Writing reviews is like therapy for me sometimes. Just as I imagine a parent gazing into the innocent eyes of a child seeking praise, when a brand-new product arrives, I imagine it saying, “Look at me! I’m bright, new, shiny and full of promise. Please like me!” In most cases, I enjoy discovering new products and testing them to see how they might fit in with my life (or yours!). However, readers of a previous review I wrote on the Seagate Gaming Marvel Black Panther Drive will know about my reticence when it comes to storage drives.
There was a time when the storage device space was filled with a handful of manufacturers. Readers of a particular vintage will remember names like électronique D2, LaCie, Syquest, Iomega, Maxtor and others… électronique D2 – A Paris, France-based company joined forces with LaCie from Oregon, USA in the mid-1990s and the name Lacie was adopted as a brand and used on their products from then on.
The storage drive I’m reviewing is a 2TB go-anywhere Solid State Drive (SSD for short). I could go into a long essay on the pros and cons of SSD over HDD but the long and short of it is this; SSDs have no moving parts inside so they are typically smaller and much lighter in weight than HDDs which use a spinning disc and are prone to mechanical breakdowns. SSDs are commonly used in laptops and mobile devices and while they do have a finite read/write life, they don’t produce heat and noise which is a boon for some.
The first thing I noticed when I received this drive was how light and compact it was. It seems even more compact than the Seagate Drive I mentioned earlier.
The second thing I couldn’t but fail to notice was the day-glo orange rubber that wraps around the edges of the drive. This durable, protective rubber casing has been a long-standing feature of the Rugged hard drive since it was launched in 2005.
Honestly speaking, I do wish it was as easy as “get up and running” but instead there is a Start Here app pre-installed which the user is guided through to install the accompanying back-up software and to register the product. This involved keying in the serial number which is commonplace but the serial number was only accepted after I clicked on a link which took me to the registration page on the LaCie website. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through the registration process via the pre-installed app as the form fields wouldn’t accept the serial number. This was unfortunate as if you can’t instal the back-up software, what’s the point in having it? The software, much like the Seagate, allows you to create a Mirror folder on your desktop or laptop. The files and folders you place in the Mirror folder get simultaneously copied onto the drive much like a back-up procedure.
The box is quite rightly, small enough to contain the Rugged Mini drive and a roughly 8” long USB-C to USB-C cable to connect it to a laptop or desktop with the correct USB-C port. There is also a Quick Install Guide. It has clear illustrations instructing how to connect the drive to your laptop with written health & safety instructions in various languages.
Interestingly, when you register the product, you also get a free 30-day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud – All Apps. The guide also states that the drive is preformatted exFat for use with both PC and Mac. However, If you want to use the drive with Apple’s Time Machine backup software, it will need reformatting which will in turn delete all data on the drive (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!)
The length of the cable, in my opinion, isn’t as long nor as pliable as I expected but it does what it needs to do.
The USB-C port on the drive is concealed under a rubber dust cover which naturally needs to be removed to gain access. Personally, I’d have preferred it if the dust cover had a hinge on it so there’s no risk of it being lost or misplaced. As I suspect the drive may be used outdoors or in a frenetic environment (which we creatives are oh so used to!), the detachable, rubber dust cover/ closure which is quite tactile is sure to get misplaced.
I found the “upto” transfer speeds of 30MB/s to be better than I had expected as I’m used to the whirring sound and clicking noises from a traditional HDD.
As I don’t have a limitless quantity of this hard drive, I’m quite happy to accept LaCie’s quoted stats on the drive’s ruggedness. With a drop resistance of 4ft (1.2m), crush resistance of a 1-tonne car and rain resistance, this drive will easily endure above-average exposure to bumps and thumps.
At a time when the market is awash with storage drives from numerous manufacturers, pinpointing the best one isn’t easy. The LaCie Rugged Mini does have strong USPs that will appeal to most buyers though. Whether your life involves a bit of rough & tumble or not, I feel this drive offers peace of mind to the user with its 3-year limited warranty and Data Recovery Service which runs concurrently with it. Knowing that your precious data is safely stored on this SSD and is easily portable and connectable to most devices makes it a winner in my book.
For more details on the entire LaCie range including where to buy from, go to www.lacie.com.
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