LaCie’s rugged portable drives, distinguished by their bright orange padding, are popular with photographers and videographers who need to backup footage and photos while away from the safety of their desks. Taking that idea one step further, LaCie’s new DJI Copilot drive can ingest and back up your media all by itself, letting you leave your laptop at work.
Ditching the orange foam jacket for a gray padded wrapper that I assume is designed to better match DJI’s drones, the Copilot also distinguishes itself from past entries in LaCie’s rugged line with more ports, and a large LCD display on top. In addition to a USB-C connection, the DJI Copilot includes an older USB port that allows you to connect and copy photos and videos directly from a camera. Or, you can pop out a memory card and insert it into the Copilot’s SD slot so you can backup footage and photos while still actually using your shooter.
The DJI Copilot also includes an integrated cable for connecting the drive to a smartphone or tablet, which can be swapped between microUSB, USB-C, and Lightning versions so it works with whatever mobile device you carry. However, this cable is less about backing up media from your phone or tablet. Using an accompanying app, your connected mobile device can instead be used to manage files on the Copilot, or preview photos and footage, at full resolution, without having to deal with the limitations and reduced performance of streaming your 4K videos over a wireless connection.
File transfers can also be managed using the Copilot’s LCD display—which LaCie’s representatives assured me is just as resilient as the rest of the drive—but it’s limited to black and white to help maximize the drive’s built-in rechargeable battery while out in the field. On a full charge, without an external power source, you can expect to backup about 30 hours of 4K footage, which is almost enough to fill the drive.
When available sometime in the Spring, the LaCie DJI Copilot will sell for $349, but will only be available in a two-terabyte model. So if you’re heading out into the wilderness to capture the splendor of nature with an 8K camera hanging from your drone, you might actually need a few of these to backup all that high-res footage.
This post has been updated to reflect new pricing details from Lacie.