LaCie's PetiteKey is literally correct as a USB storage device. With a convenient hole for attaching to a keychain, it comes in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions. Made of metal and waterproof in depths of 100 meters, it is password secure, has private-public software and Wuala Secure Cloud Storage.
Microsoft's Windows To Go doesn't just share data between devices, it runs Windows 8 on PCs that only have version 7. The portable USB drive saves settings and apps and makes it simple for taking work home. Unveiled at the recent WPC 2012, the mini-storage stick works on both USB 2.0 and 3.0 and on legacy BIOS and UEFI firmware. Look for its release when Windows 8 becomes accessible for all in October.
Drobo has two new portable storage arrays for small businesses or home media freaks. The 5D can take on up to 5 drives and an SSD bay to support up to 16 terabytes of data. That's equal to 32 million photos, 4 million tunes, 1 million HD movies or 48 hours of uncompressed HD video. Look for better performance with Dobo's Thunderbolt, USB 3.0 and automated SSD acceleration.
The Drobo Mini is a mere 2" tall, 7" square and weighs less than 3 lbs., but can handle up to four 2.5" drivers with USB 3.0 connectivity. It features a custom, miniaturized power supply and an optional case for carrying around. Both have redesigned hardware and soft ware, and will be available sometime this summer.
Sandisk's latest Extreme USB Flash Drive 3.0 can transfer files up to 10 times faster than 2.0 drives with speed of up to 190MB. It takes 20 seconds to transfer 3GB and four minutes for 40GB. Back compatible with 2.0, it is ultra thin and holds up to 128GB of data. Take your pick of 16, 32 and 64GB models. SanDisk SecureAccess software is included for security. Optional online data storage of up to 2GB is available as is backup service.
USB 3.0 may soon gain in popularity and Verbatim is one of the first to embrace the new speed. They claim that their Store 'n Go V3 flash drives are twice as fast as 2.0. Of course they are 2.0 backwards compatible, come in 8 to 64GB memory sizes and are available in 7 different colors. A retractable design means no lost caps and password protection software is available.
Another solution to having an all-in-one media center comes in the form of the TVPlug. The clever gadget replaces your WiFi Router, USB external drive and can record and save TV programs to view on your computer. Available in black or white, it is compatible with both iOS and Android portable devices so that you can view on the fly when you have time to spare.
Keystone's ECO Booster 2.0 is a super-slim, portable 2000 mAH battery pack with a built-in USB cable for Android and iOs smartphones. It will work with iPod and iPhone with included connector and after attaching with washable adhesive pad, you can open up its built-in stand. LED indicators show that it is charging and power level achieved.
Pogoplug's Series 4 is your personal portable cloud. Store and share files, photos, videos and music with no limits via an SD card, portable drive or flash drive. Compatible with Windows, Mac, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it comes with free mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android to make it portable. Plug into your USB port and you are good to go.
Get remote access to your entire hard drive from one computer to another with the aluminum iTwin. With plug and play access via USB, you can drag and drop to edit a shared file from any location and backup data and media content any time. Lose half of it and you can remotely disable it while the data stays secure. Both Windows and Mac compatible, a purchase gives you your very own cloud with hardware-grade encryption and no extra fees.
LaCie brings a sequel to its Rugged Portable Hard Drive with a Mini. This one is also rain, drop and shock-resistant and the company claims that you can run over it with a 1 ton car, although we missed that testing day. Compatible with USB 3.0 or 2.0, it has password protection software built-in and automatic backup. For PC and Mac, the Mini comes in 500GB ($99.99,) 500GB (7200 rpm) ($119.99) and 1TB models ($159.99.)
Hitachi's wireless G-Connect cleverly stores data and acts as a router. Up to 5 SD or 3 HD streams can be accomplished simultaneously on iPad or iPhone via apps. The device can hold up to 500GB and has an Ethernet port for surfing and streaming from the Internet for non-Apple users. The G-Connect has password protection, a 3 year warranty and you can pre-order now for $199.99.
The Kingston Wi-Drive is a viable alternative for smartphone and tablet storage. With up to 4 hours of battery life, it can stream to iOS in up to 3 devices simultaneously. The SSD works via a downloadable app and comes in 16GB for $130.00 and 32GB for $175.00. Plans are in the works for an Android Wi-Drive as well.
Eye-Fi's latest Mobile X2 Wireless Memory holds 8GB of data and allows you to connect your digital camera to smartphone or tablet while automatically storing during upload. The Direct Mode and app sends videos and photos and gives users the ability to edit. Users get an Eye-Fi account to store the information.
Verbatim has released its Store 'n Go "SuperSpeed." The small, lightweight device attaches via USB 3.0 and is available in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB models. The company promises a speed of 10x faster for backup and transfer with 3.0 but that remains to be seen.