Tuesday, May 15, 2012

LaCie MosKeyto [Review]

The LaCie MosKeyto is a nice little flash drive with a few problems and at least one surprise. I've been using several LaCie MosKeyto flash drives on a daily basis for a while now. Much of their appeal is their size. It's also the source of all my problems with these devices.

The LaCie MosKeyto line of flash drives are much the same as hundreds of other flash drives. These drives differentiate themselves by their size. At slightly larger than a USB wireless module these things are small. Therein lies the problem. I've lost at least one of these drives, possibly two. The second problem has to do with static. If you build up a static charge on your person and happen to be touching the metal USB connector when you plug it into a grounded computer, the drive can be rendered read-only. I’ve had this happen to two of my drives. They read fine, but there doesn’t seem to be anyway to ever write to the devices again. LaCie technical support was helpful and replaced one of the devices, but the second one was out of warranty. This isn’t a huge deal if you’re aware of the issue and make sure you’ve dissipated any static charge you’re carrying or simply don’t touch the metal part of the USB connector.

I found a hidden surprise with LaCie Moskeyto’s when I took one of the zapped read-only ones apart. These drives contain a Micro SD card, and the card works perfectly even when the flash drive has been stuck in read-only. Apparently, the static only has an effect on the SD card/USB interface and not the card itself. There are at least a few USB drives of this form factor from other manufactures also contain Micro SD cards.

I find the LaCie Moskeyto’s to be decent flash drives and the form factor is convenient. LaCie’s cap and lanyard design fits my usage patterns very well. I clip one of these onto the outside of my backpack with a carabiner so it’s always with me and easy to access. The small form factor demands a little more diligence than the standard thumb sized drives to keep from losing and frying them. If you do happen to fry it, remember there’s a Micro SD card in there that might be perfectly fine.

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