A SSD That Looks Good – LaCie External SSD Review

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Over the course of the past year, storage space has gotten much more affordable. Solid state drives, which were fairly expensive, are now at a price point that PC builders can afford. This solid-state drive architecture moved to external hard drives, and this is just another one of those products. On hand today is the newest in the LaCie lineup of mobile SSDs, in a nice Space Gray color to match my MacBook Pro.

The appearances of these drives are elegant, and that’s all that needs to be said about LaCie’s products. Their products are designed in an element that feels like Apple’s own design, with sharpened edges and a premium feel. This particular drive has a diamond-cut design that looks elegant, with nothing more than the LaCie branding on one corner of the drive and the regulatory information on the bottom. It’s a tiny drive, coming in at just under four inches in length, and three inches in width. It’s thin, too, just shy of a half-inch thick. The thinness also allows it to be extremely light, at 82 grams. It comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, perfect for my MacBook, and a USB-C to USB-A connector for those who have not made the jump to USB-C.

This LaCie mobile SSD works with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB 3.0, and is built to be plugged in and played with no software installation. Optional software allows the drive to be recovered in the event of failure and includes a free one-month trial for Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, which comes in handy as a learning video editor. Learning these skills means that I would need a drive that could handle the moving of huge files of various qualities, and this drive is a fast one.

SSDs are fast, and this one is no exception. With a proclaimed data read speed of 540 MB/s, the drive manages to stay close to that. Using BlackMagic’s Speed Test software, the drive clocked in at 520.40 MB/s read speed and a write speed of 467 MB/s. When it came to transferring files, there was some data I had observed:

  • 1,250 files, 10 GB folder – 31.78 seconds (desktop to drive)
  • 1,250 files, 10 GB folder – 22.56 seconds (drive to desktop)
  • 11,000 files, 12 GB – 88.23 seconds (desktop to drive)
  • 11,000 files, 12 GB – 48.58 seconds (drive to desktop)
  • 3 4K video files – 85 seconds (disk to 5400 RPM iMac)
  • Booting macOS Mojave – 22.64 seconds from start to finish

The 11,000 file folder comprised of various documents and images, with PDF files of various sizes. So basically, my academic portfolio. The 1,250 files included movies and images that I had been experimenting with, all 1920×1080 clips. Exporting only 4K video clips to a dinosaur of an iMac with a 5400 RPM drive, the disk still performed adequately.

At this point, a lot of these drives have been optimized for speed, and the only real differences are that of appearance. The drives that LaCie makes all look and feel incredibly premium and their price tags reflect that. This LaCie drive handles anything I threw at it, whether it was transferring tons of documents, exporting videos, or even running both a Windows or Mac operating system off the drive. There was never any slowdowns that impacted my workflow, and honestly, I keep saying it, but the drives just look beautiful. It’s a bit on the pricier side, beginning at $139.95 for 500 GB and moving up to about $500 for 2 TBs in storage, but hey, the result is a classier looking drive that still performs admirably, right?