It seems ‘rugged’ is the new black when it comes to external hard drives as the need to easily and safely transport huge amounts of data increases. Following the acquisition of SimpleTech, Hitachi has released a rugged portable USB drive under that brand - the SimpleTOUGH.

The SimpleTOUGH drives are designed to endure some serious punishment with a rubberized body that is engineered to withstand a three meter (9.8 feet) drop and take the pressure of a one-ton truck. The units also include an integrated, flexible, foldaway USB cable so the forgetful among us won’t get caught short, and a topside LED for power status.

The drives feature an ergonomic profile for easy carrying and include support for both local and online backup. Hitachi’s Local Backup software enables automatic backups while Hitachi Ultimate Backup service provides secure, online backup with 2GB free.

The SimpleTOUGH drives come in 250, 320 and 500GB capacities priced at USD$99.99, $109.99 and $139.99 respectively.