Over the past few weeks, the storage vendor has introduced several new systems that support the new, faster peripheral connection standard, including a pocket drive. LaCie has also made it possible for some Mac users to take advantage of the increased speeds.LaCie first jumped on the USB 3.0 bandwagon with last year's introduction of its 2big two-drive RAID system with SuperSpeed connector. The company now offers a 6TB version of the 2big, featuring twin 3TB hard drives. The company claims that the system can achieve transfer rates up to 306 MB/second (with a USB 3.0 connection), 20% faster than the previous model. The single-disk d2 desktop model, using the same 3TB hard drive, can manage 156 MB/second. (The maximum transfer rate for USB 2.0 is about 57 MB/second, while The 3TB d2 is $350, while the 6TB 2big is $750.
A few days after that announcement, LaCie introduced a USB 3.0 driver for the Mac. The driver, which works with the company's USB 3.0 expansion cards, provides Mac owners with transfer speeds the company claims are more than twice as fast as FireWire 800 (up to 220 MB/second). The driver requires an expansion card, so the only Macs that can take advantage of it at present are the Mac Pro and the 17-inch MacBook Pro. LaCie's PCI Express card costs $50, while an ExpressCard/34 card costs $60.
Next out was a Philippe Starck-designed USB 3.0 hard disk, the LaCie Starck Mobile Drive. The drive has an aluminum casing, making it a good match for current MacBooks and MacBook Pros. besides backup software for the PC and Mac, the system also comes with a year of Wuala Online Storage (10 GB worth). The Starck Mobile Drive is available in 500GB capacity for $110.
The LaCie Starck Mobile Drive wraps a USB 3.0 drive in a stylish aluminum enclosure.
The newest item is the FastKey, a USB 3.0 flash drive, which the company positions as a "real mobile SSD" (solid state drive). Also in a metal case, the device supports AES 256-bit encryption and comes with LaCie software that enables the creation of a private partition on the disk. The FastKey comes in three sizes: 30 GB for $150, 60 GB for $250, and 120 GB for $475.