The LaCie Rugged’s boxy orange case promises shock protection for drops of up to 2.2 metres – although if anything goes wrong, the manufacturer won’t be able to replace your data.
It’s the only portable drive here to use a 7200rpm disk, giving it a huge performance advantage. The Rugged drive came first in three of our four speed tests, and managed a strong second place in the small-file write test.
All this comes at a price: the 7200rpm Rugged drive will set you back $199, the cheaper 5400rpm version will still cost you $179, and the 1TB version is just as expensive. The Rugged is much larger than its rivals, too: but it makes up for this with both the ruggedisation and a triple USB 3/ USB2/Firewire 800 interface.
The drive comes with the LaCie Backup Assistant and a year-long 10GB subscription to Wuala Secure Online Storage. That’s it for extras: you can buy new sleeves in black, green-grey or blue-grey, but at $29 a pop, we doubt many people will bother. If speed and toughness are priorities, there’s nothing to compete with the LaCie Rugged – but it isn’t the best general-purpose