temperature as high as 200ºC; 10-ton pressure; 10m drop; and submersion in water up to 200m. So adding USB 3.0 to the already formidable-looking drive should only make the XtremKey more desirable.
LaCie advertises the drive performance with an impressive 230MB/s read speed. If manufacturers don’t make the write speed public, you can usually expect it to be only half of read. Regardless, the new XtremKey should still leave the original version with its 30 to 40MB/s average speed in the dust. Little else has changed in the fundamental design, retaining its heavy-duty screw-tight enclosure made with 2mm-thick ZAMAC metal alloy. LaCie however has skipped 16GB and went with 32GB as minimum capacity with a starting MSRP of $84.99. Comparatively, a Sandisk’s 200MB/s flash drive of the same size will cost you around $40. There’s no pricing available for the 64GB as of this writing.