LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive
- Triple interface, no power required
- Small drop distance, No protection for rear ports
While perhaps not as ‘rugged’ as LaCie suggests, it does offer more protection than your average hard drive.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Fresh from their colourful 'Bricks' series of hard drives, LaCie has released a new 'rugged' external storage drive, cased in aluminum and protected by a rather bright orange rubberized coating. Measuring 90 x 25 x 145mm and weighing 250g, the Rugged Hard Drive isn't the smallest drive out there, but is small enough to be easily carried around in a laptop bag.
LaCie has heavily marketed this device as 'durable', by using pictures of a compass or other outdoor products in the marketing photos. The scratch resistant casing and rubber coating certainly give the unit an 'industrial' look and feel. In reality however, while providing a basic protection from everyday bumps and scratches, the Lacie unit isn't as 'rugged as you may think.
A close reading of the specs reveals the drive has a drop distance of only 90cm - and this is when turned off. This means if the drive is turned off and you knock it off a low standing table, it most likely won't be damaged. However when you think about it, 90cm isn't very high at all, and if you drop it while standing up or when turned, the drive is likely to get damaged. Still, the rubberized coating should absorb the majority of minor bumps and scratches.
Next, even though this unit is advertised as something that can be used outside, LaCie has neglected to provide any kind of protection or casing for the connections ports, which are situated at the rear of the device. This means if you do take it outdoors, say in an area with high dust or sand, there's a good chance these particles can get into the exposed connections, ruining the drive. Some kind of cover or plug system would have been good, even as an accessory.
We found using the drive itself to be fast, as it runs on a USB 2.0 connection and is plug and play - meaning you don't need to install any software before you use it. One thing we particularly like is that no AC power is required - it charges using a USB cable hooked up to your PC/laptop. This is does allow the device to be used outdoors as it frees it from the constraints of needing a wall power socket.
The LaCie Rugged Hard Drive comes in sizes of 80GB, 100GB and 120GB and USB or USB/Firewire versions are available.
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