With the Thunderbolt cable, you have the option of a very fast transfer rate
Sleek design, sturdy aluminum case and very cool rubberized cover
USB-C is supported for future use
Some thought the rubber casing was underwhelming; we beg to differ
When we were asked to do a hands-on review of the LaCie 2TB Rugged Thunderbolt gaming hard drive we jumped at the opportunity. Who wouldn’t? It’s a Porsche Design designed product after all and it is very cool.
First of all, if you’re not backing up your data, we’re here to tell you should. You never know when that fateful day might occur. And secondly, if you’re worried that you’ll need a hard drive as big as a house to store everything then the LaCie is your storage solution.
LaCie is a relatively unknown brand, and not a name immediately recognized as a popular hard drive manufacturer but the Seagate owned French company has managed to carve out a nice little space for itself in a very crowded storage device market, especially among Apple users, and we think we know why.
A Heavyweight Lightweight
In terms of aesthetics, the exterior was designed by Porsche Design, a subsidiary of Porsche cars that designs suitcases, watches, shoes, as well as other accessories.The partnership isn’t new; LaCie and Porsche Design have been working together since 2003 and the Thunderbolt hard drive is just their latest release.
Creatives, photographers and other people needing a lot of storage have been using LaCie rugged drives for more than a decade because they are the most reliable, from transporting them to capturing data, and with a rubberized outer body, they are extremely rugged. The hard drive has been made with military grade shock protection, protecting the hard drive against drops up to 5 feet and the rubberized port caps keeps the dust and water out.
The aluminum LaCie 2B Thunderbolt weighs around 7 ounces (with the cover on) and is only 0.4 inches thick, which means it’s not going to weigh you down or get in the way. Oh, and if you don’t like the aluminum finish there is a faux-gold version that is available exclusively at Apple stores.
Is it Worth it?
It’s a simple looking hard drive, encased in solid aluminum (or fake gold). The top and the side are brushed, with a texture that MacBook users will recognize, while the ridges reflect light beautifully. We did find the edges a little too sharp but with the casing on it’s not noticeable.
Is it worth it? This is a tough one to answer with a simple yes or no.
Just like Apple products, the LaCie 2B hard drive is hardly competitively priced but that doesn’t stop people buying it. In our opinion, this isn’t for the casual gamer – they probably won’t need so much storage and they definitely won’t want to pay the asking price. However, pro gamers, photographers, creatives, and creatives that are pro gamers who like taking photos, will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on it; for the status, the street cred, that it has an almost cult following and because it is a good quality product.
Would we buy it? We’ll let you know shortly.
The first thing you notice when you remove the hard drive from the packaging is that there are two cables: a Thunderbolt cable and a USB 3.0 one. The cable is used to connect with PC and Mac computers that have a Thunderbolt port, which, if you’re wondering whether your PC or Mac is thunderbolt-compliant or not, you’ll see a lighting bolt just above the port. Thunderbolt cables are able to transfer data at double the speeds of USB 3.0, or at around 10 gigabits per second.
We predict Thunderbolt is going to render other USBs obsolete soon but for now, the USB 3.0 cable plugs into your computer’s USB port and is reverse compatible.
The Rugged Thunderbolt is fully bus-powered on USB and Thunderbolt, which means you don’t need an external power source. The driver’s recognition time, which refers to how long it takes for your computer to recognize the drive once it’s plugged in, is a very quick 4.5 seconds.
A pre-loaded software suite lets you schedule automated data backup as well as other file management functions.
It was difficult for us not to give the LaCie 2B Rugged Thunderbolt gaming hard drive high top marks for ease of use hardware and software based encryption, a password protection option for the hard drive, and a number of automated backup scheduling choices. Data backups can be scheduled to take place at hourly, daily or monthly intervals and the hard drive is compatible with online cloud storage. This adds another layer of protection for your critical data files.
Setting up the software is easy thanks to the installation wizard and a user-friendly interface that lets you navigate easily through the software settings. If you do however have any problems you can get in touch with their customer care.
Customer Care and Support
As far as customer support and after sales service goes, LaCie also ranks high. Technical support is via online ticket submissions and there is a very comprehensive list of FAQs. You can also troubleshoot any issues with the resources on their site.
The LaCie 2B Rugged Thunderbolt hard drive comes with a three-year limited manufacturer warranty that covers the product against defects in the workmanship or in the case of electronic failure.
To answer your question, would we buy one, the answer is an absolute yes. For us, the fact that is supported by Apple, designed by a brand as big as Porsche and has famous designers working on it is already reason enough, and that’s before we’ve even taken a look inside.
This in our opinion is one the best external hard drives with a rugged external appearance and the internal workings of a high-end storage device.
You know how they say you get what you pay for? Well, in the case of the LaCie 2B Rugged Thunderbolt gaming hard drive that very definitely holds true.