LaCie has announced a new 80GB PocketDrive, its portable hard-disk drive with both USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 support. Apple's new Power Mac G5 – available in August – features USB 2.0 slots, as well as FireWire 400 and 800 ports.

When USB 2.0 is used, the drive provides transfer rates of up to 480Mbps with USB 2.0 - 40 times faster than USB 1.1, and marginally faster than FireWire 400. LaCie’s claims that the drive delivers a sustained data throughput of up to 35MB/s to the computer – "twice as fast as first-generation FireWire drives".

The PocketDrive measures 3.5-x-5.75-x-1-inches, and weighs 12 ounces. The sturdy mechanism of the PocketDrive is mounted in a silicone bumper insulating the disk from vibration and shock. A groove around the edge helps keeping the cables tidy.

“With its high capacity, performance, mobility and cross-platform support, the LaCie PocketDrive offers a convenient alternative to carrying a laptop,” said George Leptos, UK General Manager. “Road warriors and commuters can simply connect the drive to any computer that offers USB 1.0, USB 2.0 or FireWire support when they arrive at their destination.”

Leptos describes the LaCie PocketDrive's ruggedised features as paramount for data security: "Mobile hard drives slide, bounce and get knocked during transportation, it's unavoidable. No professional can afford to lose data because of damages to a hard disk, especially when on the way to a meeting. LaCie is the only manufacturer to encase the mechanism in a protective silicone shell that prevents sliding or damages caused by everyday impacts."

LaCie’s complete line of PocketDrives also features Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motor technology, which reduces the drives' noise level by 20 per cent and makes them some of the quietest external drives on the market, according to LaCie.

The U&I LaCie 80GB PocketDrive is bus-powered via FireWire and has an SRP of £269 (excluding VAT). The bus-powered (no need for external power supply) USB 2.0 version has an SRP of £249.