Just when you thought that the complex world of portable storage devices was getting less confusing, along comes LaCie’s Data Bank to blur the issue afresh.
USB pen drives and flash memory offer portability, but you’re limited by capacity. External hard drives don’t have the same storage restrictions and provide a far better cents-per-megabyte ratio, but you’d be hard pushed to carry one (and its power supply) around in your pocket.
Which brings us to the LaCie Data Bank. Although still not as small as a USB drive or flash memory, this hard drive is portable and could, at a stretch, be squeezed into your pocket. In fact, you’ll probably have to guard this drive closely since its gorgeous design comes straight from the artistic hands of Porsche). No power supply is needed, making installation a breeze, and for Windows XP users no drivers are required either.
Cables are provided for both supported interfaces -- that is, USB 2.0 and FireWire -- but they should have been much longer. If you can’t place the Data Bank right next to the ports then you’ll encounter problems.
Performance is good -- we were able to copy a 475MB file in 36 and 37 seconds on USB 2.0 and FireWire respectively. The 20GB Iomega HDD (copying the data in just 29 seconds) is faster, but the LaCie is still in a different class to portable USB drives and flash memory.
In brief: LaCie Data Bank
As a basic external hard drive, the LaCie loses out to Iomega’s HDD. It’s not as fast and, at $699, it’s almost $250 more. Nonetheless, it’s light and compact in comparison and, with the speed and capacity to slaughter the more portable flash and USB devices, the stylish Data Bank offers the best of both worlds for anyone who can afford the price tag.
Price: 20GB $699
Phone: (02) 9669 6900