Having robust mobile storage solutions that you can rely on is important, as is the speed of them. I recently purchased the latest LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive and ran it through some tests.
Most folks will already be familiar with the concept of the rubberized Rugged drives from LaCie, I’ve been using them myself for about 8 years now. This latest version comes equipped with a built-in Thunderbolt cable, USB3 connection and a new IP54 dust and moisture protection certification. The drive is rated for drops from 2m and LaCie also claim that it will withstand 1 tonne of pressure. Having owned several different versions of the Rugged drives over the years, I can say that this increased toughness was immediately obvious to me when I first unboxed the drive, it feels a lot sturdier than my older ones.
The captive Thunderbolt cable is a nice touch, one less thing to have on your packing list, and I’m also glad to see that USB3 is included. One concern with these kind of drives is that the cable or plug malfunctions and then you could be left with a healthy drive that’s crippled by a dodgy cable. With the USB3 connection you have both a useful backup, and a more universal connection for plugging into PCs.
I ran AJAs drive testing tool a few times at various file sizes and was extremely impressed by the speed of the 5400rpm 2TB version that I purchased. In fact it’s fully twice as fast as the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt drive I’ve been using most recently. In the past LaCie have offered 7200rpm options and I was surprised to see that wasn’t the case with the new drives. Having tested the 5400rpm version though, I think people will be more than happy. This is as speedy a 5400rpm drive as I’ve ever come across. 140MB/s is a great result.
Speed over Thunderbolt (2TB 5400rpm version)
Speed over USB3 (2TB 5400rpm version)
Overall I’m very happy with my latest purchase. My one concern is that I’m going to lose the rubber plug from the back of the drive that encases the Thunderbolt plug, though they do include a spare in the retail box. The drive feels tougher than ever and its speed was definitely a nice surprise. These feel like the kind of drives you can just toss into your suitcase or a pelican case and never have to worry about them. I love that!