Storage and peripheral maker LaCie is taking a step towards re-inventing the venerable USB thumb drive, today announcing the LaCie FastKey, a USB storage device no larger than a pack of gum. But the FastKey isn’t an ordinary USB thumb drive—and a bulky one, by today’s standards. Instead, the FastKey is an solid-state drive offering capacities up to 120 GB, along with USB 3.0 capability for data transfer speeds up to 260 MB/s.
“With most flash drives, transferring a large number of photos and MP3 files can take a few minutes,” said LaCie’s manager for personal storage Luc Pierart, in a statement. “With the FastKey, transferring small files is immediate. You can back up or share your music and photo libraries as you head out the door.”
The LaCie FastKey features an aluminum casing takes up a total volume of just 26 cubic centimeters, and comes with a strap so users can secure it to a bag or other item for security. The drive also packs 256-bit AES encryption so user data is secure even if the drive is lost or stolen: users just configure how much of the drive’s capacity they want to protect, then set up a custom password for accessing that storage: that way, users can pass around the FastKey to transfer files, while being sure personal files are secure. Of course, the drive is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 connections, although those ports don’t get the benefit of USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
The FastKey is available in 30, 60, and 120 GB capacities for $149.99, $249.99, and $474.99, respectively. The FastKey also comes with 4 GB of online storage from Wuala.