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No matter how endless the built-in storage of a desktop computer or laptop may seem when buying, sooner or later we have to admit: there are not enough terabytes either. The price of gigabytes for traditional mechanical hard drives continues to fall, but manufacturers of external drives are trying to keep the price of devices, seducing consumers with an original design, modern interfaces (USB-C) and previously unseen capacity.
The new line of premium external drives owned by Seagate brand LaCie – LaCie Mobile Drive – not just about cheap, but about the design. The device is available with capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 5 terabytes. At the same time, the versions for 1 and 2 terabytes contain one disk (form factor 2.5 inches, 5400 rpm) and 4 and 5 terabytes – two, which accordingly affects the thickness (10 mm or 20 mm) and the weight of the case. (200 or 400 grams).
To invent something new in the category of external hard drives is hardly possible, so the main feature of the new Mobile Drive is appearance. The durable aluminum case is given the original “faceted” shape, and the color is matched to the new MacBooks – either light silver or “space gray”. However, LaCie Mobile Drive will be in harmony with any other laptop in a silver metal case.
The disc comes with twice as many cables as usual: one with two USB-C connectors, the other with USB-C on USB A (3.0). The cables are unusually thick, not very flexible and, judging by their small length, they suggest placing the drive in close proximity to the computer.
The disk (tested 5-terabyte version) comes formatted in the exFAT file system, so to use it on a Mac for backups via TimeMachine, you will have to reformat it in HFS +. Windows users may also want to change the file system to NTFS. If only because with it and the disk space is effectively used, and the recording speed will be much higher.
Testing LaCie Mobile Drive in conjunction with a powerful gaming laptop on Windows 10 (connected via USB-C), we recorded in CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2 a sequential read speed of data at 136 MB / s, and write – 44.6 MB / s.
After reformatting to NTFS, the reading speed slipped a bit (up to 127 MB / s), but the recording grew to 129 MB / s. It took 12 seconds for our testing to copy folders of different sizes with a total capacity of 1.2 GB within the disk itself. When testing with the MacBook Pro 2016, the formatted disk in exFAT showed in the BlackMagic 3.1 benchmark the read speed of 126 MB / s and write – 120 MB / s. Similar results show the majority of modern external hard drives with drives rotating at a speed of 5400 rev/min.
The range of prices for LaCie Mobile Drive is very large. So, if for some reason you want to buy it in the Russian online store Apple, be prepared to pay $160 for a 5-terabyte version, a 2-terabyte will cost $95. Apple sales point accompanies the listing of LaCie Mobile Drive with the note “Only in Apple”, although finding a device in other stores is not a problem.
It is important to understand that getting the same amount of memory at 5 terabytes and similar performance is possible and cheaper – for example, you can buy a 5-terabyte Seagate Backup Plus for about $110. It differs from LaCie only in design and other connectors on the case – Micro-USB Type-B, but it does not affect the speed. In the case of USB 3.0, the “bottleneck” when transferring data is no longer the connection interface, but the limited speed of the 5400 rpm itself.
At the same time, if a consumer is looking for a device made of premium material which looks great on an expensive computer design and is ready to overpay, LaCie has no competitors among relatively accessible external hard drives with USB 3.0 and mechanical drives.