It seems as if USB-C is going to be the wave of the future, and with that being the case, a lot of traditional devices that came with USB 3.0 will be all but obsolete in the not-so-distant future. This includes the external hard drives that we use today.
LaCie sent over their USB-C Porsche Design Mobile Drive for me to check out, and I’m happy to say I’m learning to embrace the USB-c way of transferring data with this drive.
A perfect companion for my brand new MacBook Pro, I was pretty concerned about having to purchase and connect my existing hard drive to the LaCie Porsche Design in order to have my file put directly onto them, but luckily this is no longer a factor, which I’m pretty excited about. But before I get started, let me get into some details about the hard drive itself.
LaCie’s Porsche Design mobile hard drive comes is a sleek gold or silver colorway, which I received the latter. There are various storage compatibilities for the hard drive, starting at 2 terabytes for $149.95, and going up to 6 terabytes. I received the 4 terabytes which for a mobile hard drive is honestly more than enough. The packaging was actually pretty simple, as it only comes with the hard drive itself, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and the literature you get explaining features.
The hard drive is made up of all metal just like the model that I reviewed back in 2016 which is pretty nice, although I will say obviously the more storage that you decide to pick up, the larger the size. So in essence, the four terabyte version is twice the size of the two terabyte, which means while it’s not something that I’d throw in my back pocket before going to a business meeting, it is small enough to toss in a messenger bag or backpack and still have to search for it amongst your things.
You’ll notice that the edges of the LaCie Porsche Design are a lot like Apple’s latest MacBook Pro as they are pretty sharp. This being said I was sure to keep them separate from each other because I wanted to keep them both as pristine as possible. One thing that did concern me is that the hard drive is not solid state, so when I do travel with it, I’m pretty protective about it, and its contents.
As someone who’s been using LaCie hard drives for years, specifically on Macs, I was surprised how well prepared it was to handle the load of data that I carry on my 2016 MacBook Pro. Once I partitioned the LaCie Porsche Design, it became not only a place that I stored pressers, PDFs, and images that I take in order to fix before posting to the site, but it’s the secondary backup that I have for my MacBook’s Time Machine backup. LaCie actually does include a nice two-year warranty which is nice, especially if you are pretty hard on hard drives, or in the event that you receive one that is faulty, LaCie’s customer service is pretty nice about getting you a replacement quickly.
In terms of performance, the LaCie Porsche Design really shines, even more than the USB 3.0 version that I used previously, and you can mostly attribute that to the USB-C connectivity. At 5 gigabits per second transfer speeds, I was able to easily transfer a 3GB movie torrent from my Macbook to the hard drive itself in mere minutes. While it’s just the initial set up for 3.1 USB connectivity, transfer speeds aren’t blazing fast but compared to my USB 3.0 ways of transferring before you notice a more than significant speed increase which can make a hell of a difference in transferring larger media from device to device.
I like using the cloud (minus iCloud due to its recent issues with hacks), I do personally wish that this particular LaCie device had cloud compatibility but it’s not a huge deal. It’s absolutely amazing to see where we’ve come in terms of hard drives, especially with LaCie being in the forefront. My first two terabyte hard drive was about the size of a box of large binder clips, and I wouldn’t dare put it in my backpack on any given day. This was ten years ago, so to be able to carry about a four-terabyte hard drive that allows me to transfer data from a co-workers computer to my own, and vice versa at the speeds that the LaCie allows is absolutely amazing. The Porsche Design is about as slim as you’ll find for a portable external hard drive, and if you can get over the sharp edges there’s nothing I can say that’s truly bad about the device performance wise.
When I go on longer trips and not on my day-to-day regimen, I tend to carry around the LaCie Rugged Design USB Type C hard drive. I’ve also reviewed the Rugged before in the USB 3.0 version last year, and I’m still to this day quite fond of it, however, I’ve been running out of space on it due to the fact I fail miserably at actually deleting things from it. If you are someone like me who has a problem hoarding all of your media but tend to toss your hard drive between a drawer, your bag, and even around on your desk, this is the one for you.
The LaCie Rugged Design is actually available in pretty much any size in terms of memory you can think of, starting with 250GB, up to 5 terabytes ($349.94), which is what I use. Having a MacBook Pro, it’s nice to be able to have an external hard drive that can not only serve as a backup to my laptop, but give me the ability to also move my data from device to device, especially since I don’t like to always rely on the cloud to house my data. I reviewed the USB 3.0 version of the Rugged by LaCie which you can, read here, and not much has changed outside of the fact this model has the compatibility for USB-C. The transfer speeds are insanely fast due to the faster transfer speeds. Unlike other hard drives on the market that are based on USB-C connectivity, LaCie actually even included a USB-3.0 adapter in the event you don’t have USB-C ports on your laptop. The included Firewire cable makes the LaCie Rugged lightning fast. I’ve transferred movies from my hard drive uploading them to my Plex account in mere minutes. What would’ve normally taken 10-15 minutes on a 2GB file, takes half that time now.
The orange padding not only makes your hard drive stand out in a crowded coffee shop but is actually pretty protective. Surrounding the corners of the LaCie Rugged, it will survive a drop off a table without missing a beat. That goes without saying, the rugged padding tightly surrounds the Firewire cable, which means if you don’t have the cable fitted securely, or eventually take the padding off only to put it back on, you will find that the cable doesn’t exactly stay put until you adjust it.
I personally love both hard drives, the Porsche for showing off, and when I don’t have a million things I need to transfer around, but when I’m traveling and have endless files I don’t want sitting on my MacBook, the LaCie Rugged is the obvious choice for me, especially with its 5 terabyte option. It comes with a price, that being upwards to $350, but at least now you’ll never need to deal with the consequences of not having enough memory.
In terms of test speeds, I haven’t noticed any significant lag in either of the drives, and both have been pretty stellar in moving even my large movie editing jobs, especially considering that the drive writes at a 100+mB/s speed. Also, with up to 750GB now uploaded of music and media on the hard drive currently, it is still ticking, not dying like the knockoff that I purchased on Amazon back in November. If I could honestly ask for anything, it would have to be LaCie including a case for them. I’ve found a nice case for both on Amazon, however, at the price for each of these, a case would’ve been nice to have.
Despite that, both the LaCie Porsche Design and the LaCie Rugged USB-C hard Drives are fantastic, and if you’d like to find more information on either, you can click the corresponding links below.
LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C Hard Drive
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: The LaCie Rugged has an amazing capacity, while the LaCie Porsche Design is super sleek, portable, and gets the job done. Transfer speeds on both are fantastic. Easiest hard drives I’ve ever setup.
What Needs Improvement: Cable on the LaCie Rugged tends to not connect if not inserted properly.