LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review: The Best Thunderbolt Hard Drive

Illustration for article titled LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review: The Best Thunderbolt Hard Drive

If your computer has a Thunderbolt drive, odds are it's been pretty neglected. Some external storage options are good, but no one choice is a no-brainer. Until now, that is. LaCie's vivid orange drive is the best way to back up files, superfast.


What Is It?

A $200 SSD hard drive that connects via supremely-quick Thunderbolt or USB 3.0.

Who's it For?

Anyone who needs to back up data, and wants to do it quickly. So, almost everyone.



Lovely and modern. Most bright orange things aren't appealing, except for candy corn, but this cold-metal-meets-cartoon-bumper look totally works.

Illustration for article titled LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt Review: The Best Thunderbolt Hard Drive

Using It

Connect the drive to your computer via Thunderbolt or USB 3.0. It'll mount, like any other external hard drive.


The Best Part

No need for any external power.

Tragic Flaw

It's still significantly more expensive than traditional HD storage.

This Is Weird...

Does a drive with zero movable parts need to be ruggedized?

Test Notes

  • Shockingly, the LaCie drive actually lived up to its advertised speeds: 376 MB/sec read, 196 MB/sec write. That's really, really fast. Fast enough to back up entire music albums instantly, and probably enough speed to handle your entire backup catalog in a few minutes.
  • It comes with a Thunderbolt cable.
  • It's light and the ports are entirely accessible.
  • Given how miniaturized Thunderbolt and SSD drives are, this seems a little bigger than it should be. Still, it's compact enough to throw in a bag.

Should You Buy It?

If you need backup storage (and you do), you might be willing to spend extra dough for the fastest possible speeds. In that case, yes, this should be the one you buy. It's the best Thunderbolt drive I've used yet—one of the best external hard drives, period. And it makes Thunderbolt finally feel worth it.


LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt/USB 3.0

• Storage: 120 GB (also available in 256 SSD and 1 TB HDD)
• Input: Thunderbolt, USB 3.0
• Size: 3.5 x 5.5 x 0.97 in.
• Weight: 260 g
• Price: $200
Giz Rank: 4.5 stars


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Mr Multiverse

Sam, I'm assuming you only tested out the SSD version. Is there any report on speeds with the TB HDD version? You know, the "moving parts" reason for ruggedization :)