by Jacqueline Emigh
At CES 2011, ioSafe rolled out a line-up of “indestructible” Rugged Portable hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid disk drives (SSDs), tested as capable of surviving a witch’s brew of calamities, including drops from up to 20 feet, shots from a Remington 12 gauge gun, and submersion in diesel fuels and other chemicals.
The new Rugged Portable external drives are milled from solid blocks of metal, either titanium alloy or aluminum. IOSafe uses a proprietary technique known as Full Suspension Drive Technology to protect your data from drops.
ioSafe’s test results also purport that the portable drives can withstand freezing rain, fog, blowing sand, continuous UV exposure for up to 24 hours, and immersion into ordinary fresh water, salt water, hydraulic fluid, and aircraft fuel.
The ultra-tough titanium editions are crush resistant up to 5000 pounds, as opposed to 2500 pounds for the aluminum versions. The titanium and SSD models can operate at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet, and the aluminum drives at up to 15,000 feet.
The Rugged Portables come standard with USB 3.0 connectors which are backward compatible to PCs with USB 2.0 ports. A FireWire version is reportedly set for release in March.
Capacities range from 250 GB to 1 TB for Rugged Portable HDDs, and from 256 GB to 512 GB for the SSDs. Data is protected from drops of up to 10 feet for the HDDs and up to 20 feet for the SSDs. All of the drives are also accompanied by an extendable 12-month warranty on data recovery. The HDDs rotate at rates of 5400 or 7200 RPM.
You’ll pay more for the Rugged Drives than you would for non-indestructible equivalents, though. Whether you want to invest in one will depend on the importance of the information stored on your externals drives, along with how close you come to leading an Agent 007 lifestyle.
Adventuresome PC users might be willing to shell out $150 for an aluminum 250 GB HDD model in the new Rugged Portable series, or even $3,500 for a titanium 512 GB SSD model.