While most hard drives with large capacities tend to be physically large, LaCie’s new hard drive demonstrates that it is possible to make a high-capacity external HDD which is both compact and elegant. Furthermore, the LaCie 500GB can be connected to most computers – PC, Mac, or Linux-based systems – using USB 2.0, FireWire 400, or eSATA. LaCie presented the new device as part of a new line of HDD products, alongside larger versions with 750GB and 1TB capacities.
Although about 700 movies, 135,000 songs, or 550,000 digital photos can be stored on a 500GB drive, the transfer speeds are usually too slow. LaCie’s interface transfer rates are 1.5Gbits/s for eSATA, 400Mbits/s for FireWire, and up to 480Mbits/s for USB, and its burst transfer rates are reported to be 80MB/s using eSATA, 35MB/s using FireWire, and 30MB/s using USB. These specifications place it as one of the fastest external hard-drives available today.
The triple interface of the drive is rather unique since most external hard-drives feature either USB, FireWire, or eSATA but do not enable all of them. “We are very excited to offer the new triple interface hard disk, designed by Neil Poulton,” said Lise Manteau, LaCie Desktop Hard Drive Product Manager. “The USB-only version announced late last year has been very popular. With this new product offering, we are now able to reach customers who prefer faster transfer rates with FireWire 400 and eSATA 1.5Gbit connectivity.”
The two FireWire ports allow the user to transform the device to a virtual camcorder or virtual video camera. The setup is quite easy, but the plug & play installation will be insufficient for special functions, and a setup assistant must be executed in order to perform more complex tasks. LaCie 500GB is provided with LaCie’s ‘1-Click’ Backup Software, which enables quick saving of important files. With a capacity which is about four times greater than that of most hard-drives, the backup function could be very useful for most users.
The company’s marketing strategy is focused on the sleek and compact design. The LaCie 500GB HD is fashioned in a black-mirrored finish and includes a blue LED strip that creates a rich ambient glow. The unit also features built-in heat dissipation with bottom plate holes, allowing natural airflow. All in all, at the retail price of $169.99, the LaCie 500GB may be a good choice for someone who wishes to purchase a hard-drive that combines both design and storage capabilities.
TFOT has covered the SanDisk Vaulter Disk, a device that enables faster loading of software on laptops and on personal computers, and Samsung’s Hybrid Hard Drive, which boasts improved performance, reduced energy consumption, a faster boot time, and better reliability. TFOT also covered Samsung’s Solid State Disk Drive, the first consumer 32 GB HDD.
For more information, see the LaCie’s website.