LaCie 1TB external Hard Drive, design by Neil Poulton
Hardware Requirements: G3/4/5 PowerPC/ Intel Mac with open USB1.1/2, FireWire 400, or eSATA port
Designer hard drives. Has it really come to this? A hard drive should be utilitarian, be robust and have oodles of space for all the stuff we want to put on it. Considering that we rarely look at them except over whatever icon is assigned to them (or that we assign to them ourselves) on our desktops to access information and data, who cares what they look like and I’ll be damned, DAMNED I say if I’ll buy a drive based on looks alone.
This drive looks cool. It’s all black in a Monolith/ 2001: A Space Odyssey kind of way. When it came in for review, my first impression was to dismiss it in the same way I dismissed those Ferrari-branded laptops from some time ago. The outside packaging gave me no reason to believe that this wasn’t just another average hard drive with pretensions.
Then I removed it from the packaging. It slid out of an all-white sheath like a sword being drawn. It immediately grabbed my attention and I said, “OOOoooooo!” All the light seemed sucked out of the room by its blackness. Except for the logo on the side, some small vents and naturally the ports to connect it with on the back, the darkness was unbroken.
I reluctantly turned my eyes away from the drive to examine what other goodies it came with and I was pleasantly surprised that a USB cable, A FireWire 400 cable, and an eSATA cable was included. No quick trip to a computer/ office supply store was required to connect this unit right away. I don’t have an eSATA port on my iMac, so I connected the power supply and FireWire cable and turned it on. Almost silent other than an extremely quiet fan. A dark blue light emanated from the bottom front to announce its presence. I half expected “Also Sprach Zarathustra” to start playing and was mildly disappointed when it didn’t.
The drive’s performance itself was unremarkable, certainly up to par for other drives this size. It has a 16MB cache which is typical for most mid-range hard drives of this size. It’s price is a little higher than what you’d pay for a similar USB-only drive, but most drives that have multiple connection options are going to be priced about the same. The included Mac backup software is 10.4 only according to LaCie’s website and since I have 10.5 on all my computers, I didn’t try it. There is Windows software as well, but most people would be better served with a dedicated backup solution as compared to what LaCie (or any other drive maker) includes. The drive is backed by LaCie with a 2-year limited warranty.
You can most likely find cheaper hard drives. Especially if you don’t need to connect via FireWire or eSATA and LaCie sells this same drive with USB only as well. What you won’t find is a drive with more WOW in the way it looks. Its simplistic, almost hypnotic design was worth an additional ½ ratings point to me.
And I am damned.