LaCie Mobile Drive 2TB review: Sexy storage

LaCie Mobile Drive
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When it comes to personal (digital) storage, there are many options you can consider, depending on what you plan to use it for. Do you go for cloud storage or on-premise? Do you need an internal storage solution or an external, on-the-go option? Those options can be broken down even further– traditional hard drives, flash storage such as SSD or m.2 NVMe, or even USB thumbdrives and microSD cards. Do you want a tethered solution or perhaps even a network attached storage (NAS)? The options are dizzying. Assuming that you’re looking for an external, portal solution, here is one to consider—the LaCie Mobile Drive.

LaCie (pronounced “Lah-See”) has been making storage solutions for three decades, targeting the more premium Apple Mac market, in the early years. With its focus on creatives and the creative industry, LaCie’s products are more design-centric, none of the boring, generic-looking drives you’ll find in the market.

From the offset, the LaCie Mobile Drive is definitely a looker. If I may say so, the best-looking portable drive I’ve seen. The lavish design truly differentiates it from the generic boxes out there, and it will look at home beside your MacBook Pro or ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Design and build

The first thing you’ll notice is the all-aluminium build and diamond-cut design with a sandblasted finish. It’s sleek, compact, and classy, measuring just 10mm in height and weighing just 74g. It feels rock solid in the hand, and almost feels indestructible. That said, please don’t drop it, since it houses a 2.5-inch HDD inside and not an SSD.

Features and specs

Don’t let the Mobile Drives enticing exterior fool you though, there’s plenty to love underneath, too. Firstly, the 2.5-inch 5,400rpm HDD that delivers claimed sequential read/write speeds of 140MB/s over USB-C/USB 3.1 Gen 1. It’s available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB capacities and in Moon Silver and Apple-only Space Gray.

It offers a single USB-C port and comes with a two-year warranty.

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What’s in the box

Included with the drive are two USB cables—one USB Type-C to Type-C cable and the other, a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable. These are compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 devices.

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It’s a shame it doesn’t come with a case or carrying pouch, which would have been nice to keep the drive and cables in. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

LaCie Mobile Drive
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Software

The drive comes with the LaCie Toolkit Software Suite for macOS 10.11 or later and Windows 7 or later. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with macOS Catalina at the moment. The easy-to-use software will help you do one-click backups, schedule automatic backups, as well as mirror folders across multiple devices.

There’s a quick-start application that comes with the drive to help you setup the LaCie Toolkit, as well as claim your free one-month Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps membership (Note: Not available in all countries). Yes, you read that right—free Adobe CC.

Unfortunately, there is no encryption or security software included.

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Performance

To gauge the performance of the drive, I ran several passive benchmarks namely ATTO Disk Benchmark 4 and CrystalDiskMark 7 on my AMD Ryzen 5 PC.

On the Mac, the LaCie was connected to one of the USB 3.0 ports. For reference, here are the specs at a glance:

Mid-2012 MacBook Pro, 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, 512GB SSD drive, macOS Catalina 10.15.5 Beta.

I did not run benchmarking on the Mac machine.

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AMD Ryzen 5 PC:

  • AMD Ryzen 5 1500X quad-core 3.5GHz
  • 16GB G.SKILL Trident Z RGB DDR4 RAM
  • Samsung EVO 960 250GB m.2 PCIe NVMe
  • WD Black 1TB HDD
  • SanDisk Plus 480GB SSD
  • Corsair Neutron GTX 128GB
  • AMD Ryzen RX 570
  • Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

I ran ATTO and CDM on all drives, including an external WD Passport Ultra 1TB drive.

Results

The LaCie Mobile Drive fell slightly short of the claimed sequential read/write speeds but came out quicker than the WD Passport Ultra 1TB external drive, as well as WD Black 1TB internal HDD.

If raw speed is what you need then the LaCie Mobile SSD option would be suit you better. With transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s they’re better suited for high-powered applications like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and more. Keep in mind SSDs are a more expensive option, but prices have fallen over the years.

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That said, I did not notice issues when using the drive as source drive for video projects, so it is certainly quick enough as a media drive if you plan to use it as more than just a backup storage device.

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Pros

  • Best-looking portable drive
  • Rock-solid build
  • USB-C
  • Bundled cables
  • Decent performance
  • LaCie Toolkit Software Suite is handy

Cons

  • No carrying case/pouch
  • May not be fast enough for power users
  • LaCie Toolkit doesn’t work with macOS Catalina (yet)

Verdict

What can I say? I was sold on the get-go, thanks to the Mobile Drive’s dashing good looks. In terms of performance, the drive delivers typical HDD speeds i.e. great as a storage backup and for general applications. Power users may want to look at the SSD version.

Pricing and availability

The LaCie Mobile Drive retails at MYR369 (~USD86) for the 1TB, MYR489 (~USD114) for the 2TB, MYR719 (USD~167) for the 4TB, and MYR819 (~USD190) for the 5TB.

You can pick one up from Lazada or from your favourite retailer.

For more information, visit LaCie.

Originally posted on Medium.


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