LaCie PetiteKey | from US$14.99 | www.lacie.com
if your idea of a tough USB flash drive is a drive wrapped in heavy steel or thick rubber, then think again. seriously, we are at an advanced technological stage that there’s no reason a toughened up gadget should look ugly. just look at the new LaCie PetiteKey. it is waterproof up to 100 meters and features cap-free connector that could stand up to scratch, ensuring the connector will not be scuffed and render useless. of course, it won’t survive if a tank rolls over it but as far as water and mud or even some tumble in a washing machine are concerned, this little guy is totally fine with them. all those qualities come in a small (30 percent smaller than its predecessor, iamaKey) and stunningly stylish package that matches with your rest of your keys – that’s if you chose to string it together with the rest of your real keys (and why not, it looks just like a key anyway). just remember don’t go trying to stuff this into any key hole. it won’t work and you it, don’t you? on the software end, it is bundled with Private-Public that offers AES 256-bit encryption and password protection, keeping your data secured digitally in the event that you loses it. our only gripe is, it is still using USB 2.0 technology but other than that, it is no doubt a thumb drive that makes quite a style statement. the LaCie PetiteKey comes in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities with prices starting from just $14.99 a pop. take a few more look at the PetiteKey after the break.