Release roundup: Tiny storage and big cases

We’ve already covered major releases this week—including new coolers and PSUs from Corsair and a compact mechanical keyboard from Cooler Master. Still, we had plenty of fodder for the roundup. LaCie, Mushkin, and Raidmax all sent us announcements about new products:

  • LaCie introduces its PetiteKey thumb drive. Remember the LaCie iamaKey? Geoff blogged about it a little over three years ago. Now, there’s a successor: the PetiteKey, which is 30% smaller yet has the same tough metal exterior. In fact, LaCie claims this little USB thumb drive is waterproof "up to 100 meters" (328 feet). If you’re ever in a shipwreck, your relatives will be able to recover your embarrassing personal documents and pirated TV shows. They’ll have to get through the bundled Private-Public encryption software first, though. Asking price: $14.99 for the 8GB model. 16GB and 32GB variants are also available.

  • Mushkin touts world’s fastest 30GB mSATA solid-state drive. Poised as a cache drive for ultrabooks and other ultra-slim portables, the 30GB Atlas SSD has an mSATA form factor and a SandForce SF-2281 controller, which delivers read and write speeds of up to 555MB/s and 365MB/s, respectively. Not too shabby considering the tiny footprint. Mushkin says the Atlas has been validated for both Intel Smart Response Technology and Nvelo’s Dataplex caching software. You might find it rendering aid to sluggish 5,400-RPM hard drives in lower-end ultrabooks.

  • Mushkin expands USB 3.0 flash drive line. LaCie’s PetiteKey doesn’t seem to have USB 3.0, but Mushkin’s new Ventura Plus drive does. Also available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB variants, this drive is capable of 200MB/s read speeds and 40MB/s write speeds. You can’t take this one underwater, but Mushkin has nevertheless clad it in an aluminum housing rated for 10G of shock resistance.

  • Raidmax announces wide-bodied Cobra mid tower. According to Raidmax, the Cobra has been "designed with gamers’ tastes in mind." As a gamer, I beg to differ—green LEDs aren’t really my thing. Still, this enclosure has a nice set of features for the $69.99 price—and because it’s wider than most cases, at 9.4", it can accommodate extra-tall CPU coolers (up to 6.9") while leaving plenty of room behind the motherboard tray for cable routing. (Raidmax says there’s 25 cm of clearance, but I think they mean 25 mm, or 0.98". Oh, and the motherobard tray is painted day-glo green, incidentally.) Other notable features include USB 3.0 front-panel connectivity, tool-less drive bays, and room for up to three 3.5" hard drives, four 2.5" SSDs, and three 5.25" optical drives.

I’ve had an old, two-gig OCZ Diesel drive strapped to my keychain for the past five years or so, but that PetiteKey drive looks awfully nice. Maybe I ought to upgrade. Too bad about the apparent lack of USB 3.0 connectivity, though.

Comments closed
    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Optimus Prime got raped by the Green Lantern and gave birth to that nasty thing. Gross.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 7 years ago

      While I agree it’s ugly, -1 for tastelessness. Sorry, dude.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Funny enough i was just thinking about buying a new USB flash drive. I was looking at 64GBs models though, but as they are still a bit too expensive for now, i might settle for a 32GBs version. Dang capacity has increased so much lately and they are quite affordable too.

      • Mr Bill
      • 7 years ago

      I just bought the 16GB USB drive which is $16.99 on sale on Amazon. Click on the $25 drive and you will see that Amazon has it as a prime item under ‘more buying choices’.

      [url<]http://www.amazon.com/Mushkin-Enhanced-Ventura-16GB-Thumb/dp/B005WXLEPK/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1352516520&sr=8-3-fkmr1&keywords=Mushkin+Ventura+Plus[/url<]

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    “You might find it rendering aid to sluggish 5,400-RPM hard drives in lower-end ultrabooks.”

    wait, what? why would an ultrabook have an HDD in the first place? the price premium you pay should outlaw HDD’s in ultrabooks.

    • fantastic
    • 7 years ago

    “Mushkin has nevertheless clad it in an aluminum housing rated for 10G of shock resistance.”
    10Gs is almost nothing for solid state equipment. I hope that number is missing a digit or two.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Is the word ‘rated’ not defined in your dictionary? They have to actually test it at greater than 10G of shock to rate it higher.

        • anotherengineer
        • 7 years ago

        Put it in a washing machine, the spin cycle is usually a lot higher than 10Gs

          • Airmantharp
          • 7 years ago

          A washing machine may induce 10g of force, but it won’t be through shock.

            • sjl
            • 7 years ago

            You haven’t seen my old washing machine – blew the earth current leakage switch a couple of times before I twigged to what was going on and ditched it…

            Oh. Wrong kind of shock. Never mind.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    The mSATA drives are still fairly useless until Intel decides to ship an ICH with more than two SATA3 ports; so far we haven’t seen any motherboards with the mSATA slot hooked up to SATA3.

      • Thatguy
      • 7 years ago

      I was getting all excited at the idea of one too. The GF’s computer has a slow 5400rpm HD. Something like this would be perfect.

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        An SSD on SATA2 will still be extremely fast; it just won’t go over ~280MB/s in either direction.

          • spuppy
          • 7 years ago

          Exactly, when it comes to the important stuff (4K random iops) SATA2 is still fine, and probably still better than a Marvell SATA3.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      Just use the mSATA as a boot drive in your laptop, and put the page file and programs on the faster SATA3 drive.

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        That makes no sense. I have a laptop that has an mSATA port, but I use only the Crucial M4 that’s in a SATA3 bay. Why would anyone buy a SATA2 SSD and a SATA3 SSD, and lose the benefit of decreasing cost as size goes up for a single drive?

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. Should be more like ‘Use the mSATA drive as an OS/programs drive and put a large storage drive in the 2.5″ bay.” (Or use SRT hybrid drive if it’s supported.)

      • LoneWolf15
      • 7 years ago

      Even with SATA2, performance is good. I have a 256MB mSATA drive in my ThinkPad, and a 500GB mechanical hard drive for storage.

      I have my profile folder redirected to the mechanical drive using symbolic linking in Win7, which works great.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    That Lacie drive is pretty neat. Something I’d actually contemplate getting as your keyring is a really great spot for a thumbdrive as long as it’s not too big and it’s durable. Too bad they decided to add the gaudy edges to it and make it attempt to look like a key.

    In other news, I hope both Intel and AMD migrate integrated SSD caches into all their chipsets. I could see something like that possibly obsoleting full size SSDs (if done properly).

    That’s really what would offset the whole SSD craze. Since Windows doesn’t cache well with ample amounts of memory and drive makers don’t make very good use of onboard caches.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Do you mean they need to put NAND in the chipset? Or just need to make sure something like Intel SRT is available everywhere?

      The former is ludicrous (flash wears out), and the latter, well, is a product thing; it’s all software switches.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        SRT… and yes they could embed it in the chipset too… Chances are you’d never reach flash cycle durability and even if it did they could put in a safeguard where it disables the cache, no different then when batteries no longer hold a charge.

          • Airmantharp
          • 7 years ago

          So you want to put flash on a southbridge? You’re crazy.

          SRT is software; Intel just restricts it by chipset to support product segmentation. You can get the same functionality with third-party software and use it with any board.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Attached to a southbridge, it doesn’t need to be the southbridge. Guess they call me crazy.

            I don’t know of any software that does it well. The best I’ve used so far is FancyCache, but other then that… That software isn’t made by a multi-billion company.

      • swampfox
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]That Lacie drive is pretty neat. Something I'd actually contemplate getting as your keyring is a really great spot for a thumbdrive as long as it's not too big and it's durable. Too bad they decided to add the gaudy edges to it and make it attempt to look like a key.[/quote<] And too bad it is only 2.0...

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Didn’t see that, also a downside.

      • jessterman21
      • 7 years ago

      I got this little baby, and I’m quite pleased. Not with the performance of course – guess USB 3.0 doesn’t fit on this form-factor…

      [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239003[/url<]

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    Behold, [url=http://www.pclaunches.com/entry_images/0708/16/super-talent_pico-gold2.jpg<]the super talent pico drive[/url<]. It came out FIRST.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      But it’s not attachable to a keyring, made of sturdy metal, and water proof which tends to happen to things that go in your pocket.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        1. [url=http://i50.tinypic.com/1znpvrd.jpg<]My keys[/url<] 2. Made of steel 3. Washed frequently like most things that go in my pocket.

          • anotherengineer
          • 7 years ago

          made of steel?
          you sure?

          Usually keys are made from Brass and then nickel or chrome plated.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Magnet says yes.
            Ferrous at least

            • anotherengineer
            • 7 years ago

            Not necessarily, the nickel plating is probably making it magnetic.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Could be.

            F***** MAGNETS. HOW DO THEY WORK?

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            What electroplated objects do you own which contain enough nickel content to be ferromagnetic? None of my keys will do it.

            Besides, keys ARE sometimes made from steel. It’s not common or recommended, since a steel key tends to accelerate the wear of the lock pins, but it is done occasionally.

      • jensend
      • 7 years ago

      I’ve got one of those, and it’s a pain. The metal around the connector keeps it from fitting in most standard USB ports, so you have to use an extender cable.

        • Airmantharp
        • 7 years ago

        ‘Keyring’ drives are pretty old.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          TOO BAD APPLE DIDN’T PATENT IT FIRST. IT’S SO CLEVER AND NOT OBVIOUS AND THEIRS WOULD BE SO MUCH BETTER!

            • Airmantharp
            • 7 years ago

            MMO STAHP MMO UR NOT SSK

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