LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 2 TB Hard Drive
$220 /£157 www.lacie.com
Earlier this year, storage manufacturer LaCie launched an upgraded version of its Rugged hard drive that features improved damage resistance and a built-in Thunderbolt cable. The new Rugged Thunderbolt drive is available with either a hard disk or an SSD, and also has a USB 3.0 port for universal connectivity.
Specifications / Key Features
- Built-in Thunderbolt cable
- USB 3.0 Connectivity
- Bus powered
- Shock resistant up to 2m (6.6ft)
- IP 54 rated for dust and water resistance
- 1 ton pressure resistance
- AES 256-bit software encryption included for password protection
- Removable cover and spare rear cover included
- 1TB and 2TB drives available for $219.99 and $299.99
- 5400 RPM/64 MB cache
- 350 g (12.3 oz)
- 256GB and 512GB SSDs available for $299.99 and $499.99
- SATA 6 Gb/s
- Claimed 387MB/s transfer speed
- 280g (8.8 oz)
I’ve owned several versions of the Rugged drives over the last 7 or 8 years. They’ve been around the world with me several times over and although they’ve taken a lot of physical punishment in the field, I’ve never experienced any issues. It was a pleasant surprise to find that this latest incarnation of the drive actually feels even more robust than my old ones, and this is reflected in the improved IP54 dust and moisture resistance rating that it’s received.
As a photographer who travels a fair bit, having confidence in my storage devices is important to me and the solid chassis and rubberized exterior immediately gave me that confidence after unboxing this drive. I wouldn’t give it a second thought when throwing this into the bottom of my camera bag with all the other accessories that rattle around in there.
One concern for any drive that has an integrated cable is the fact that any device is only as strong as its weakest point, which in the case of this drive is likely to be the cable. Fortunately though, if the Thunderbolt cable or plug malfunction in any way then you have the USB3 connection as a backup. Western Digital's My Passport Pro also features an integrated Thunderbolt cable, but nothing else - this lack of redundancy would worry me on a long photography expedition to a remote location.
In fact, I’ve just returned from a two-week wildlife photography trip in British Columbia where the nearest town was over 4 hours away. That’s exactly the kind of situation you don’t want to be in without some kind of backup, so I was thankful to have both USB and Thunderbolt options. On that particular trip I also found myself staying in a remote cabin that didn’t have any mains electrical power. I was able to charge my laptop’s battery at a nearby lodge and thankfully the Rugged Thunderbolt drive is bus powered, meaning there was no need for an additional power supply when I needed to use it.
When I’m on those kind of photographic expeditions it’s important to me that I have one copy of my images on me at all times. We all know that you should create backups of your photos, but it’s no good if you then leave them all in the same place. For this particular trip I was photographing grizzly bears from a kayak. Long days in all weather conditions, hauling gear in and out of kayaks and pickup trucks. It was often wet and dirty work but that’s exactly the kind of trip the Rugged drive is designed for. With limited room for gear, I simply put the drive into an unpadded dry bag and tossed it into the bottom of the kayak every day with no concerns and no problems.
To really put the drive through its paces I ran a selection of tests on my late 2013 27-inch Apple iMac using AJAs System Test tool, the very same tool that LaCie uses for providing transfer speeds in its specifications. Sustained read and write speeds vary depending on the size of the file that you are writing, but with smaller files I was able to achieve a read speed of 140MB/s and a write speed up to 148MB/s over Thunderbolt. For a 5400rpm drive this is an excellent score, and to underline that I also tested a Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt drive that I happened to have in the office. This produced speeds of only 73.2MB/s and 83.2MB/s for read and write respectively.
I repeated the tests using the USB 3.0 connection and the LaCie Rugged drive again produced excellent scores, this time recording a 138.2MB/s read speed and 144.7MB/s for writing. The GoFlex on the other hand could only manage 54.7MB/s and 59.3MB/s meaning the LaCie is very nearly twice as fast as my previous portable bus powered drive. It's also worth noting that the speeds that I recorded in this test were actually faster than LaCie's claimed speed provided in drive's specifications.
When the drive is first plugged in you have the choice to use your platform's built-in disk management software to format it, or running LaCie's own setup program. Normally I would simply format to HFS+ using my Mac's Disk Utility program, but this time I wanted to test out the included password protection software so I ran the LaCie setup tool instead. The first part of the setup tool allows you to select how much of the disk you want to be formatted to work with a Mac, and how much for Mac/PC sharing with Fat32 formatting. A simple slider sets the percentage for each partition and I appreciated the fact this was brought to the user's attention. It's not something I would normally think about, but having a small amount of space on the drive set aside for PC sharing might very well come in handy one day.
The second step allowed me to choose which of the included software I wanted to install. LaCie Private Public, the 256-bit AES encryption software, or Intego, the company's automatic backup software. Since I'm running mine with a Mac, which comes with Time Machine backup included, I was only interested in the password protection software.
The Private Public installation allows you to specify a size for your 'vault' and once created, it appears as a separate drive in your file browser. Since the Rugged Thunderbolt drive is designed to be portable, it makes a lot of sense to have some way to protect your most private files from theft while you are traveling. You could for example, keep copies of your travel itinerary, passport and drivers license locked away safely in the password protected folder.
Having played around with this, and found myself quite satisfied with it, I decided to reformat the drive with a different split between HFS+ and Fat32. Unfortunately it was at this point that I discovered the setup assistant that comes on the drive is a one-time thing. For some reason there is no option to reformat a drive, and launching it a second time only gave me options to install the bundled software again. You'd better make sure you choose wisely when you first decide on how much space, if any, you want to allocate for your PC 'share'.
The Rugged Thunderbolt drive is a fast and portable drive that would suit any photographer who spends a lot of time traveling or working in inclement environments. The inclusion of a captive Thunderbolt cable gives you one less thing to have on your packing list, and the solid build of the drive instills confidence when it comes to tossing it into a suitcase, or the bottom of a bag on a busy shoot. Apart from the improved build over the previous model of Rugged drive that I personally owned, I'm also very impressed by the transfer speeds of this drive.
What we like:
- Built-in Thunderbolt cable
- Excellent speed for a 5400rpm hard disk
- Included password protection software
- Solid build and all-round resistance to abuse and environment
What we don't like:
- No 7200rpm hard disk option this time
- Rear port cover not attached to the Thunderbolt cable
- Included setup assistant doesn't cater for re-formatting
- A little too bulky
Jul 5, 2017
Jun 26, 2017
Jun 25, 2017
Jun 19, 2017
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Foggy morning by LassiM|
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.