By Paul McCollum
Following Kingston, PQI and Super Talent, LaCie has also jumped onto the USB 3.0 bandwagon with its FastKey. Bearing a strong resemblance to the IronKey drive, the $499 FastKey USB 3.0 flash drive keeps with the company’s tradition of devices that are easy on the eyes (and pricey). A smooth metallic exterior and a slim form factor make the FastKey a nice conversation starter. The cap and body are lightweight and metallic, giving the feel of a smaller drive. However, the above average width may cause problems blocking adjacent USB ports.
While the FastKey is slightly larger than most flash drives, it packs a whopping 120GB of storage. With this amount of storage, speed is a necessity. What good is 120GB of space if it takes an hour to fill it up? For FastKey’s real world performance, you can expect a read rate of 125MB/s and write of 85MB/s, provided you have a fast internal drive to match the speed. So, it will take about 16 minutes or so to copy everything from this thumbdrive to your PC.
Not all flash drives are built the same, even those as bold to call themselves an Express or Blaze are deceptively slow. When selecting a flash drive, pay close attention to the actual speed rating of the memory as opposed to the version of USB that they support. Full details on how well the LaCie FastKey lives up to its name can be found at Everything USB.