LaCieHard Disk review

Price when reviewed

When the product people at LaCie commissioned award-winning designer Neil Poulton to design their new external hard disk, they doubtless expected great things. In the event, they got a glossy black box.

LaCieHard Disk review

But if the LaCie Hard Disk looks underwhelming, its low-key design will fit almost anywhere. It’s relatively compact, too. And although its exterior is entirely featureless, in use it projects a small blue power/activity light onto the desk just in front of it, which is, we have to admit, an attractive touch.

But while simplicity in design may be a virtue, it would have been good to tick a few more boxes on the feature list. The drive’s only interfaces are a USB socket, a power connector and a flickable on/off switch. There’s no eSATA, and certainly nothing fancy like the Freecom’s sync button. There’s not even a hole to attach a Kensington lock.

What’s more, despite its minimal feature set, the LaCie Hard Disk is one of this month’s most expensive desktop drives. In terms of pence per gigabyte, it’s not far off the all-singing, Labs-winning Western Digital. In fact it’s hard to shake the feeling you’re paying over the odds for a designer label, and if you move up to higher capacity versions the cost becomes even steeper. The 1TB model currently sells for around £190, some £30 more than the Western Digital.

If you’re in the market for a 500GB drive, the LaCie is one of the more stylish options. But with the Freecom boasting eSATA and the same capacity for a lower price, you’d have to be a real fan of black boxes to pick this one.

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