Review LaCie mosKeyto & LaCie XtremKey
LaCie presents two special USB-Sticks, the mosKeyto and the XtremKey. The first sticks out, because it is especially small, the other because of its durability. We scrutinize these two USB-2.0 devices.
During the last weeks LaCie's new storage solutions for all fields of applications have caused a stir. Among them there are also the mosKeyto and the XtremKey. These to USB-2.0-storage devices attract attention by their special features.
The mosKeyto by LaCie is one of the smallest USB sticks currently available. It is at most 20 millimeters big, weighs merely 10 grammes and can store between 4 to 8 GB. Connected to the notebook, it just protrudes by 6 millimeters. This avoids damage and allows a comfortable transport.
As usual the scope of delivery is not too big. Besides the storage device itself there are suitable covers, a small "lanyard keychain" and a short description inside the box. The case is simply made from plastics, which, nevertheless, leaves a high-quality impression. The enclosed cap sits tight on the USB-A connector. The mosKeyto costs between 19.99 euro (4 GByte, MSRP) and a maximum of 29.99 euro (MSRP) for the 8 GByte model.
The LaCie XtremKey is quite different and appropriate for rough territory. This USB stick is protected by a cylinder made a 2 millimeter thick solid metal. Therewith is one of few storage media that are tested according to MIL-STD-810F standard. The US Military assigns this F-Standard from 2006 to particularly robust equipment, which can also withstand "use in a war".
Its first key data sounds amazing and will not be needed during standard use: Water-proof up to 100 meters, temperature resistant up to +200 and down to -50 degrees Celsius and pressure resistant up to 10 tons. Much to our surprise the device is not only very robust, but also quite fast. According to manufacturer, it can read up to 40 MB per second and write up to 30 MB per second.
LaCie offers 8, 16, 32, and 64 GB models of the XtremKey. However, the maximum price of 244.99 Euro (MSRP) is quite steep. Both storage devices are compatible with the popular operating systems from Microsoft (Windows XP, Vista, 7) and Apple (Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6). In addition 4 GByte online-memory peicher in the Wuala-Cloud of LaCie are offered. This is a secure storage space on a server. However, one should be carefully consider storing sensible data there.
Performance (mosKeyto, 4 GByte)
LaCie does not inform about the performance of the mosKeyto in the Internet. According to the tools 'HD Tune Pro', 'CrystalDiskMark' and 'Xbench' its performance reaches an average entry-level. HD Tune Pro records a maximum of 18.8 MByte per second during reading. Thereby, it is not remarkable that the transfer rate ranges from 12.4 to 18.8 MB/s. This is also sufficient for a typical usage.
Unfortunately, the results of the CrystalDiskMark are slightly worse. The maximum transfer rate (reading) is just 15.26 MB per second. Copying data to the stick (writing) is possible at 5.15 to about 7 MB per second. The mosKeyto is not faster under Mac OS X and Xbench records a maximum transfer rate of 12.77 MB per second.
To summarize, the mosKeyto is rather slow. Instead the manufacturer focused on a particularly small size. Nevertheless, it suffices copying small amounts of data or swapping music. However, a faster stick is definitely recommended for a regular backup of 4 or 8 GB data.
Performance (XtremKey, 16 GByte)
The product side and the box of the XtremKey promise maximum transfer rates of 40 MB per second (reading) and 30 MB per second (writing). We can only refer to the results of CrystalDiskMark, because HD Tune Pro displayed an error message or refused to open at all on different Windows computers.
34.63 MB per second (read) are 6 MB per second less than promised by the marketing information. Repeating the test multiple times did not help here too. The XtremKey failed to reach 40 MB/s. However, the HDTune Pro would likely have reported higher values. It's similar in writing. Again, the performance is 6 MB lower than the marketing information of 30 MB per second. Mac OS X user aren't better of too. The performance is about on par compared to Windows 7.
Considering it is a USB-2.0 storage, the XtremKey is rather fast. Looking for a similar product, you'll quickly get across the Flash Survivor from Corsair, which is also rather fast and designed to convince in rough environments.
Lacie offers two extraordinary USB storage devices, the mosKeyto and the XtremKey, which convince with their special features. The mosKeyto is particularly small, but its performance is just average. If you can do without high performance and need a stick as small as possible the mosKeyto is not a bad choice.
The XtremKey is very robust and conforms to the MIL-STD-810F standard. However, it is questionable if this is really needed in practice. Considering it is a USB-2.0 medium, its performance is convincing, although the marketing information appears to be too high. To summarize, Lacie offers two USB-solutions, which can convince, but, they also have disadvantages.