Key-shaped USB drive solves my portable data dilemma

When my colleague Dong Ngo introduced us to the LaCie key-shaped USB drive back in March, the timing could not have been better, as I had just ended yet another frustrating relationship with a keychain-based USB key.

I promise this is the last time you'll hear about my keys. Sarah Tew/CNET

When my colleague Dong Ngo introduced us to the LaCie key-shaped USB drive back in March, the timing could not have been better, as I had just ended yet another frustrating relationship with a keychain-based USB key.

I've gotten into the habit of keeping a USB drive attached to my keys in the past year. Moving into a new laptop on the average of twice a week, I got tired of re-downloading all the software I'd want on a just-unboxed laptop, and decided to create a package of must-have install files, including FireFox, AVG Free, Open Office, etc.

The problem was that every USB key I attached to my keychain would fall off in a matter of months or even weeks as the keyring holes on the end would fray and break. I hooked up the USB key with the biggest, heartiest keyring attachment I could find--in this case a 4GB PNY Attache. You can see the eventual results in the photo here.

Here's what a couple of months riding around in my pocket did to this poor USB key. Sarah Tew/CNET

Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea I did, because while Amazon stocked the LaCie iamaKey USB Flash Drive, its shipping time was estimated as, "Usually ships within 1-2 months." Fortunately, the key only took about three weeks to arrive.

I've just loaded all my install files onto the 8GB drive, and attached it to my keyring. So far it shows no signs of wear and tear--although if I manage to somehow break this one, the problem might have been me, and not my plastic USB keys, all along.

Sorry plastic USB keys, I've moved on. Sarah Tew/CNET

Read the full CNET Review

LaCie IamaKey (8GB)

The Bottom Line: LaCie's IamaKey USB flash drive is slim, sturdy, and, most importantly, will stay on your key ring. / Read full review

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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