An ideal travel or everyday carry (EDC) flash drive has a very specific set of attributes:
- Capless: why anybody makes capped flash drives with no swivels or tethers, I have no idea. The best flash drive, of course, has no cap to lose.
- Small: as little volume as possible to make it possible to travel with and carry it easily
- Keychain: should be able to stay on a keychain
- Storage size: should be large enough to take a good amount of data, at least 8GB, if possible 16GB
- Inconspicuousness: a nice to have would be to have a flash drive that does not attract attention as a flash drive, so that it does not scream "call me," either as a desirable technology gadget, or as a possible source of confidential information
- Reliability: should last several years on average (flash drives have a limited number of read/write cycles and will all eventually die)
- Speed: should be fast enough for timely file transfers, although record speed is not needed
- Price: should carry good value
How reliable is it? It scores approximately in the 85th percentile for modern flash drive keys, good but not perfect. It is surpassed in reliability by the Data Traveler DTI, (slow and capped), the SanDisk Cruzer Micro, (very slow, connector-retractable, comes U3-formatted with bloat software) and the Transcend V30 JetFlash (capped, compact body, slow, U3 bloat software). It is comparable in reliability with the Kingston Data Traveler DT101 (swivel cap) and DT100 (retractable connector) and the Corsair Voyager (capped, very thick), all of which are slow, too bulky to go on a keyring, and not as good looking.
LaCie's iamakey comes with a small transparent plastic cap. Throw it away the moment you open the pack and never look back.