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IoSafe pitches Rugged Portable drive

IoSafe announces its first super-rugged portable drive that can withstand even the hardest conditions while it remains compact and portable.

The IoSafe Rugged Portable is the first disaster-proof hard drive from Iosafe that's compact enough to carry on the go.
The IoSafe Rugged Portable is the first disaster-proof hard drive from IoSafe that's compact enough to carry on the go.
Dong Ngo/CNET

LAS VEGAS--If you're looking for a hard drive that can withstand fire, water submersion, being crushed by a 35,000-pound excavator, and so on, there are none better than IoSafe devices such as the IoSafe SoloPRO, which is based on a regular hard drive, or the Solo SSD, which is based on a solid-state drive.

They all have one problem, however: their physical size. The drives are generally huge and weigh tens of pounds thanks to layers of protection. This means they're not even in the vicinity of portability, which is something most of us want these days.

Well, that's now changed. The company announced today its very first portable drive that offers similar levels of mishap-resistance as the rest of its products, the IoSafe Rugged Portable external hard drive. By the way, this is the product IoSafe has been being mysterious about in the weeks leading up to CES 2011.

The Rugged Portable comes in three flavors, including aluminum HDD, aluminum SSD, and titanium SSD. The HDD version is available in capacities between 250GB and 1TB, while the SSD versions are available in capacities of either 256GB or 512GB. All versions are based on a standard 2.5-inch drive and support USB 3.0 with backward-compatibility to USB 2.0. IoSafe says the drive will support Firewire connectivity by March.

IoSafe claims that the Rugged Portable provides physical security features including:

  • Full Metal Jacket technology: The chassis of the drive is made from a solid billet. This means the aluminum enclosure is crush-resistant up to 2,500 pounds and the titanium alloy enclosure to 5,000 pounds.

  • Full Suspension Drive technology: The chassis can protect the internal data from being damaged during drops of up to 20 feet (SSD version) and 10 feet (HDD version) onto concrete.

  • HydroSafe technology: The drive is designed to survive water immersion up to three days in either fresh water or salt water to a depth of 10 feet (aluminum HDD version) or 30 feet (SSD or titanium version). The Rugged Portable is water-resistant even when connected to a computer via USB or FireWire.

  • ChemSafe technology: The drive is protected against immersion in diesel fuel, oils, hydraulic fluids, and aircraft fuels to a 12-inch depth for up to an hour.

  • EnviroSafe technology: The Rugged Portable can protect its internal data from continuous exposure to UV, blowing sand, blowing dust, rain, salt fog, ice, or freezing rain for up to 24 hours.

  • AltiSafe technology: The drive can operate at altitudes up to 15,000 feet (aluminum version) and 30,000 feet (SSD and titanium versions).

Finally, of course, the drive comes with a theft-resistant Kensington Lock compatible slot. Despite all these protections, the Rugged Portable remains compact, weighing just 1 pound for the aluminum versions or 1.5 pounds for the titanium version. It measures just 3.9 inches by 5.7 inches by 1 inch.

Like other storage products from IoSafe, the Rugged Portable is backed by one year of IoSafe's data recovery service. During the warranty period, IoSafe will repair or replace the drive, and, if necessary, cover up to $5,000 the cost of third-party forensic recovery services. The warranty can also be extended to up to 60 months.

The IoSafe Rugged Portable is available this month with prices starting at $150 for the 250GB aluminum HDD version (the price includes the aforementioned one-year warranty). Like last year and the year before, IoSafe is planning an over-the-top demonstration of the drive later today to prove its claims about the new Rugged Portable. Stay tuned to find out how that pans out.