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LaCie Minimus and Rikiki shrink down USB 3 hard drives

Peripheral and accessory maker LaCie has announced new versions of its compact and highly-portable Minimus and Rikiki external hard drives, each offering high-bandwidth USB 3.0 interfaces—backward compatible with USB 2.0—for fast transfers. Both drives feature brushed aluminum cases that help protect the mechanism as well as dissipate heat; the Rikiki USB 3.0 currently offers 500 GB of storage, while the Minimus steps up to 1 TB of capacity.

“The Minimus and Rikiki USB 3.0 offer our customers easy and affordable options to access the super speeds of USB 3.0,” said LaCie consumer product manager Philippe Rault, in a statement. “Since these products offer backward compatibility with USB 2.0, they will work on any PC or Mac with no worry.”

In theory, USB 3.0 connections offer bandwidth of up to 5 Gb/s; although the reality is usually far less, they substantially outperform USB 2.0 connections, which max out at a theoretical 480 Mb/s. The Rikiki receives power off the USB bus (so there’s no need for a separate power adapter), although the larger capacity Minimus, sadly, packs a separate external power supply. The drives can be used with USB 2.0 devices, albeit at USB 2.0 speeds.

The 500 GB Rikiki carries a suggested retail price of $99; the 1 TB Minimus is priced at $129.99. Both are available now.

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