Specifications, Pricing and Availability
Obviously the big technical news with the LaCie Rugged is that it uses USB 3.0. This connectivity comes by way of a miniUSB 3.0 port on the enclosure. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. In some instances you will need to attach a second cable to provide additional power to the 2.5" HDD. This additional cable will be needed when plugging into a USB 2.0 port and possibly when using a USB 3.0 port that does not provide sufficient power. It has been well documented that GIGABYTE has increased their available power to USB devices, so in our testing we never needed the additional cable.
Our sample LaCie Rugged was fitted with a 500GB Hitachi Travelstar 2.5" HDD model number 7K500. These are 7,200 RPM drives that are very popular with notebook OEMs. The drive by itself retails for around 80 USD at Newegg and is considered quite speedy for its class. The Travelstar 500GB uses 16MB of cache, has a 7,200 RPM platter speed and has an average seek time of 12ms.
Newegg also carries the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 500GB External HDD that we are testing today. The drive is available as tested for 144.00 USD and comes with free shipping. LaCie has other products under the Rugged product name; some of these are USB 2.0, others are eSATA or FireWire. Most of these are available in different capacities, but the Rugged USB 3.0 is only available at this time in 500GB.
To add additional value to the LaCie Rugged, the company has included a free one year subscription to a Wuala online backup that will give you up to 10GB of online storage.
Let's take a look at the package and then I will show you the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 up close.