LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 500GB

Keeping your precious puppy photos safe while climbing Mount Everest

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 500GB
  • LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 500GB
  • LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 500GB
  • LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Disk 500GB
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Rugged case design, fast read/write times, bus-powered, triple interface

Cons

  • Little accompanying software, only 'rugged' while turned off

Bottom Line

The LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive isn’t built to withstand a nuclear holocaust, but it provides better protection than standard portable hard drives. We were impressed with the read/write times and the fact that it can provide 500GB of hard drive space powered by USB.

Would you buy this?

LaCie's Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive has the protection it needs to be able to function over a long period of time in rough-and-tumble situations. It won't withstand World War III, but it will be able to deflect hits and bumps during everyday travel.

The LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive isn't new — we reviewed the 80GB version back in 2006. Since then not much has changed physically, but LaCie has bumped the drive's capacity to 500GB. The drive still retains its small case, which contains a 2.5in drive. Amazingly, LaCie has managed to keep the drive bus-powered, making it one of the first 500GB portable hard drives on the market that only requires USB for power. It also manages to pack in FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and a secondary USB port for supplementary power.

The drive is protected by anti-shock rubber bumpers, and encased in aluminium. A replaceable shock-resistant rubber sleeve fits over the case. Although the drive's interface ports are slightly recessed, there's no other form of protection for them, leaving them at the mercy of the elements. Given that it would require only slightly more rubber to protect the ports, we're puzzled as to why LaCie didn't address this.

The drive is rated to withstand a 90cm drop when turned off. Its tight case design is scratch-proof, and the extra protection it provides helps ensure drive durability (it probably won't survive a mortar shell, however).

Given the case's design, the unit is slightly larger than the standard 2.5in portable hard drive. It definitely won't fit into a pocket like Western Digital's My Passport Elite 320GB, but it remains small enough to be packed snugly in your baggage.

The unit is accompanied by a basic one-click backup application, as well as a trial for MacDrive, which allows Windows to read OS X–based file systems such as HFS and HFS+. Other drives provide better value in terms of software, but we're glad LaCie didn't bloat the drive.

The biggest surprise with this drive, apart from its capacity, is its speed, particularly given that it only spins at 5400rpm. While transferring a 5GB file from the drive to a 7200rpm laptop drive over USB 2.0, write speeds averaged 21.19MBps; read speeds were even faster at 26.88MBps. It performed even better over FireWire 800, averaging read and write speeds of 41.7MBps and 43.5MBps, respectively. For a portable hard drive spinning at 5400rpm, these speeds are remarkable.

LaCie's Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive probably won't suit all terrains. However, it provides fast transfer speeds, great storage capacity in a small package, and enough protection to withstand the rigours of everyday travel.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?