LaCie recently announced a brand new product to its portable flash drive lineup called the XtremKey. This new drive offers industrial strength and guaranteed protection of your files in some of the most extreme environments.

Featuring a military tested Zamac enclosure; composed of zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper, the device is practically indestructible and is tested to withstand drops up to 10 feet, endure 10 tons of truck resistance and can tolerate temperatures ranging all the way up to 392 degrees to as low as -122 degrees.

The list continues, with a fully waterproof design of up to 333ft, wear-resistant screw threads as well as a rubber O-ring to keep water and other materials out and if speed is the only thing your worried about, you will be pleased to hear that the XtremKey offers maximum read speeds of up to 40MB/s and 30MB/s write speeds, which is very good.

So even if you find yourself to be biggest klutz, you should never have to worry about dropping or somehow destroying an XtremKey flash drive and having it bust into a million pieces like a regular flash drive might.

With all these cool stats and claims LaCie throws out at us, I decided to actually go outside myself and put the product to the test. I witnessed some pretty impressive results from this product. First off, I threw it up a few feet and let it drop onto the concrete a few times. No physical damage was present and when I plugged the drive into my laptop, I was able to access my files no problem. Finally, I took a five-gallon bucket, filled it up to the top with water and submerged the product. When I unscrewed the metal casing, there was not a single drop of water inside.

Aside from the rugged design and strong build quality, the product performed no different than a regular 16GB flash drive. Files loaded on and off the device very quickly and I really like how when plugged into a Mac computer, the product displays an image of the device on the desktop instead of the regular drive icon. This makes the XtremKey really easy to find on a cluttered desktop. Another nice plus is that the company includes a two-year subscription of four gigabytes of online storage through as well as a two-year product warranty.

One thing I found that I wasn’t happy about is when the drive is plugged into the computer, it generates a lot of heat and since the drive is metal, naturally it acts as a conductor and retains the heat. As soon as I went to disconnect the drive out from the USB port, I noticed the product was almost burning hot and I wasn’t able to hold it for more than a few seconds without burning my fingers. I would have also like to have seen an LED light or something on the drive to show activity and that it is plugged in correctly. My final gripe is I wish LaCie had scaled down the end of the product since it sometimes can block access to other USB ports. Other than those few things, it’s a very solid product.

So is the XtremKey for you? If you are in the construction field or outdoors and need to carry your files, the XtremKey is a must. It is also great for people that misplace things often since chances are if you do happen to leave it outside in the rain, the product shouldn’t be affected. I found the XtremKey to work as advertized and I don’t consider it a bad value for the money. The XtremKey is available in eight, 16, 32 and 64 GB capacities ranging from $49.99 to $249.99.

About The Author

Mike Preble is a Blast Magazine staff writer.

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