A fast drive at a good price, but you’ll love or hate the design
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It’s fair to say that LaCie’s Rugged drives don’t look like anything else around. The stout aluminium shell and garish rubber sleeve – the work of Neil Poulton, who also designed LaCie’s monolothic desktop drives – are certainly distinctive. We’re not certain that the end product is something we’d want sitting on our desk, however. Although you can replace the orange sleeve with one of a more sombre shade (an optional extra), there’s nothing you can do about the size. It’s almost twice as thick as the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex, and around a centimetre longer and wider. The upside, of course, is toughness: if you want a drive you can throw in a rucksack or you have a habit of dropping drives, it’s reassuringly substantial.Despite its chubby exterior, it’s actually a very nimble drive. Among the portables it ranked first in three of our four performance tests, with read speeds that outshone all other portables and challenged even the desktop drives. It slipped a little in the small-file write test, but still achieved second place.It is expensive, coming in at 39.1 cents/GB – the most expensive drive per gigabyte in this Group Test. Although you don’t get any accessories or free software, you do get a 12-month 10GB subscription to the Wuala online storage service.Some will be put off by the LaCie Rugged USB 3’s uncompromising looks and its sheer size. But if you can tolerate the chunky aesthetic or simply require something slightly tougher than the norm, you’ll find this a good-value, high-performance drive.
This Review appeared in the December, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing
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