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LaCie's key-shaped USB drives: Tough, stylish

LaCie offers three key-shaped USB drives that are compact, rugged, and offer up to 8GB of storage.

LaCie recently introduced three key-shaped USB-storage devices, including two USB drives--the itsKey and the iamaKey--and one USB microSD card reader, the PassKey.

I got my hands on the iamaKey today and loved it. The drive is about the same shape and size as a small house key and is literally as tough as a nail, but it looks much better than a nail.

LaCie's three new USB storage devices. LaCie

Designed by 5.5 Designers, the award-winning studio that focuses on research and consulting, the iamaKey and the two others look stylish and can fit conveniently in a pocket or on a key ring.

All three key-shaped devices are built with sturdy metal, making their surfaces tough. Additionally, the Gold SIP connector on the iamaKey is both water- and scratch-resistant. It sure is the thinnest and toughest flash drive I've ever seen.

I found one design flaw, however. The iamaKey has a transparent little lid that covers the drive's connector. The lid needs to be removed when the drive is in use, but is not attached to the drive in anyway, which means it can easily slip through a crack and disappear. However, the lid is only for aesthetic purposes.

Both the itsaKey and the iamaKey store up to 8GB of flash memory. The Passkey, on the other hand, is a microSD card reader that lets you use your memory card as a handy USB drive. Or you can also use it as a card reader on the go. All of these keys feature USB 2.0 with throughput speed up to 480Mbps.

These new and sleek USB storage devices work with both Macs and Windows and are available now starting at $9.99.